• October 5, 2022

Can Michael Vick Ever Play A Safer Style Of Quarterback?

Michael Vick is without a doubt one of the most electrifying quarterbacks of our generation. His speed and agility make him a special player. His play-making ability alone can change the outcome of any game but it’s that same play-making ability that also makes him a risk to any franchise. The Eagles are finding this out right now as Vick has missed the last 3 games due to broken ribs he suffered against the Arizona Cardinals 3 games ago.

Coming into the season many questioned Vick’s style of play and how it affects his ability to get through an entire season without suffering an injury. It’s a valid question when you’re dealing with a quarterback that has a style of play like no other in the league and has only completed one full season since entering the league.

At age 31 can Vick ever really change his style of play for the sake of staying away from injuries? Going into the Cardinal game Vick’s performance to date in 2011 was less than stellar but you have to wonder if he never suffered the injury would it have been enough for the Eagles to get at-least one more win over the past 3 games against either New England or Seattle to at-least keep it interesting for Eagle fans. Certainly that’s all in the past now and the season is a lost cause but going forward the front office needs to really ask themselves did we just make a mistake signing Vick to such a lucrative contract in the off-season and if he truly is the man for years to come can he change his style of play to be less injury prone?

The saying is you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and it seems that Vick is falling into this category after his performance this season. His 2011 statistics to date include 11 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 2,193 yards passing and a QB rating of 79.8. He’s currently ranked 22nd in the NFL this season in passing yards and 20th in the league in quarterback rating. Those aren’t exactly the type of numbers or rankings a $100 million quarterback should be displaying. Someone with his type of contract should be in the top 5 in pass yards and quarterback rating. He’s certainly had an issue with interceptions this season which doesn’t help his case.

The former Atlanta Falcon clearly made strides last year to be more of a quarterback first. His game showed it and because of his effort he was rewarded with the big contract in the off-season. Towards the end of last season he began to regress and his quarterback play went back to run first style which lead to greater opportunities for injury. Last season in Vick’s reemergence he had the 4th best quarterback rating in the NFL at 100.2 only behind Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, and Aaron Rodgers.

The former number one pick in the draft has the ability to play the position with a quarterback first mentality. He showed it to everyone last season and when he did play with that style he was successful and healthy but at this point in his career he seems unable to make a full time transition with his style of play. Earlier in the week Vick returned to practice. He’s had time to sit back and reflect on his performance and the teams’ performance this season and he said “I wish I could have done more this year, like I did last year.”

Vick didn’t need to do more but rather he needed to just play the game smarter. He’s held on to the ball way to long this season which has led to him getting pummeled left and right. Every play it seems as if he’s on the ground. Granted having an offensive line that has two rookies and on it and an offensive coordinator and head coach that fail to realize they have the best running back in the league didn’t help Vicks situation in 2011. But as a quarterback you need to be smart with your playing style. Vick knows he’s a key part of this team and if he’s getting drilled on every play logic says get rid of the ball quicker instead of running around in the backfield or taking off downfield and risking an injury. Even if no one is open throw the ball away. By doing that more often Andy and Marty may have gotten a clue that the plays they are calling aren’t working.

At 31 years of age, Vick isn’t getting any younger. The time to start playing smarter is right now otherwise he runs the risk of being knocked out of the league within the next season or two. Unfortunately as I said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Vick is clearly unable to stay away from a playing style that risks injury.

He’s now had two full seasons as a starter under Andy Reid and a 3rd season on the bench behind Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb who at the time was a well respected veteran of the league. Between McNabb, Reid, and Marty Mornhinweg, Vick has been provided with the knowledge on what he needs to do in order to play a safe, successful style of football but for whatever reason he won’t adjust.
After what we all witnessed this season its pretty clear Mike Vick is a walking injury waiting to happen.

Every game his health is surrounded with drama and whether or not he sustains a serious injury he always manages to put a scare into teammates, coaches, and fans of this team. The Eagles should strongly consider drafting the quarterback of the future in this year’s draft. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Eagles lose out so they can have the best possible draft position and hopefully grab one of the stud quarterbacks available in this year’s draft such as Matt Barkley out of USC or Robert Griffin III out of Baylor.

