Vick To Tackle Yet Another Offensive System

Chip Kelly had done a little homework on the whole Michael Vick age thing, and was armed with a response when the subject was broached earlier this week.

“Number one, I think when you look at his age and study it for quarterbacks, he is actually younger than Tony Romo and about the same age as Eli Manning.  I think sometimes when you look at him because he has been in the league for a while and he came out early from college. And you look at his age and say, boy, he’s aging.  And it’s funny,” said Kelly. “So I think there is a lot more to Michael.”

Fair enough. But the question wasn’t about how Vick ranks by age compared to his contemporaries, but rather how Kelly planned on getting a soon-to-be 33-year old to change his spots.

We have referenced several times Kelly’s stated stance on what he expects out of the quarterback position. This is from a 2011 coach’s clinic [Kelly warned not to believe everything you read, but did not deny these were his words when presented to him]:

The job of a quarterback is simple. He has to “let it happen, and not make it happen.” We want to move forward. That is a concept you have to make your team understand. The cardinal sin at our place is the quarterback sack. We want the ball out of the quarterback’s hands in 1.5 seconds. That does not mean holding the ball until 2.5, waiting for someone to get open.

How can he get Vick to fit that description?

“Some of the systems that they run they don’t ask him 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.

“What he’s asked to do from a read progression and all those other things, I don’t know what he’s been asked to do in the past, but that’s our job as coaches where he can get the ball out quickly, because we have some play makers on the offensive side of the ball that are going to flourish when we get the ball in their hands, so that’s on us as coaches.  Not on the quarterback.”

Sounds like, in Kelly’s view, the system should help correct the problem. Even if true, there is still the whole issue of gaining command of said system. Vick was asked to re-learn the quarterback position in certain respects when he came to Philadelphia, with mixed results. Sometimes the Masters degree he crammed for under Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg helped him, sometimes he looked encumbered by it.

Now, he’ll be asked to learn another language.

“I don’t know if it’s rebuilding. I think it’s going to be very new from what he was trained to do because systematically it’s going to be different,” said offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. “But it’s something that we’ll teach it in a way where he’ll be able to pick it up quickly and get out there and do what he does.”

Kelly seems to prefer a simplified approach to football, and the coaches have been quick to point out that they are not reinventing the wheel here, so they don’t anticipate a gigantic learning curve. But there will be one. A lot of it is about getting accustomed to new verbiage. Kelly wants everything to be truncated.

“It will probably be a less wordy operation,” said Shurmur. “No matter what we decide to run or what the plays are, we’ll try to have one or two words to paint the picture instead of five or six.

“Whether you called it ‘Z-in’ and now you call it ‘Apple’ — I called it ’22 Z-in’ for a lot of years, now we decided to call it ‘Apple.’ I know what ‘Apple’ is, and I think they’ll learn it. I think what’s important is we decide what we’re going to teach, we teach it to them in a way that they can understand it, and then let them go out and play fast.”

How fast can Vick [and the rest of the QBs on the roster] play in the new system? I would imagine that will be part of the evaluation during Kelly’s open quarterback competition.

Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • ClydeSide

    In his 1997 book Finding the Winning Edge, Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh predicted that no-huddle offenses using one-word play calls would come to dominate football.

    Bellichick consulted with Kelly on the one-word play calls. Here’s an excellent article from the Boston Globe regarding the system–October 2012:

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/10/08/patriots-huddle-relies-power-one/nHTapuVnBOwfFlffwTrN6J/story.html

    Interesting excerpt:

    Genius of the NFL, meet the genius of college football.

    Up to speed

    Chip Kelly has the University of Oregon ranked No. 2 in the country. His spread offense is dazzling and seemingly unstoppable. This season, his Ducks have averaged 52.3 points per game (fourth in Division 1) and 541.6 total yards (seventh).

    The Ducks have surpassed 40 points in 34 of 46 games with Kelly as head coach, including all five this season and eight straight games dating to last season.

