Is Mike Vick Setup As the Crash Dummy?

Follow @cimini

There are certain teams in football that cannot stay away from the media dramatization in soap opera fashion. Chip Kelly is coming in with a revved up offense that the NFL has never seen before. Kelly is going to be testing just how much he can force the issue with play calls and wearing down opposing defenses. Wearing down a defense is one thing, but the speed advantage Chip Kelly had at Oregon is another. Speed is not an issue in the NFL. When you’re on that field it’s for the most part a sideline to sideline and end zone to end zone fierce athletic enclosed field.

All it’s going to take is for that one play to be called to quickly, and a missed block assignment for Mike Vick to end up right back where he is all too familiar with—on his back shaken and woozy. Mike Vick’s at the stage in his career where he can ill afford to consistently take hits. Do you really believe a new head coach in Chip Kelly is going to have the interest of Mike Vick’s health on his mind? He came in with a system in mind and he is going to run it.
The drafting of Matt Barkley and keeping Nick Foles in discussion for the starting quarterback job now is where his mindset sits. We all know that Foles will be sitting on the bench in favor of Vick once week one is here.

One area that should offset and protect Vick somewhat is the depth at running back with LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown. Brown showed he can carry the load if he needs to in stints of starts with McCoy out in 2012. At Oregon, Kelly made it standard to run the football downhill with constant action.

My worries for that adaptation to the NFL is how Kelly calls that high pace action when the running game is not working or they’re losing? At Oregon they were in the lead the majority of the time and that made it a non-issue for 95 percent of Oregon’s games. Games they did lose like last year to Stanford were blueprints that NFL teams have used before in shutting down high octane offenses. Stanford milked the clock offensively and put all their might into winning the trenches on the defensive line.

It worked and it was a methodical low-scoring game that Oregon was unaccustomed too. The same thing has happened for run and shoot offenses in the 90’s with the Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills. The Bills lost their first Super Bowl to the New York Giants because the Giants chose to sustain drives offensively and milk the clock as much as possible.

I just hope Chip has a backup plan in game situations that his play calling is not working. We all know Andy Reid’s was to have Vick drop back and take a mercilessly beating.

It does not bode well that before the Eagles first preseason game that Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn are out for the season at receiver. The receiver that has to pick up the slack is none other than Riley Cooper. He has familiarity with the Eagles offense but there will obviously be a ton of pressure on him mentally each time he steps on the field and off the field. Will he be ready for that role?

That leaves Jason Avant who seems to have been on the team even before the pre-McNabb era. In actuality it’s only been eight years, but Avant is not the caliber of player that is going to be a threat in the three wide receiver sets. He is on the downside of his career and is just a serviceable receiver at this point of his career.

The rest of the Eagles receivers are unproven for the most part. Damaris Johnson from Tulsa had a decent finish to last season, but there is no possible way he can line up opposite DeSean Jackson. He is only 5’8 and 175 pounds, which would be opposite of Jackson who is just 5’10 and 175 pounds himself. The injuries may continue to mount at wide receiver—Jackson has not exactly proven to be able to avoid the injury bug.

We’ve seen college coaches race right back to the college ranks—Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban–. Chip Kelly may side step going back immediately because of the penalties facing him from Oregon, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do that down the road. It’s not for everyone and if his system fails in Philadelphia, he’ll go back to where he knows it’ll be successful.


You must be logged in to post a comment.