Can Michael Vick Even Run Chip Kelly's Offense?

By williambontrager
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Vick isn’t getting rid of the football soon enough. Don’t listen to the Chip Kelly rhetoric that there was perfect coverage on the Philadelphia Eagles‘ receivers. Watching the game, I had deadly flashbulb memories of the old Vick, the Vick of the last two years. I saw the same guy that holds the football too long and throws off his back foot when his speed isn’t enough.

This is Vick’s last chance. The fans are weary of this type of play. In the first half of the game, the offense looked like Andy Reid’s plays. It strongly resembled a west coast spread offense. The plays were not innovative, they were typical. If Kelly is hiding his special plays then he is allowing Nick Foles to run a hint of them in the preseason, and letting Vick just be Vick, as he was in the last two seasons.

Look at the style of plays when Vick was in for the first half.  He ran his typical cycle, scrambling and hitting Jason Avant for a good 20 yards. Later, after a sack, courtesy of Roy Miller, Vick struck back and threw to a wide open DeSean Jackson, again, evading a tackle by ducking past the opposition. Then he showed more of his lightning speed, breaking free of the wall of defenders and getting out of bounds for more positive yards. Later he found Riley Cooper in the end zone with a bullet to his chest.

I didn’t mention the interception thrown off the back foot because here is my concern. It is the amount of time Vick held the ball. Kelly says it was because no one was open, but that is not true. Even the positive yardage had Vick holding the ball for more than two seconds. Here are Chip Kelly’s own words about Vick and his vision of how his offense should perform.

“I don’t know what he was asked to do in the past, but that’s our job as coaches to put him in a situation where he can get the ball out quickly because we do have some play-makers on the offensive side of the ball who are going to flourish when we get the ball in their hands.”

So why didn’t Vick’s first half look different than any season before? Is it really the coaching or the quarterback? Luckily we have a quarterback waiting in the shadows. He may not run as well, but Foles controlled the Kelly system like a well-oiled machine, driving his team down the field for a victory and getting the ball out of his hands quickly.  Strangely, you don’t see him in the highlights… hmm.

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