With the reckless style of play Vick so stubbornly exhibits every week it would be a very realistic possibility that this future quarterback may be taking snaps as early as next season. The time is now to start thinking about the future and Vick has clearly been given every opportunity to play a safer style of football. But let’s face it folks, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

John Stratis

A lifelong Philadelphia sports fan always looking to share his opinion about the greatest sports town in the world. Follow me on twitter @JohnStratis

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December 7, 2011 8:47 am


December 7, 2011 8:51 am

Breaking news john Michael Vick got hurt sitting in the pocket and not running around. You just wasted an article because he was hurt because of poor blocking not his style of play.

December 7, 2011 9:21 am

thanks, mack.

Concussion injury….Vick was standing in the pocket.
Hand injury…..Vick was standing in the pocket.
Rib injury…..Vick was standing in the pocket.

I guess Kevin Kolb should change his reckless play too since he just missed 3 games also. That Jay Cutler sure is reckless. So is Matt Schaub and Matt Cassell and Sam Bradford and any number of QBs who have gotten hurt during the season…. Oh and we can’t forget how reckless Peyton Manning is….he’s missed a whole season with an injury!

December 7, 2011 9:38 am

The answer is no and his stats this Season mirror pretty much his Career Traxck record while with the Falcons, The Eagles are regretting this huge mistake of signing him to the big deal he received.. HE won’t be tradeable and 2012 will most likely be his final Season as an Eagle along with Coach AR/MM and the entire group..
I mentioned on another post that it’s funny how VY plays 3 games and took very few hits, The Pass BLocking by the EAgles O/Line has been pretty good for most of the Season.. It’s the style that VIck plays with, running around wide every time he sees a defender, you rarely see him step up in the Pocket and deliver the Ball.. VY did it more in 3 Games than Vick has all Season.. Vick sees/senses the rush and runs to his left every time and teams know this and take the edge away from him and then he throws it up for grabs or takes a big hit if he tucks it away and runs.. He will make exciting plays no doubt, but he will make negative plays too.. The margin of Victory and Losing is minimizing negative plays, turnovers and penalties and Vick and the entire Eagle Team are not very good in this regard..
Why the Eagles gave him a $100 Million Deal after 5-6 good weeks of play from last October & November will haunt this Franchise for the next 4-5 Seasons unless they cut their losses and start over with a real QB which there are plenty of potential good ones in this Draft.

#1) Andrew Luck – Stanford (6-4 – 235lbs)
#2) Matt Barkley – USC (6-2 – 220lbs)
#3) Landry Jones – OKlahoma (6-4 – 230lbs)
#4) Robert Griffin III – Baylor (6-2 – 220lbs)
#5) Brandon Weedum – Oklahoma State (6-4 – 220lbs)
#6) Nick Foles – Arizona (6-5 – 240 lbs) ***Remember this name****
#7) Case Keenum – Houston (6-2 210lbs)

I would love for the Eagles to grab a Nick Foles or R Tannehill in the 2nd Round.. These guys have the Size, Arm Strength, good Pocket presence and are still pretty mobile and I expect them to have success at the NFL Level.. Foles is under most peoples Radar but this kid has a bright future and has a cannon and reminds me a little of Big Ben when he was coming out..

December 7, 2011 9:44 am

to clarify,
It’s not where on the field that QB Vick gets hit (Pocket,downfield, sidelines, out of bounds) but it’s his lack of Pocket Awareness and where to slide up,slide over or slide back that he just isn’t very good in.. It’s that innate ability to move around in the pocket when pressure is coming and findind a safe landing spot to deliver the ball that I have always questioned about with Vick and to be honest, he just doesn’t have that gift.. His skill and gift is running away which is fun to watch but not how you build or run your Offense around..

