The Michael Vick news stole the show Monday. On the day Chip Kelly‘s much-discussed coaching staff was put on display, the mind kept going back to Vick and the fact that he would almost certainly be part of the quarterback equation in Philadelphia for another season after restructuring his contract.
“I am grateful and proud to be a Philadelphia Eagle. My heart is in Philly and this community is important to me,” said Vick in a statement. “I look forward to playing for Coach Kelly, Jeffrey Lurie and the entire Eagles organization, the city of Philadelphia and the fans. I am training hard this offseason and will be ready for Coach Kelly’s team vision and leadership. Our goal is to win.”
So, how did we get here?
As we reported, Kelly met with Vick multiple times since taking over as Eagles coach to get a feel for him, and also did extensive film review of the quarterback.
“We looked at everything. But I look at his skillset first and foremost,” said Kelly. “What he can do and how he can throw the football, how he can beat people with his feet, there is a lot of different factors he has. And then you also have to look at what the landscape is for other quarterbacks.
“The one thing that attracted me to Michael after visiting with him is he is a competitor. I don’t think Michael is afraid of anything,” Kelly added. “I think he wants competition.”
Vick’s new deal is for only one year, so it is not as if Kelly is tying his fortunes to the 32-year-old. In fact, Kelly said that there will be open competition for the starting quarterback job. The winner will be determined on the practice field. Presumably Vick will facing off against Nick Foles and potentially Dennis Dixon, though Kelly was not ready to commit fully to any of the quarterbacks on the roster, including Vick.
“We are not ruling anything out right now,” said Kelly. “I know moving forward that we as an organization had to make a decision with what we wanted to do with Michael, and I want Michael to be part of this team.”
Kelly has said in the past that he wants his quarterbacks to get the ball out quick and limits the amount of sacks that he takes. That does not exactly scream Vick. But Kelly thinks that has a lot to do with the approach and does not all fall on the QB.
“That depends on the system that you run. Some systems don’t ask you to get the ball out quick. Do I think he can get the ball out quick? I think he’s got an unbelievable release. It’s up and out and it’s quick,” said Kelly. “I don’t know what he was asked to do in the past but that’s our job as coaches to put him in a situation where he can get the ball out quickly because we do have some playmakers on the offensive side of the ball who are going to flourish when we get the ball in their hands. That’s on us as coaches — a lot of times that’s not on the quarterbacks.”