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Chip Kelly: Michael Vick struggled because of poor pass protection

When the Philadelphia Eagles hired Chip Kelly to be their next head coach, one of the first thoughts that popped into peoples’ minds was that Michael Vick’s career could be saved. Kelly turned Oregon into a national contender by running an up-tempo spread offense, and Vick is arguably the most athletic quarterback in the NFL. If anyone is going to resurrect his career, it could be Kelly.

As of now, it sounds like Kelly intends to go with Vick as his starting quarterback. He’s pinning a lot of what happened last season on poor offensive line play.

“The one thing I think with a quarterback is they get too much blame when things don’t go well and they get too much praise when things do go well,” Kelly told WIP’s Angelo Cataldi on Tuesday. “But which Michael Vick do you have? The guy in 2010 who is the comeback player of the year and is running all over the field making great decisions? A lot of that because he’s clean in protection, he’s not getting hit immediately after he’s getting the snap.

“The one thing, when I watched the film and I saw Michael last year, you just kind of almost felt bad for him, is you lost four lineman to season ending injuries. There is a comfort level when you are playing quarterback when Jason Peters is your left tackle. There is not as much of a comfort level if I’m playing left tackle. So when you’re worried about a guy coming off the edge before you can get to the top of your drop and make a throw, then that’s a tough thing to do.”

There is a lot of truth to that. Vick has taken a beating over the past couple of seasons. That being said, his decision making has also been horrendous. Some of his poor throws were the result of pressure, but others were forced into triple-coverage. If Vick is going to succeed again as the Eagles’ starter, there will have to be a balance. His protection needs to be better and his decisions need to be more sound. Otherwise, Nick Foles could be the man for the job.

Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for transcribing the interview
Photo credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE


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