Chip Kelly’s arrival in Philadelphia truly puts the future of the spread-option offense to the test, but that is only one question the former Duck coach brings to the City of Brotherly Love. Prior to Kelly’s arrival, Mike Vick’s Eagle future was seriously in doubt. He earned himself at least another season in Philly after Kelly proclaimed his interest in bringing Vick back to 2010 greatness, and it is impossible to know what we should expect from the 10 year veteran (or 12 years, depending on whether we include penitentiary time).
Firstly, it is impossible to foresee how the Eagles offense will look in 2013. They are using the same spread attack that Kelly used to great success in Oregon, and only time will tell how it transitions to the NFL.
Will Kelly’s NFL attack include less quarterback runs? Will he air the ball out more?
The answers to these questions will shape Vick’s Philadelphia future, but it will also be interesting to see just how much juice Vick has left in the tank. Picturing 2001 Vick in an NFL Chip Kelly offense sounds like a video game fantasy gone wild, but how will a worn down, veteran Vick fare in a run-heavy offense?
Vick recently beat shifty Eagles’ RB LeSean McCoy in a footrace, showed up to camp much bulkier, and has demonstrated the desire to have a great season. Those are all positive signs, but they don’t mean much if they don’t translate onto the field.
Vick’s newfound situation is particularly intriguing because of his up-and-down past. Vick’s NFL career has seen both good and bad moments, and that is without even considering the circus surrounding his dog fighting crimes and incarceration. The earlier part of his career included peaks such as beating the Packers in Lambeau Field, becoming the first QB to rush for 1000 yards in a season, and returning from prison to have a wildly successful 2010 season.
On the flip side, Vick has struggled over the past two seasons and has consistently been an inconsistent passer throughout his career.
It’s easy to be skeptical of a player who has only ever been great for brief stretches, but his flashes of brilliance are what give the Eagles 2013 season such an alluring appeal.
If he finds a way to stay healthy, demonstrate the athleticism that made him a household name, and not make head-scratching decisions on a week-to-week basis, the Eagles could be a surprise contender. Chip Kelly’s offense gives Vick the rare opportunity for a second career resurgence, an opportunity most athletes are not afforded. Vick has the tools to be perfect for Philadelphia’s new offense, but too much of his career has been spent discussing hypotheticals.
We all know that Vick can succeed with the Eagles, but no amount of speculation will tell us how he will play. Either Good Vick or Bad Vick could show up Week 1, and while we know that Bad Vick can make some ugly throws and has a tendency to get hurt, Good Vick’s potential is captivating enough to keep us wondering.