Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick Chastises Critics, Calls Them Ignorant

By Matt Lombardo
Eric Hartline – USA Today Sports

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has a clear message to critics who point to his deficiencies, ranging from not protecting the football and being slow to make decisions in the pocket.

“I’m really tempted right now to just say no comment to that because like I said a second ago, you don’t last 12 years in the NFL not being able to read the defense,” Vick said in a radio interview with 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli last week. “Those people who are talking and saying that are just ignorant, and they know nothing about football. Unless they turn on the film and watch my game and see what goes on, then they’ll replace those comments with the right comments.”

It really is not difficult to find flaws in Vick’s performance that has produced 48 turnovers and just 41 touchdowns in the past three seasons.

Vick will certainly be asked to adapt his game at age 32 if he intends to win the open competition between himself, Nick Foles and rookie Matt Barkley for the starting quarterback’s job. In Chip Kelly‘s up-tempo offensive system, the quarterback will be required to make split second decisions and get rid of the football quickly. Vick held onto the ball for over three seconds per attempt a year ago, and will need to be vastly more efficient under Kelly.

“We had a lot of deeper throws last year, which required more time,” Vick said. “It’s just a big difference. Not to say there was anything wrong with the west coast system, I loved it. I spent seven years in it, and it was cool. But I think the change of pace for me at this point in my career is good and the game is a lot easier now.”

 In all, Vick has put the ball on the carpet 32 times in his last 35 games, contributing to 12 of the 48 turnovers he’s committed in the past three seasons.
During last week’s OTA practice, it was Foles who stood out among the five quarterbacks vying for the starting job, and even Barkley appeared at ease in the pocket going through his progressions during skeleton passing drills. However, Vick did not look sharp and even during seven-on-seven drills without a pass rush, the 12-year veteran tucked the ball and ran after spending several seconds in the pocket scanning for a receiver that never came open. In that drill, forcing the quarterback to scramble is a win for the defense.
There is no doubt that Kelly is giving Vick an opportunity to lose his starting job, splitting first-team practice reps with the incumbent starter and Foles. However, Vick would be wise to spend more time figuring out how to quicken his release and better scan the field, keeping the football out of harm’s way than engaging his critics in a war of words of sort.
After all, adapting and taking your game to the next level is the quickest and most efficient way to silence one’s detractors.
 Matt Lombardo is also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter

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