Eagles quarterback Mike Vick is hit with the injury bug again, and this Eagle's "wings" or rather his ribs, are keeping this bird flightless once more. If the Eagles hope to win this year, they will need a healthy Vick. In order to make that happen, the Eagles, and Vick himself need to find a way of reducing the possibility of him getting hurt.
We already know that Vick has the speed and capability of running the ball and picking up positive yards. As evident that he is already the all time leader in rushing yards among quarterbacks. However his playing style is what is ultimately hindering him from playing time due to repeated injuries. When Vick decides to scramble out of the pocket and run with the ball, he is putting himself in a more vulnerable position by allowing himself to get hit hard in the open field by any would be tacklers. Case in point: in Week 4 of the 2010 season when the Eagles were facing the Redskins, Vick ran the ball towards the end zone when he took an open field hit by the Redskins defenders and ended up cracking his ribs. In order to reduce the risk of Vick getting injured, the Eagles need to make sure that Vick runs the ball less.
If, and I emphasize on the word 'if'', the Eagles want to keep Vick from getting hurt, or at least minimize the chances of doing so, Vick needs to become a traditional type quarterback with the idea of pass first, run second. That doesn't mean that Vick needs to take his running game out of his arsenal, (because as I stated earlier, he is the all time leading rusher for quarterbacks) you just have to limit the amount of times he will carry the ball. Also, the Eagles have a great running back in LeSean McCoy, so why increase the risk the chances of getting your quarterback hurt when you already have a good running game? Also Vick is rather small for a quarterback (6ft) so his body will not be able to handle as much punishment like someone like Ben Roethlisberger.(6ft 5in) Though the Eagles need to limit Vick's rushing attempts and make him throw more, it is still inevitable that he will on more than one occasion need to scramble and avoid getting tackled for negative yards.
There will always be times where Vick, and any quarterback for that matter, will have to scramble out of the pocket and avoid losing yards. For Vick there are a few simple solutions as what to do when he finds himself in that situation. First, if he decides to run he shouldn't try to challenge the opposing defender and try to over power him, rather he should run and slide feet first which should almost guarantee him not getting hit. Second, if the defense is jamming the wide receivers and Vick gets rushed out of the pocket, just throw the ball away and come back on the next play to try and get the first down. Third, do what my favorite player of all time did (Barry Sanders) when running the ball, step out of bounds and avoid getting hit.
No matter what, the probability of anyone getting hurt playing football is tremendous. For Michael Vick his game style needs to be adjusted to where he applies himself more in his passing game and in the process limit the amount of times he runs with the ball, and if and when he has to run the ball. Vick needs to have a plan on what to do in order to avoid getting hit. Hopefully Vick will be able to rebound and stay healthy and for his sake and all Eagles fans, he will be able to lead Philadelphia back to the playoffs although it will be a big mountain to climb in order to do so lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship.
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