As was evidenced when he coached at Oregon, there are two things Chip Kelly likes in a QB: athleticism and the ability to think on one’s feet. Luckily for the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, starting QB Michael Vick has shown in his career that he can do both of these things. It is for this reason that Vick won the starting job.
One of the things we are quickly learning about Kelly is that he is very adaptable. As much as he would love to score 80 points with a lethal combination of talent, speed, athleticism and the occasional trick play, Kelly knows this formula will only work to some extent in the NFL.
Most importantly, he knows the Eagles’ current personnel isn’t that explosive.
When it comes to his quarterbacks, Kelly has also shown his willingness to run offensive schemes that best suit his signal-caller. This was evidenced in the preseason as Kelly ran a completely different offense when the practically immobile pocket passers in Nick Foles and Matt Barkley were under center than he did when the speedy Vick was calling the plays.
Kelly played to the offense that worked best for Vick, that is why the veteran QB absolutely flourished in the preseason. It was an offense that perfectly utilized LeSean McCoy in short dump-offs, screens and rushing plays, while also allowing Vick the chance to use his own legs to a degree of success.
With the revamped and healthy offensive line, Vick, who scrambles with the best of them, has the time he didn’t have last season to really scan the field for the big play receivers and opportunities.
And unlike Foles or Barkley, Vick is as good with his arm as he is with his legs. As long as he is given the ability to see down the field and given the time to air it out, Vick will be just fine.
One of the other ways in which Kelly’s offense and Vick are a perfect marriage is the uptempo style. Vick is more than prepared to run a fast-paced, high-octane sort of offense. He has done it in the past and will be able to do it this season.
In fact, a fast-paced offense will actually hide Vick’s weaknesses and will allow the QB to showcase what has made him such a good talent at times in his career.
It also cannot be understated that Vick is genuinely excited to play football under Kelly. Say what you will, but with that level of passion he is showing and the willingness on Kelly’s behalf to really put Vick in a position to succeed, there is no reason to expect anything but a positive outcome from the collaboration.