Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has heard people, including the President of the United States, call for him to slide feet first dozens of times in the last few years.
If Vick played for the Vikings, he might not hear quite as much criticism of the way he ends his runs. Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave wants quarterback Christian Ponder to slide head first after he suffered a concussion on a hit by Redskins linebacker London Fletcher after a feet first slide last season. Musgrave is fine with sliding feet first when there’s no one around, but he thinks Ponder gets to the ground more quickly if he leads with his head in traffic.
“We don’t want to expose ourselves by being a periscope up — exposing all our vital organs. We want to give them a very minimal surface,” Musgrave said, via Dave Campbell of the Associated Press.
Going head first isn’t going to eliminate the possibility of injuries. There’s the chance of a shoulder or wrist injury as you go to the turf and rules governing when defensive players hit you aren’t in place when the quarterback goes head first, to say nothing of the increased risk of injury. In 2010, Eli Manning lost a fumble against the Eagles that contributed to a Giants loss in a season that ended with the Giants one game out of a playoff spot.
There are risks either way, then, and the Vikings will be taking theirs head first this season.