Friday, August 28, 2009

He's Baaaack.

I didn't see any of Michael Vick's return to the NFL last night, but seems like it went off without a hitch.
So how was Michael Vick's debut as an Eagle? Not bad, but nothing memorable.

He was mostly cheered by the home crowd when he entered the game for the second play of the night.

His first snap was a shovel pass to rookie LeSean McCoy for four yards on 2nd-and-10. On the next drive, he pulled a handoff out of the shotgun and ran a bootleg around the left end for a yard.

The highlight of Vick's night was a 13-yard bullet to Hank Baskett on 1st-and-10 from the Jacksonville 27-yard line (Vick had all day to throw).

He finished the night 4-of-4 passing (he also completed a screen to DeSean Jackson for no gain and another shovel pass to McCoy for two yards) for 19 yards, with one rush for a yard.

Analysts said Vick looked hesitant on his rushing attempt, but defenders were in his face from the get-go on the play. The key on these type of plays is when Vick actually hands the ball off, because the defenders away from the play will have to stay at home rather than chase the ballcarrier in case Vick holds it.

According to ESPN, Jacksonville never had more than seven defenders in the box while Vick was at QB.

He lined up at quarterback five times (he threw four of the five and ran on the other), and once as a slot receiver (he did not get the ball). All five of his plays at QB were out of the shotgun and were on either first or second down. Donovan McNabb played wide receiver on two of the plays Vick lined up at quarterback.

McNabb said the Wildcat caused some rhythm issues with the offense (item #2), but I think the Eagles tried to force the gadget plays so Vick could face Jacksonville's first-team offense. In the regular season, three or four of these plays spread over the course of the game could be a nice way to keep the defense off balance, leaving the potential for a big play.
Here's the video.

I can't really say why, but I'm intrigued enough to likely follow Vick week-by-week this season. I may even create a ticker feature called VickWatch™, assuming the Peta folks don't shut me down first.

One thing that's uncertain is just how much he'll play and where. I've said all along that as long as McNabb stays upright and the team is winning, we prolly won't see much of #7 at all. Then again, they didn't sign him to carry a clipboard, so what do I know? I'm more of a hoops fan anyway.

Question: What sort of season do you think Vick will have for Philly? How will they use him? Should I do the occasional VickWatch™ feature?

Vick recap [Newsday]

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