After Monday nights Eagles game against the Patriots, a game that saw Micheal Vick leave the field with yet another injury, the question in the minds of Eagles fans is… Can Michael Vick keep himself from injury and can it be expected for him to play a full sixteen games this season?
For as long as we have watched Michal Vick play football he has astonished us with unparalleled athleticism and his ability to make the impossible look effortless. Vick has always been capable of escaping a collapsing pocket and taking off for what usually results in points or a Sportscenter top ten highlight.
This ability, that we have grown to love and admire about the former #1 overall pick, might not be an ability that Eagles fans will continue to appreciate from Vick. In two seasons, as the starting quarterback for Philadelphia, Vick has failed to play a full sixteen games because of injury. The ability that he possesses to extend plays with his legs has been cause for injury.
Now, some would blame the injuries on Vicks protection. This season the loss of all pro tackle Jason Peters will mean less stability for Vick in the pocket. However, as I’ve watched and studied Vicks play, I’m going to put the blame directly on Michael Vick.
As a franchise quarterback it is Vicks responsibility to keep himself on the field. Too many times we see Vick take off down the field, scamper for a 20 yard gain and rather than slide, we see him lower his shoulders and take unnecessary hits. Last season against the Washington Redskins, Vick nearly scored on a scramble but instead of sliding and lining up for a first and goal, Vick went for the score, was crushed by two linebackers and suffered broken ribs.
Monday night, on the play where Vick took the vicious shot from Patriots DE Jermaine Cunningham, Michael had two chances to avoid contact. First, Vick decided not to hit his check down when there was no open receiver down field. Second, as Vick turns away to avoid the initial rush, he chooses to not get down and take the sack and instead heaves the ball 30 yards off his back foot and takes the brutal hit.
It’s tough to change ones style of play when they have been doing it their entire career. Michael Vick needs to understand the he has an organization and a city that is counting on him to be on the field week in and week out. He owes it to the Eagles organization to protect himself. At 6’0 215 pounds Michael Vick is small by NFL quarterback standards. His body frame isn’t built to take on hits by 6’4 260 pound defensive ends.
He (Michael Vick) owes it to the Eagles, who gave him a second chance and a 100 million dollar contract, to play less recklessly. There is no shame in sliding or throwing a pass out of bounds. Many of the great quarterbacks have succeeded because they understand the concept of “living for the next play.”
Whether Vick needs to Slide, throw the ball out of bounds or step out of bounds on a run, he must stay healthy and in the lineup if the Eagles look to have any chance of contending for the franchises first superbowl championship. I mean, when the commander and chief of our great nation publically address you and says you should start sliding, I think its time to finally get the memo.
About the Author
Written by Tito Javier
I'm 23 years old. Young and ambitious. I had many thoughts and dreams of what I wanted to do but I have since realized that Sports are my passion and my future.