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Doug Farrar
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Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

He's a Player, Not a QB

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Vick to the Eagles is an interesting fit from a football perspective. Ironically, I just wrote a column on the late Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson that included Philly's win over Atlanta in the 2004 NFC Championship game. What we found in that game was that when you avoided blitzing Vick, or stacked the playside box to take away the option read, Vick found it near-impossible to read defenses. At his peak in Atlanta, he had a limited palette of things he did very well, and anything more complicated than that was out of the question. When Jim Mora and Greg Knapp tried to run the West Coast Offense they ran in San Francisco with Vick as the pointman, it didn't go so well. Vick is an option-read quarterback - no more, no less.

You're going to hear from Vick supporters that Jeff Garcia's time in Philly provides the precedent for a quarterback to come in and win games in place of Donovan McNabb if need be, but remember that Garcia ran that WCO under Knapp to near-perfection. Some guys just have a knack for that system. Some don't.

Another question I have is how Vick will deal with a more static blocking scheme at any position. He benefited greatly from the zone blocking in Atlanta run by Alex Gibbs, but the Eagles run more of a power-man scheme with the occasional stretch play. So, the question is, how do they use him? Do they run the Wildcat with him taking snaps, as the Dolphins now will with Pat White? Do they split him out wide as another weapon alongside DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin?

If Vick is indeed in football shape, the way the Eagles use him will determine his success. If they spread him around and simplify the playbook when/if he's under center, there's a chance that he could succeed. But if you expect him to be an elite NFL quarterback in the traditional sense - well, he wasn't that before he went to prison; why would he be that now?

By Doug Farrar  |  August 13, 2009; 11:55 PM ET  | Category:  Atlanta Falcons , Crime , Doug Farrar , Michael Vick , NFL , Quarterbacks , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I've watched plenty of Falcon games with Vick under center and he did his best when he was running. His passing was horrible and he had pretty decent receivers. Just ask Matt Ryan how good the receivers are.

I feel bad for McNabb and Reid. They're going to have to deal with a controversy all year with Vick. And as much as Vick plays the remorseful felon, he's still a felon.

Posted by: jonavery2000 | August 14, 2009 7:07 AM

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