    “Chip Kelly is a mastermind,” said Ravens tight end Ed Dickson, who played at Oregon for Kelly.

    The Patriots drew inspiration for their no-huddle from Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
    Not bad for a guy from Manchester, N.H., who split his four-year career at UNH between quarterback and defensive back.
    Kelly’s offenses, while coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Wildcats from 1999-2006, were just as prolific as when he became Mike Bellotti’s offensive coordinator with the Ducks in 2007 before ascending to head coach in ’09.
    That’s because Kelly is obsessed with speed.
    Forget time of possession. It’s all about total numbers of plays to Kelly. What he’s really looking for is yards and points per minute.
    Fast might be an understatement when describing Oregon’s offense. When they’re really going, they get plays off in five seconds. Oregon fans will boo the chain gang moving the sticks on the sideline because they are holding up the offense. Oregon players tell tales of defenders saying that if the Ducks go any faster they’re going to vomit or pass out.

    Kelly’s practices are the stuff of legend. There is no need for wind sprints because no one stands around. At all. Not the players, not the coaches. Music is blaring. The defense sometimes plays with 25 players so the offense can get more precise.

    It’s dizzying by design. The games are actually tranquil.

    “I remember the first day he came as offensive coordinator, we started one of his drills,” Dickson said. “And he said, ‘I’m going to show you how fast I want to go. Your two-minute that you’re running here is going to be nothing compared to what I teach you.’ It was insane. I thought he was insane. I was like, ‘Nobody moves that fast.’ The only way you’re going to simulate that speed, you have to practice that way.”

    If you want to see what’s next on the pro level, look to the colleges. That’s what Belichick does, with his alliances with coaches such as Nick Saban (LSU and Alabama), Urban Meyer (Florida and Ohio State) and, now, Kelly.

    That’s why when Kelly walked into Gillette Stadium two years ago — and he’s been there three times total — ears perked up among the Patriots’ coaches, including Belichick.

    Kelly had become friendly with former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien while both were rising in the college ranks. The UNH coaching staff would visit Brown, where O’Brien was coaching, for pickup basketball games and to talk X’s and O’s.

    Kelly told the Patriots he was moving to a no-huddle that only used one word to signify everything involved in a play.
    Sideline calls take too long. Wristbands too.
    One word is all that is needed.
    “The things they’re doing now, they’re even faster,” Dickson said. “They have things where they can call one thing and it’s going to tell them formation, plays, everything, and all you have to see is coverage.”
    The collective Patriots’ response to Kelly’s assertion was, basically, “You run an entire offense like that? How do you get the players to comprehend that?”
    Kelly declined to be interviewed, but those with knowledge of the discussion said Kelly laid out his rationale.

    Players memorize thousands of words in songs, hundreds of movie lines, and many other things involving pop culture.
    Why can’t players have instant recall of a handful of concepts? Heck, everybody knows No. 2 on a McDonald’s menu gets you a Quarter Pounder, medium fries, and a drink.

    “It’s kind of easy,” Dickson said. “It comes with repetition. A lot of guys learn different. Myself, I just needed to be out there repping those plays. The more comfortable you get, the faster you’ll go. He wants to make it easier to where you’re not thinking about anything, you’re just going fast. Make it as simple as guys can learn it so you can go really fast. That’s the key, making it simple for your players so they can play at top speed.”

    Kelly’s overall message to the Patriots: Don’t put a limit on your players’ minds; they will learn whatever you teach them.

    “I was interested to hear how he did it,” Belichick said. “I would say he expanded it to a different level and it was very interesting to understand what he was doing. Certainly I’ve learned a lot from talking to Chip about his experiences with it and how he does it and his procedure and all that.”

    Welcome to Gillette Stadium, can I take your play call?

    • peteike

      good read, thanks

      • ClydeSide

        The whole article is worth the time.

    • Graham

      Yes great read thanks for that

      • ClydeSide

        You’re welcome. Did you see that O’Brien is a freind of Kelly’s? And is doing the same at Penn State?