December 7, 2011 10:29 am

Just to be the opposite – YES he can, if he wants to – Randall Cunningham, in that year with Minnestoa where they went 15-1 became a pocket QB that did not run –

Pman has the key point – his pocket awareness – fall to the ground, throw it away, chuck it into the ground near the rcvr, don’t take the hit/sack – that play where there were 7 seconds or so before half, and he looked around for 6 seconds then chucked it out the back of the EZ –

One thing I loved that Bill Cowher did – one year the steelers had a back up QB named Tommy Maddox – and MAddox had a great year – I think it was 2002 – he replaced Kordell Stewart and the team made the playoffs – everyone kept asking when is going to get the starters pay – Cowher told everyone – yeah, he’s having a great year, lets see if he can continue that then we talk new contract – the steelers started him the next year he sucked – the team went 6-10 and the Steelers went out and drafted Big Ben.. key point was they didn’t go crazy based upon one seasn

December 7, 2011 10:38 am

and in Vick’s case ..a good 5-6 Weeks from October thru November last season whic is all he’s had.. He didn’t have a real good December or playoff game if you recall..and now the Franchiose puts their short-term future and eggs in the Mike VIck basket which was another Player Personnel Mistake..
The should have kept the “Franchise Tag” on him for 2011 (which they would have ended up overpaying for 1 Season) buy would have allowed them the time (1 full season) to determine if Vick is the real deal, the Franchise QB and ELite player to deserve that $100 Million Deal.. Now they are stuck with him for he will have little trade value based on his Salary and history of getting injured every season.. A huge mistake by AR and GM Roseman and whoever else was involved and waht really makes this worse is the EAgles will now have to keep Coach AR due to committing to VIck for QB Vick just cannot play in any system.. What Defensive minded type of HC is going to want a QB as reckless with the ball as Vick is..

December 7, 2011 10:46 am

@Marlon & JD

this is just another example of a dumb ass article!

December 7, 2011 11:13 am

This was being brought up over and over last year. Watch Vick’s drops. Always and every time right back to where the DEs collapsing. And then its one option for Vic and that is to roll out. I disagree with Paulman here who says Vick only sprints left. There is often the spin and roll right. In both cases it exposes him to the whammo from a DE coming hard. Dude never, ever steps up. Even when he stays “in the pocket” its usually 8-10 yrds deep, right where DEs collapsing.

Lets review a few other misconceptions on this thread:
1) Mike Vicks ribs. You are not going to convince me they weren’t hurt on the play in the 4th when he ran forward, dived and was speared from the back on the ground.
2) The concussion…he was rolling right and had held the ball for what? 48 seconds? Thhis is another problem that exposes him to unnecessary hits. As was proven clearly by Football Insiders, Mike Vick holds on to the ball longer than any other QB in the league. He takes more sacks after 3 seconds than anyone else. This exposes him to multiple hard hits. Cumulative effect.
3) Comparing Vick to the guys on that list of other injured QBs is ludicris. (roll out!) You are correct, every QB will eventually get hurt and miss games, its the nature of the game. But not like Vick does. Look at the track records of the guys you mentioned Manning played what? Every game for 10 years before getting hurt. Cutler has missed 1 game to injury over the past 5 years. Matt Cassel has missed 0 games in 3.5 yrs as a starter…..sure, you got Schaub, but every fantasy player on earth knows that he’s a china cabinet. Remember the Crystal Chandlier? Well that’s Vick. Again, the guy has completed one full season in his career.


Injury prone, bad decision making, injury prone turnover machine. Its what Vick has been for 10 years, its what he’ll continue to be. Why some people so obtuse that they refuse to see what’s been in front of them for 10 years? Oh wait….Probably the same reason they also keep voting for more of the same, actually think that socialized medicine is “fair”, buy houses they can’t afford, run up CC debt to world economy crushing amounts, watch American Idol and Survivor and buy Lady Gaga albums. Sheep.

December 7, 2011 11:43 am


DE’s collapsing? Aren’t they supposed to be blocked? guess Vick is supposed to block and pass all at the same time, huh Vinnie?

Actually, Vinnie, there was a clip that was played on the NFL Network (Vick was wired for sound against the Cards) 2nd play of game, he got hit, made a grunt and grabbed his ribs…so yes any hit after that probably hurt…but the 2nd play of the game, when he was in the pocket, is where the actual injury occured.

