Vick To Play Bigger Role In Offense
By Lance Epstein
The biggest surprise of the entire 2009 season was head coach Andy Reid deciding to sign Michael Vick to a two-year contract and have his franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb mentor him. Supposedly, Reid was counting on the fact that he could use the ultra-versatile weapon as a trade chip and add to his plethora of draft picks.
However as the season played out, Vick did not see the field as much as the team originally had forecasted and his gadget plays began to decline as well. During this offseason, it was thought Vick would be traded to a team that was [still could be] desperate for a quarterback [like the Buffalo Bills]. Now, it is anticipated that he is going to receive his $5 million salary for 2010 and be on the team's opening day roster as the No. 2 quarterback.
One expert that predicted Vick would be back with the club in the beginning of the 2010 offseason was NFL Network's Michael Lombardi. In fact, this past week on the NFL Network's daily television show NFL Total Access, Lombardi added Vick’s role in the offense would expand this upcoming season. He said the plan all along was to use his skill set for 12-15 plays a game and be "a red zone player."
While 12-15 plays does not seem like a lot for a player that was and is hoping to start for a franchise, but it is a much bigger role than he possessed in 2009 as he only had 24 rushes and 13 passing attempts. Additionally, Lombardi declared that Vick should be thrilled at the opportunity to work and improve his craft with Reid.
One reason is that Reid has an outstanding track record in developing quarterbacks. He has been a vital and crucial part in the successes of Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb and Mark Brunnell. All three have had long and very productive careers in the NFL.
"He needs to follow Andy Reid's program," Lombardi said. "(He must think) Andy Reid's going to make me the starting quarterback, maybe not here in Philadelphia, but somewhere in the National Football League."
If the post-draft mini-camp is any indication, Vick is well on his way to becoming a new and improve quarterback. Not only will he be able to beat teams with his legs, but also his arm as well.
Furthermore, this is really the first offseason he has dedicated himself to the game. Vick stated to reporters that this is the only time during his entire career that he has lifted weights and tried to improve his talent in an offseason. This could be a major factor in why he was able to demonstrate blazing speed, improved footwork and precision accuracy during the mini-camp.
Moreover, many believe he had a better camp than incumbent quarterback Kevin Kolb. Still, he probably does not have a realistic shot at starting unless Kolb struggles mightily or he is injured.
Despite all that, Vick has a golden opportunity in front of him. Must be like a sponge and absorb everything the coaching staff teaches him. Eventually, this can lead him to a rebirth in the NFL and possibly make him into a better quarterback than he ever envisioned before his horrifying incident.
For Vick, he yearns to get back on the field as a starter, but patience is a virtue that maybe very rewarding in the long run.