  • ben

    I like it.

    • ClydeSide

      Kelly actually runs his offense at 3 different speeds. Normal, fast, and lightening speed. The one-word play calls set that up. Eagle football will never be the same.

  • BrickSquadMonopoly

    Vickadelphia for president

    • Chief

      Vick has lost his speed, some people wear blinders and cannot see that

      • BrickSquadMonopoly

        Vick has lost his speed? lol. When ur still faster than 90% of players as a quarterback it really doesn’t affect the game. If ur gonna hate on the man atleast use a valid point.

        • GoBirds1

          How about 12 tds, 10 ints, 11 fumbles lost 5. Sucked in the pre-season then got hurt. Sucked in the reg. season then got hurt. Just the guy I want to build my team around.

          • BrickSquadMonopoly

            Sucks for you cuz thats how management feels.

          • GoBirds1

            We will see. Taking sacks and committing TOs by being careless with the ball, Kelly will not tolerate, and Vick will not be playing long, if at all.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            Your’ going to be miserable being nobody in Phila with actual experience in the NFL believes as you and support Kelly’s decision that Vick is the best option and his age isn’t relevant because of the 2 seasons he missed.

            You can’t actually think Foles has what it takes with a 5.6 40 to be an effective option quarterback? Can you name the last option quarterback who ran the 40 in 5.6 sec?

            If Vick isn’t the guy, neither is Foles that’s for sure.

            Unless some of you think the option involves lots of passing, and if that’s the case your football knowledge is suspect. There’s no future for Foles in Phila so long as Kelly is there and a key innovator of the option offense. You can cancel out him watching other teams using his concepts and finding success while he sticks to a slow Quarterback playing the WCO, that’s insane to believe.

            Foles may have showed something to some fans in Philly, but to Kelly he’s not shown anything that proposes him to change his game plan in favor of Foles.

          • GoBirds1

            REALLY? you are a dope. Foles is slow, granted, but where did you get 5.6. FYI his combine time was 5.14. Secondly, who said Vick is the best option. I guess you cannot comprehend basic English, as in ‘open competition’ is too difficult for your pea brain to understand.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            You logically thing 5.1 in the 40 is sufficient to man the quarterback position in an option offense, there are 325 lbs Nose Tackles who would run down foles at half speed…….. ROFLMAO, Coach Kelly and nobody in Philly who’s actually played a down in the NFL agrees with your assessment.

            Your disappointment has gotten the better of your judgement…

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            Foles threw 6 tds, 5 ints, and 8 fumbles lost 3 in 7 games and got hurt and couldn’t come out to play the final game. But you are lobbying building around Foles? ………. why are you applying different standards?

          • GoBirds1

            You are comparing a rookie with a 10 yr veteran, DUH? The rookie is still unknown with significant upside. We know what you get from Vick, and it is all downside. When he says he is not going to change, that is all a coach should need to know. Zero ball security and reckless decision making trying to make a play where there is no play to be had resulting in negative plays, TOs, loss of scoring opportunities, loss of games and unnecessarily taking hits over and over again. Great, you ran for 1st down, then slide. Conceptually why is that so difficult to grasp and why is there a conflict. Vick’s inability to do basic things for the teams well being will not result in lasting relationship for Mr. Vick and Coach Kelly.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            Comparing a rookie to other rookies in his class, Foles simply doesn’t measure up at this time.

            The Coach, Kelly through intensive tape study knows he’s not going to change the same coach has identified the offensive scheme was totally wrong to take advantage of Vick’s, and other skills position player talents.

            Vick had 10 Ints last year, 6 were balls that bounced off of receiver hands in traffic into the hands of defenders.

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    Erhardt-Perkins terminology plus one word play calls? Yes please. This is a huge efficiency upgrade from the prolix verbosity that was the burgeoning husk of the West Coast playbook.

