Last year was definitely a season to forget for Michael Vick. He missed several games due to a concussion, and failed to immediately regain his starting job from rookie Nick Foles upon returning from his head injury. Thanks to the missed time, he tallied his lowest stats since returning to the NFL in 2009, following a two-year prison stint. Vick threw for 2,362 yards, had 332 rushing yards, and threw for 12 TD’s against 10 INT’s.
What’s worse is that the normally-competitive Philadelphia Eagles suffered through a dismal season after going 4-12. All of this being said, nothing was guaranteed heading into the 2013-14 season – especially Vick’s starting job.
But after battling with Foles for the lead QB role, Chip Kelly has already named Vick the starter for the September 9th Week 1 game against Washington. Now that he’s entering this year as the top signal caller again, the question will be if Vick can regain his 2010 form, when he threw for 3,018 yards and 21 TD’s, ran for 676 yards and 9 TD’s, and tossed just 6 INT’s.
The 10-year veteran will be hard-pressed to repeat what he did back then. However, he stands a great chance of improving, thanks to Kelly’s new offensive system. This is especially true when you consider that this offense will utilize Vick’s mobility more than what was seen in Andy Reid’s system last year.
Now this doesn’t mean that Vick will be equaling his 2010 rushing total of 676 yards. After all, Kelly’s offense doesn’t call for a running back who can throw, but rather a passer who can run. But Vick has the legs to create plays on all of the zone reads in Kelly’s offense. Even at 33, he’s quite possibly the fastest quarterback in the league. So even if Vick only runs a few times every game, that threat is going to keep linebackers and safeties at home.
The big thing for No. 7 will be avoiding sacks and turnovers, which plagued him last season. Even more so than other coaches, Chip Kelly hates his QB getting sacked and turning the ball over. So if these problems start to creep back into Vick’s play, look for Foles to get another shot at the starting job.
It’s also worth mentioning that Vick has only played a full season once. His hard-running style isn’t exactly a recipe for longevity throughout the year, so you can bet that he’ll miss 2-3 games in 2013.
One more thing worth covering is that Vick will start the season without his biggest weapon in Jeremy Maclin. Maclin will miss the entire year with a torn ACL, which definitely hurts because he was expected to be Philadelphia’s top wideout.
Despite all of the adversity facing him, Michael Vick is likely to have a much better season than last year’s nightmare. Chip Kelly’s system will compliment him well, and he’ll also be playing for a new deal. It wouldn’t be a total surprise if he leads the Eagles to at least a .500 record and maybe even a Wild Card playoff spot.