The fact Vick holds onto the ball longer than most QB’s, I guess has nothing to do with the fact, of how he eludes defenders while looking for receivers…or escapes the pressure…
And again Vick was standing in the pocket, when got hurt against ATL.

We get it….you dont like Vick! But to talk nonsense that is totally false is BS.

Didnt Cutler, bow out in a playoff game last year cuz he was hurt?

December 7, 2011 11:47 am

Same ol’ “cliche” article talking about nothing. Lets talk about who we will replace Reid and his Gang with, or how we need to improve our defense or something.

December 7, 2011 11:59 am

Vick was another poor decision by Andy Reid. He’s not a true QB and this style of QB has never won a SB and probably never will. A lot of good coaching candidates would turn down the offer of this job because they know that Vick will limit their ability to succeed or they just don’t want to work with him.

December 7, 2011 12:02 pm

Oh Real. Blind loyalty. Do you think OJ was innocent? He was found innocent by a jury of his peers. He must be innocent right? How about Mumia Jamal. Should he just go home for Xmas since all he did was murder a cop in cold blood?

December 7, 2011 1:03 pm

don’t be a blind sheep and follow every thing that the media puts out there for you to follow. Every entity that disagreed with our gov’t or corrupt justice system especially in the 70’s is always looked as a terrorist organization when they’re fighting for rights or don’t agree with our gov’t – not always guilty as charged. Were you there to see him murder the cop in cold blood while maybe trying to defend himself against a racially aggressive officer in the 70’s? Neither was i so don’t be to quick to pass judgement on others buddy. There are a lot of innocent men on death row and have life sentences for fighting for their beliefs. just a word to the wise buddy…Occupy walstreet is just starting to catch up because it’s now affecting a different group/class of people. Don’t be a “sheeple buddy”.

December 7, 2011 3:46 pm

my idea last yr of trading Vick when stock was way high and Kolb looks pretty good….think i said i would get LB’s in exchange

December 7, 2011 7:28 pm

I nominate Tonto5 for the next GM of the Eagles

December 7, 2011 8:56 pm

As long as the Eagles have a decent back-up and a fairly paid DeSean Jackson Vick playing a “Safer” style really is irrelevant. My vote is to bring McNabb back yesterday. This is yet another year with different QB and the same front office and coaching that stymies the play of the offense in one way or another. Had the front office basically not dropped a truck on Jackson’s plans to have a new and more appropriate contract we wouldn’t even be talking about this. As much as people want to complain about Jackson the Eagles can’t win without him playing at a high level PERIOD.
Vince Young is clearly not ready to start and maybe he never will be, but Jackson was all in for the last 3 games and Young was just horrible at getting the home run hitter the ball. I suspect DeSean Jackson will have a break out game this Sunday and I suspect it will be fun to watch and depressing to think about what could have been if the Eagles had had a REAL GM THIS YEAR that would gotten the DJax deal done early. A REAL GM would have recognized the gravity of the moment when it started feeling like the DJax deal wasn’t getting done before the season started and changed the direction.

Irrespective of the poor play of the defense the Eagles were ahead in 98% games with Jackson being pretty much non-existent. Had he played up to his ability the Eagles would have won all but one or two of those games in spite of the defense. The league would have been talking about the Eagles and not the 49ers at this point. Just think about that before you start spewing any nonsense about principles, guts, or any of the other totally irrelevant bs that doesn’t apply here.

December 7, 2011 9:10 pm

D- Jax is a goner after this Season and will leave via-Free-Agency
I expect him to land out West with either the Cardinals,SD Chargers or 49ers
Te Eagles will offer a token Offer but will be not serious in retainging him and to be honest, I don’t think he ever wants to remain in Philadelphia and would rather play for a team closer to home for him

December 7, 2011 10:40 pm

Believe me, alot of us wanted to eat crow, but did not realize we were this bad. I did expect Vick to read blitzes better and if not coaches do have the ability to come up with some plays to help that out…oh maybe quick slants and i did have faith in Reid to atleast give shady 20 carries (not 30) but that was pipedream……not GM , i would be head coach/3rd down RB