    • ClydeSide

      The Patriots use Erhardt-Perkins concepts–but they are using one word play calls for their no-huddle hurry-up.. Shurmur will add WCO passing routes to Kelly’s run scheme and his simple passing schemes–then they will use one word calls.

      • ClydeSide

        just read the Chris Brown article below— Thank you.

    • D3Keith

      Dang this fool just said “burgeoning husk.” Sounds like you wouldn’t have had a problem memorizing Reid’s offense.

  • Mr. Magee

    I remain skeptical in the sense that I’m not predicting great post-season success under Kelly, but it is amazing the degree to which Kelly is 180 degrees from AR/MM… For those of us who suffered from Reid-fatigue and Andy’s stubbornness / stodgieness, this will be a welcome relief.

    Doesn’t seem possible that both Chip and Andy could be successful in the same league…. Will be Intersting to track their progress in the coming years.

  • Seabreezes51

    Kelly’s system has four basic plays. The Fishduck videos make it clear that it is about simplification and stresses using all of the variations that open up as the play unfolds.
    Reid had a three inch think playbook that took rocket science to memorize. I like the idea of a simple play worked to perfection than a hundreds of plays that look like a Chinese fire drill.

    • peteike

      Dont forget, Reid had a lot of success and a long tenure with one team which is rare these days. Kelly hasnt done a thing in the NFL yet. Yes his ideas and schemes have been implemented in parts but it is combined with some NFL veteran minds that make it have success. It hasnt stood alone yet, time will tell if it can or whatever hybrid Kelly puts out there can.

      • MAC

        Exactly my thoughts. I am hoping my skepticism will be wrong, but to assume bc it worked in college it will work in NFL. He is smart and innovative so I hope so, but there have been other coaches that have success in college and used an innovative system in college with great success, but in NFL they struggle. Many times the system looks great for first year bc teams are not familiar, but usually with an off season and tape defensive minds in NFL adjust. Hopefully Kelly is flexible and understands that.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          Denver, minus the option read won two super bowls using the same blocking scheme. 49ers with Steve Young. It wasn’t Steve Young or Montana’s arm that set them apart it was their ability to run, Montana had Jerry Rice, John Taylor and Clark to go along with James and Craig in the backfield.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      4 or 5 base plays is common with most option teams, whether it’s a triple option or modified option team, there’s the slant, the dive and wide running plays. From some reason, Eagles fans are concerned with passing accuracy and that’s not going to be much of a factor given, it’s doubtful there is going to be a succession of 40 and 50 yard bombs.

      • MAC

        Yea cause the option has brought so many NFL championships. It’s not like the Ravens showed teams a way to slow it down by hitting QB every time and well timed corner blitzes. Also in NFL if your run same plays over and over like you say the slant, dive, and wide running plays then teams will adjust and you will be in trouble.

        Yea I know Kelly’s offense chooses plays that give him a numbers advantage or take advantage of your play call. In theory sounds great and sure it will work for a while. This is the NFL though and if you become predictable and even with numbers advantage teams will adapt. The defensive coordinators in this league have seen it all and will go back and watch tape of teams that had success against your scheme’s.

        Also if your thoughts are right and the Eagles rarely need QB accuracy and do not throw deep often then isn’t that scary considering Jackson and Maclin are both built for deep threats? Also in NFL your QB must be accurate. It’s not college where WR are running wide open. The windows QB’s need to fit ball in are tiny! If you think Kelly is just so much smarter than any other coach in NFL that his WR will be so open he won’t need an accurate QB then I would say you might be slightly over rating his offense. He does primarily run ball, but look at San Fran.for an example of why you need to be able to traditionally pass ball as well. Otherwise why make change to Kaepernick? Kaepernick is accurate as well as athletic and could win from pocket also. No team can be successful long term without a QB that can play in pocket and be accurate as well. It is a proven fact and Vick struggles with pocket passing and accuracy. Not to mention turnovers, durability, and negative plays.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          Andy built his team for big plays and deep threats, the problem is that strategy is negated by the deep safety. Also Maclin nor DJax will fight with defenders for balls in the air and neither will play in traffic, using DJax and Maclin exclusively for deep balls negates their skills, you’re playing into the defense. The WCO, which the Eagles offense is based is a possession offense. The Eagles don’t have possession receivers. Vick is a casualty of Philly receivers allowing balls to bounce off their hands into the arms of defenders, 6 of his 10 touchdowns came that route. Since Andy’s regime, there has only been one receiver capable of catching balls in traffic, that was TO in 2004.

