Four days after Chip Kelly ended his quarterbacking competition, naming Michael Vick the starter, Kelly got a strong whiff of the 2011-12 Vick, in the sticky breeze wafting off the St. John’s River.
“I wouldn’t use the word ‘regress,’ ” when assessing Vick, Kelly said, which numbered Kelly among a rare few. Vick threw a terrible, back-foot, no-chance interception to kill a drive. He missed Brent Celek for a touchdown, and on another play, the fact that he had already been sacked – after holding onto the ball about half an hour – was the only thing that kept Vick from being charged with intentional grounding, which would have taken the Eagles out of field goal range, before Alex Henery hit from 45 yards.
“When I look at my performance tonight, I think I did some good things out there. It’s not always going to be perfect,” said Vick, who took seven first half hits, almost none of them on runs. “I’m not perfect. I can do better. There’s a lot that I learned tonight.”
Even when Vick was making good plays – and there were quite a few – it really didn’t look like he was running Kelly’s offense. Vick almost never threw in rhythm; he stood and waited, then scrambled, taking a hit, sooner or later. The idea he can stay healthy for 16 games playing this way, even with that extra 5 pounds of muscle Vick touts, seems farcical.
Vick’s stats — 15 for 23, 184 yards, a touchdown to Riley Cooper, that pick, plus 53 rushing yards on 7 carries – didn’t tell the whole story. His only touchdown drive covered just 21 yards, after a Connor Barwin interception, the Eagles’ first of the preseason. Given how precise and crisp Vick was in the first two preseason games, Saturday’s struggles against an unheralded team came as an unwlecome surprise.
Les is pretty good with words. I wonder if he’s ever considered starting a blog or something like that.