Jaworski thinks 2012 will be Vick's best year
The Eagles’ offensive line was one of the better units in football last season. Left tackle Jason Peters was an All-Pro, left guard Evan Mathis had a career year and Todd Herremans displayed impressive versatility in playing both tackle positions and guard.
But still, Michael Vick took too many hits… too many debilitating hits that swung the momentum of games against the Eagles’ favor.
NFL analyst and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski said on ESPN (via ProFootballTalk
) Friday that he believes Vick may be headed for the best year of his career. He just needs to avoid those hits.
“I charted all of Vick’s snaps last season,” Jaworski said. “He was taken to the ground more than 11 times per game. You can’t play 16 games that way. Vick always reminds me of something my former coach, Dick Vermeil, says: ‘The problem with quarterbacks who can run is, they run.’”
Jaworski thinks Vick needs to spend more time in the backfield, between his tackles.
“Vick has shown he is capable of throwing the ball exceptionally well from the pocket,” Jaworski said. “His overall throwing skill set can be top five in the league. His objective in 2012 must be to play that way more often. It becomes an availability issue. You can’t be an elite NFL quarterback if you can’t be counted on every single week.”
Jaworski is far from the first person to preach caution and safety to Vick. But it goes deeper than staying in the pocket. Vick must be protected to pass well, and if he isn’t, what is to stop him from running? The Eagles won’t have Peters’ services in 2012, and will instead rely on free agent left tackle Demetress Bell. The left side is not Vick’s blind side, as he’s a lefthanded thrower, so if he sees Bell getting defeated on his block, a play designed to keep Vick in the pocket could quickly become a scramble.
According to Pro Football Focus
, Vick last season completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 2,415 yards and a 98.2 QB Rating when he wasn’t pressured. When he was under pressure, his completion percentage was 42.4 and he had a QB Rating of 59.0. Of Vick’s 18 interceptions, 11 came on blitzes.
So yes, staying in the pocket more would behoove Vick and the Eagles, but his natural inclination is to use his legs to avoid pressure. And that’s why his success or failure in 2012, perhaps more so than any other quarterback, is heavily dependent on his O-line.E-mail Corey Seidman at email@example.com