Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Curious Case of Michael Vick

It’s pretty easy to sit back and try to figure out which team will land current Philadelphia Eagles’ backup quarterback Michael Vick. The New York Jets? Minnesota Vikings? Recent reports indicate there still may be a chance that Vick remains with the Eagles, and that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for a team looking to take the next step towards a Super Bowl visit. While Vick may not have the durability to last a complete season as the bona fide starter, he still possess enough physical attributes to be a formidable threat running and passing. The real issue is how a team could effectively integrate Vick into an offense, and whether he himself would take a less than 100% starting role to help a team.

The Eagles brought Vick in as a reclamation project after his jail stink due to the much publicized dogfighting involvement. The man and player who came out on other end of that process appeared and acted differently than the person who went in, in all cases for the better. The words “film study” and Michael Vick never went together beforehand, but he took his new lease on life (and a playing career) and tried to make the most of it, with decent success. While the Eagles under then head coach Andy Reid never made the Super Bowl, Vick provided some highlights and overall success until the dreaded “Dream Team” years derailed the team as a whole. Head Coach Chip Kelly’s arrival allowed for a different type of offense, with much more emphasis on the run, that Vick should have been able to flourish in. One injury later, and quarterback Nick Foles posted a 27-2 touchdown-interception ratio, and the team hasn’t looked back.

Fast forward to now – less than 3 days away from free agency, and we wonder where Vick will land. He is a veteran quarterback, who still has the physical and mental attributes necessary for the position. The two knocks on him are his tendency to hold the ball too long, and the question of durability due to past history. But he is a formidable backup, and leave it to Kelly to figure out a way to integrate him into Foles’ offense. Perhaps the future of Michael Vick lies in not just a 100% quarterback role, but in more of a hybrid approach. It wouldn’t be the first unorthodox tactic Kelly used, and it probably won’t be the last. It might also be nothing more than a one year gimmick. But that’s all that it might take to shock the league and give the Eagles the edge they need to play meaningful football into February.

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