          Next, the staple of the Ravens, and 49ers is the run game, but both teams have receivers who will make tough catches in traffic with defenders hanging off of them, the Eagles are missing reliable receivers capable of working the middle of the field. Brady in New England, and Rogers in Green Bay have effective receivers capable of fighting for the ball at the point of attack. Vick is pretty accurate, he doesn’t have the receivers who can work the middle of the field to often Eagles receivers will not make catches in traffic.

  • barry_nic

    How can he learn another language when he can’t read defenses?

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      The option will not be new for Vick, he Ran the option in Atlanta under Mora, that’s the year he ran for 1000 yard with his tailback, and at Virginia Tech another Option team he took to a national championship game.

      Some of the writing in Philly is not accurate or benefits Vick in any way. Truth of the matter is that no NFL Coach he’s played for should have exposed him to passing the ball no more than 25 times a game, Vicks’ never been suited for launching balls 40 and 50 times a game. In Philly, he’s working with inexperience receivers and his progressions are effectively waiting in the pocket until one of them comes open, That’s pretty much using his skills set totally wrong. That philosophy didn’t work for McNabb until he had TO who was knowledgeable enough to exploits areas in the zone vacated by coverage.

      • ClydeSide

        Kelly will not turn Vick into Tebow. Kelly’s offense is different than Urban Meyer’s. Kelly wants the QB to hand off–AND ONLY RUN IF THE DEFENSE FORCES HIM TO–WITH OPEN REAL ESTATE, When Oregon played Auburn for the national title, the QB Darron Thomas only ran for 206 yards ALL YEAR. The two running backs both ran for over a 1000 yards apiece. Vick’s value will be in reading a specific defender as he “meshes” withe the running back. He will either handoff or keep depending on whether that defender sits or commits. If the defense loads the box, Vick will hit a flash screen or a bubble screen. If the secondary moves up to stop the screens he’ll hit long. Shurmur will add crossing patterns. This will make it easier for Vick to pass. And he will be safer than if he were in the pocket.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          The option is simpler than some of you are making it out to be, it’s probably one of the first offenses you learn in weight football. It’s never been more complicated than reading the rush of the defensive end. That read dictates who you hand or maybe pitch the ball to on any given play.

          Part of the danger will be DJax ability to win off the line any foot race, The Eagles don’t have receivers who can play in traffic, The pundits blame on Vick INts that is really a fact of his receivers not playing well in traffic and routinely allows ball to bounce off their hands into the waiting arms of defenders.

          The option will make the Eagles play action more effective. Again, any hesitation playing DJax and there most likely will be consequences of big plays.

          Vick not being able to read the blitz and defenses is greatly exaggerated in Phila.

      • GoBirds1

        Maybe Vick should play Australian Rules Football and he can have zero passes. How did that 1000 yd. season work out for Vick and the Atlanta Falcons. Douche, I mean Dutch, if you had not noticed they restructured his contract to a one year deal, clearly a sign of confidence and he will be our leader for years to come.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          Vick’s a better passer and more accurate than you’ve been lead to believe by the Radio personalities and hack reporters in Phila.

          Vick when he only had one viable receiver in Atlanta was successful in that the receiver, his Tight End was voted into the Pro Bowl consistently and lead the Falcons to a Championship game. He doesn’t have that support in Phila. Since teams began playing DJax with the deep safety he’s not had another visit to the pro bowl as a receiver.