The Philadelphia Eagles have been searching for their QB of the future since the decline of Donovan McNabb‘s glory days. Early in the 2010 season, it appeared as though they had found their guy in the form of a new and improved Michael Vick. All eyes were on Vick as he took over the reins of that Eagles team and began the new stage of his career on a tear.
He invoked MVP talks during the season and even had his jersey sent to the NFL Hall of Fame after his near-perfect performance on Monday Night Football against the Washington Redskins. Most of the sports world thought that Vick had finally “arrived” and was reaching the potential that we all knew he possessed since being taken first overall in the 2001 NFL Draft.
Vick finished the 2010 season with 3,018 yards passing, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions with a passer rating of 100.2. He also had 100 carries for 676 yards and nine touchdowns.
The 2010 Eagles ended with a 10–6 record in 2010 and made the playoffs. Vick received his fourth Pro Bowl appearance and won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. This led to Vick and the Eagles agreeing on a six-year, $100 million contract with almost $40 million in guaranteed money.
This all came to a screeching halt in the 2011 season. Vick seemingly turned into a inaccurate, injury-prone, turnover machine overnight. He led the Eagles to an 8-8 record in 2011 and 4-12 record on 2012. Vick is now playing on a one-year restructured contract worth up to $10 million. He now has to prove himself all over again in the upcoming 2013 season.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly announced an open QB competition shortly after accepting the position, and has held true to his word so far this offseason. Vick has been sharing first team snaps with Nick Foles throughout the team OTAs, with many reporting that Foles has seen more first-team snaps than Vick and has looked fairly impressive.
Kelly urges that this means nothing as his depth chart is “more of a seating arrangement” at this point in time.
Vick, by all accounts, has been fairly up-and-down so far in offseason work, having some very good days sprinkled with a few poor ones. Most still believe that the starting QB job is still Vick’s to lose.
The Eagles currently have five QBs on the roster and it appears that each of them have a shot at winning the starting position. As training camp approaches (July 25 for veterans, 22 for rookies) Vick will need to rely on much more than his blazing speed and elder statesman role among the QBs to win this job.
Foles will present the biggest challenge to Vick for the no. 1 spot; however, no one should overlook rookie challenger Matt Barkley, selected in the fourth round of this year’s draft and is proving that he was far undervalued. Also, a dark horse candidate for the job is Dennis Dixon, who played for Kelly at the University of Oregon.
Eagles fans have seen Vick at his best and at his worst all in the span of three roller-coaster seasons. Vick needs to work on his weaknesses and continue to become a more complete QB in the very near future. If not, he could find himself on the bench, or even unemployed.