Clearing Up the Vick-Kelly Speculation

As Tim explained earlier, Chip Kelly appears to be deciding between Oregon and the Eagles.

Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski will wait to hear from Kelly while they go ahead and interview other candidates.

As the process continues, there’s been a lot of talk about a potential Kelly-Michael Vick connection. But we need to clarify a few points about that discussion.

Let’s start with what Vick wants. Some have speculated that he yearns to play for Kelly and has anxiously been awaiting to find out where the Oregon coach lands. These reports surfaced a couple weeks ago, so Tim asked Vick about them:

There was a report that said Vick  has envisioned playing in Kelly’s spread offense and would be keeping an eye on where the Oregon coach lands. I asked Vick about Kelly a few days after that report surfaced and he said, “Who’s that, the Notre Dame coach?” He went on to say that he was familiar with Oregon’s quarterback but didn’t know a whole lot about Kelly.

And as Tim has explained since, Vick didn’t appear to be joking around. There may be people around Vick who think he’d fit with Kelly, but the quarterback wasn’t even familiar with the Oregon coach as recently as a couple weeks ago.

The other thing is we have to be realistic about is what Vick is right now. He’s not Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson. He’ll turn 33 this offseason. He’s thrown 24 interceptions and fumbled 21 times in his last 23 starts. He also continues to have trouble staying healthy. Why would anyone be confident that he could remain injury-free if asked to consistently run the option (more hits on the QB) in an offense expected to run a high number of plays? It just doesn’t add up.

Now, maybe Kelly thinks he can work with Vick. Maybe he prefers the veteran over Nick Foles. That’s certainly possible. But the Eagles would need to re-structure Vick’s deal. He is due $15.5 million in 2013. And they need to make a decision on him before Feb. 6, when Vick is due a $3 million bonus.

The last point is one we’ve written about before. If I’m Lurie, I’d be worried about a coach who demands specific personnel to be successful. Certainly the coach should have input, but with injuries, free agency, players underachieving and so on, that is not a recipe for success. You need a coach who can adapt to personnel.

Does Kelly possess that skill? We may or may not find out in the next couple years, depending on what he chooses.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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