Vick: I’m Not Holding the Ball Too Long


Michael Vick has started 106 games in his career, including 39 with the Eagles.

He turned 33 in June, and at this point, certain topics tend to strike a nerve with the veteran quarterback.

One is turnovers. Another is durability.

And today’s topic?

In watching the film, do you think you’re holding the ball too long?

“No, I’m not holding the ball too long,” Vick said sternly. “I’m not holding the ball too long at all. Don’t try to make that an issue. It’s not.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Vick holds the ball for 3.06 seconds on average before each attempt. That’s the highest number of any starting quarterback, but without context, it doesn’t mean much. As we showed with the All-22 earlier this week, there are times when Vick holds on to the ball and doesn’t pull the trigger.

But there have been more times when he’s scanning the field and can’t find an open receiver.

“Listen, whoever’s saying I’m holding the ball too long, they don’t know anything about football,” Vick said when the topic was revisited. “They need to go watch the film. I’m gonna post some film up for y’all and I’m gonna have a clicker right here. And we’re gonna go through every play so I can break it down verbatim, play for play for y’all.”

The other factor is that Vick’s made a lot of plays downfield on routes that typically take longer to develop. Per PFF, he’s been on target with 44.4 percent of his downfield throws (20 yards or more from the line of scrimmage). Vick has completed 23 passes of 20+ yards, tops in the league. And he’s averaging 9.2 yards per attempt, second to only Peyton Manning.

Vick is always going to be a quarterback who believes he can make a play, regardless of circumstance. So there are going to be times when he holds on to the ball too long. But so far this year, and specifically last week against Denver, it hasn’t been a glaring issue.


Brandon Boykin was a full participant in today’s practice. Patrick Chung was limited. No other Eagles on the injury report.

The following Giants did not practice: center David Baas, cornerback Jayron Hosley, DT Cullen Jenkins, DT Linval Joseph, TE Adrien Robinson, CB Aaron Ross, guard Chris Snee and CB Corey Webster.

DT Shaun Rogers, LB Mark Herzlich and CB Terrell Thomas were all limited.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

Around The Web

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.

  • Chris

    It’s a shame that these comments are jacked up today, because this is a conversation we were having yesterday and were unable to finish.

    I thought I had seen that stat regarding him being tops in the league in time before release, but I understand that he does like to take shots and does scramble which will inflate that number. My point yesterday was that I don’t think that this is a BAD stat, or a knock on Vick (like some people make it out to be), but that the added extra second or so can increase the odds of an o-line protection breakdown (which is what the article was about yesterday).

    Thanks for covering this, Sheil. It’s funny, a poster the other day mentioned how you seem to pick up on the conversations your commenters have and dig into them. You guys are the best out there!

    • G_WallyHunter

      I mentioned that, how they tailor their articles to the readers and their comments, and it continues every day, gotta love that.
      Keep it up, love the new layout, did the big guys upstairs get you guys new cameras? 😛
      Agreed on the comments being screwed up today, noticed with the Wake-Up call, wondered if it was just me or not

      • Tim Haas

        The comments functionality has been sorted out. Some previous comments may remain associated with the wrong posts, but new ones should be fine.

    • Token

      In this offense the QB isnt supposed to lead the league in average time to throw. Should be the other way around. But Chip doesnt seem to care, so I guess he will have to lay in the bed he made.

      • theycallmerob

        Incredibly myopic. How can one make short throws to receivers who are not open? All-22 shots from the DC Racists game showed the multiple options that opened up. Now, nothing. Not on Vick

      • jon h

        At least in our last game, it appeared that our receivers were getting hit well after the 5 yards allowed and nothing was called. Truthfully, it seems like we never get a PI call on offense. Fox pulled this same crap when we played the panthers in the NFC championship game and it really cost us the game. I wonder why it doesnt get called for us but seems like there’s a PI call on every possession by the other team.

  • A Big Butt and a Smile

    LOL. Someone did NOT like the line of questioning.

    While the way PFF calculates the release stat is problematic…scrambling QBs are always gonna be near the top…dude can’t be in complete denial that yeah…he can hold the ball a bit regardless of the reason, mostly he prob needs to throw the ball away sooner, but it doesn’t seem like he’s taking too many extra sacks b/c of it, so it is what it is.

    But yeah..someone might be paddling up that river in Africa just a bit. lol

    • Maggie

      I’m fairly sure that few people on this board know where the Nile is, lol.

      • A Big Butt and a Smile


        I have a bit more faith in the intelligence of this board, but fair enough…lol

  • Rick H

    The Eagles have a lot of issues presently. If they had a good Defensive Coordinator their record and the enviroment would be very different. The defense is THE MAIN PROBLEM. Davis is at the heart of it! He is not a good DC period!
    With all that being said Vick DOES HOLD THE BALL too long. If the Eagles had a good/average ascending defense this wouldn’t be a main topic. I don’t know who said it “stating that it is not important to get the ball out quickly in Kelly’s offense” BUT whoever said it COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG! Kelly’s offense is predicted on a quick pace with very instinctive quick decision makers especially at QB. Vick is not that and never has been.

  • JofreyRice

    To dive a little deeper into why this hasn’t a problem, is the simple fact that he’s been pretty good this year when holding the ball for >2.6s. Only completing around 44% of his passes, but not making negative plays. QBR is around 81–nothing fantastic, but nothing like the bottom of league car wreck last year was. He seems to be less willing to force throws and a better handle on the football when he takes off. I think the fact that defenses are manning up, and turning their back to him, means he’s taking off from the pocket pretty clean, if no one’s getting open. Also helps him to end the run safely. So far, anyway.

  • theycallmerob

    WRs can’t beat man. Thus, Vick holds onto the ball too long, trying to make the big play. Thus, the OL breaks down, further complicating matters. Thus, Kelly can avoid some controversy by relying on the dominating run game and knowing full well no other QB can make WRs better (and, so far at least, Vick leads the league in making those big plays). Thus, I drink

    • A Big Butt and a Smile

      The oline has been having their own breakdowns not related to Vick holding the ball too long. Vick getting hit/sacked after holding the ball forever isn’t on the OL.

      What’s got to get better is their breakdowns – since you know the former is going to happen, at least the line doesn’t need to add to the problem. But yeah I’m with you…the big issue right now is the receivers not getting open, and he’ll wait a bit before he takes off or throw it away.

      He needs to find a happy medium between going through his progressions, seeing no one open and then making the decision to run or throw away. That will cut down on some of the hold the ball too long commentary.

  • Dominik

    The following Giants did not practice: center David Baas, cornerback Jayron Hosley, DT Cullen Jenkins, DT Linval Joseph, TE Adrien Robinson, CB Aaron Ross, guard Chris Snee and CB Corey Webster.

    DT Shaun Rogers, LB Mark Herzlich and CB Terrell Thomas were all limited.

    Wow. There are some important players on that list. Hope some of them won’t be active on sunday. We need this win badly.

    • A Big Butt and a Smile

      If we don’t sack Eli Davis needs to start working on his resume. There’s no excuse for no sacks and no turnovers by the D this game.

  • distantfires

    “…their ‘no one cover the slot receiver’ defense.” Classic Sheil!!