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Vick still a work in progress as a pocket passer

Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham sacks  Eagles quarterback Michael Vick during the first quarter of their preseason NFL football game in Foxborough Reuters

Staying in the pocket doesn’t come naturally to Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. Maybe it never will. But the Eagles’ coaches won’t stop trying to make it happen.

Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg told PhillyMag.com that Vick, heading into his fourth season with the Eagles and his third season as the Eagles’ starter, is still working on becoming the kind of pocket passer the coaches want him to be.

It really is an art form,” Mornhinweg said. “The first thing he did when he got here is he evolved so quickly with his work within the pocket. And you need to stay disciplined within your movements. And then when you get into open air, your natural ability takes over. That’s the general thought with Mike, and he’s worked very, very hard to get to where he’s at with his pocket passing.”

Making Vick into a pocket passer would probably reduce the hits he takes and cut down on his injuries. The question, however, is whether it would also take away what makes Vick special. It’s possible that the Eagles are going to make Vick a better pocket passer while making him a less effective complete package as a quarterback.

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48 Responses to “Vick still a work in progress as a pocket passer”
  1. adlent says: Sep 8, 2012 10:47 AM

    “It’s possible that the Eagles are going to make Vick a better pocket passer while making him a less effective complete package as a quarterback.”

    Vick has to see the writing on the wall with his body. There have been a lot of great running quarterbacks that made similar transitions to more pure pocket passing… and there is NOTHING to say a pocket passing QB doesn’t have a leg up with his kind of escapability.

    What makes Vick a less effective passer is that he holds the ball too much, scrambles are too much, and gets popped. Hard to be effective when you spend several quarters/halves/games on the sideline because you can’t physically take the punishment.

  2. cowboysfromdallas says: Sep 8, 2012 10:47 AM

    Does it matter, he’ll spend at least four games on the bench with injury. Can you be a pocket passer from IR?

  3. suhdidntstompanyone says: Sep 8, 2012 10:49 AM

    As a Lions fan I would give exactly zero credibility to anything Marty Mornhinweg says. In fact I would take whatever he says and believe the exact opposite.
    I would give my right pinky to have five minutes in a room with him, Matt Millen and a baseball bat.

  4. bumbler19 says: Sep 8, 2012 10:54 AM

    Foles will make Vick expendable very soon.

  5. thesmartest1 says: Sep 8, 2012 10:57 AM

    And will always be…Foles/Edwards 2013. Believe it.

  6. elmaxoh says: Sep 8, 2012 11:01 AM

    The most vicious hit he takes was when he was in the pocket.

  7. dontouchmyjunk says: Sep 8, 2012 11:02 AM

    I don’t know why pundits and bloggers continue to echo the same wrong observation about Vick. The overwhelming majority of his injuries take place while getting hit in the pocket.

    It’s as though the writers have already determined a narrative for Vick and they can’t allow reality to change the script.

    Vick does stay in the pocket more. And that’s where he gets injured. The real problem is he holds the ball too long. But that’s a boring story. Much better to keep to the script that he runs too much. Why allow a little thing like reality to enter a news story?

  8. raoool says: Sep 8, 2012 11:05 AM

    a work in progress. 10 years running…

    good thing Andy and Marty are smarter than everyone else.

  9. sevensgottago says: Sep 8, 2012 11:09 AM

    A FAILED work.
    He has progressed as far as he ever will, and is now REgressing.
    Bring on Foles!

  10. sparty0n says: Sep 8, 2012 11:10 AM

    I remember when all of Florio’s posts on “Ron Mexico” referred to Vick as a RB

  11. psekiller says: Sep 8, 2012 11:14 AM

    Vick dreams of being like a Tony Romo or aaron Rogders two far better Qbs

  12. themackstrong says: Sep 8, 2012 11:16 AM

    Vick does hold the ball too long, that is the issue. But if anyone thinks the o-line of the eagles is good in pass protection doesn’t watch enough football. Maybe his hot reads are there and he is still looking for the play but so many occasions where there are blitzes coming clean and he’s looking for the 40-50 yard bomb.

  13. insanelomein2 says: Sep 8, 2012 11:19 AM

    Vick will never be a good pocket passer because he doesn’t lead receivers, he will only throw when a receiver is open.

  14. jbcommonsense says: Sep 8, 2012 11:24 AM

    ”It’s possible that the Eagles are going to make Vick a better pocket passer while making him a less effective complete package as a quarterback.”

    ———————————————-

    This is a question which the Eagles should know the answer to already.

    In any case learning to slide, run out of bounds or throw the ball away are basic options that all QBs must master.

  15. thejuddstir says: Sep 8, 2012 11:32 AM

    vick is who he was while in atlanta……a scramblin’ athlete, nothing more nothing less. he’s not a nfl qb and he’s not a rb.

  16. mhalt99 says: Sep 8, 2012 11:32 AM

    As a Lions fan I would give exactly zero credibility to anything Marty Mornhinweg says. In fact I would take whatever he says and believe the exact opposite.
    I would give my right pinky to have five minutes in a room with him, Matt Millen and a baseball bat.

    Funny how the Ford family escaped your wrath. Maybe you should blame the janitors and the cotton candy/popcorn vendors at the stadium too while you’re at it.

  17. karlsummers says: Sep 8, 2012 11:33 AM

    Let me just say this: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Vick is nearing the end of his career. I don’t see him changing anything. Let Vick be Vick.

  18. joetoronto says: Sep 8, 2012 11:33 AM

    “Vick still a work in progress as a pocket passer”

    The guy is 33 years old, how can he still be a “work in progress”?

  19. dogluverssuck says: Sep 8, 2012 11:42 AM

    bumbler19 says:Sep 8, 2012 10:54 AM

    Foles will make Vick expendable very soon

    ___________________________

    Like Kolb?

  20. mjb0680 says: Sep 8, 2012 11:44 AM

    Freak of nature talent, but will never win a sb with him as starting qb

  21. mwindle1973 says: Sep 8, 2012 11:47 AM

    I think at this point it’s not fair to call him a work in progress as a pocket passer. It’s more like a lost cause.

  22. mwindle1973 says: Sep 8, 2012 11:49 AM

    karlsummers says: Sep 8, 2012 11:33 AM

    Let me just say this: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Vick is nearing the end of his career. I don’t see him changing anything. Let Vick be Vick.

    ______________________

    I just had to point out your choice of words here…kind of ironic…teach an old dog. Are you talking about him in football or life? Just kidding man!

  23. tritz32 says: Sep 8, 2012 11:51 AM

    I’ve got news for that coaching staff, if he’s not a pocket passer at this point in his career he never will be! What are they thinking? Why try to make the guy something he isn’t? It’s not going to work. Let Vick do what he does and roll with it or don’t play him at all. By the way, he’s still a dog killer and I can’t stand the bum!

  24. theandy59 says: Sep 8, 2012 11:51 AM

    The whole Michael Vick fixation is puzzling to me….I’ll grant that he will periodically make a few plays that make you go, “How on earth did he do that!”, but much more often he is a little less than what you want in an NFL QB. He is the most overrated QB since Joe Namath and the Eagles will never win a Super Bowl with him under center.

  25. ashes2ashesfun2funky says: Sep 8, 2012 11:53 AM

    For all his athleticism, Vick simply does not have the work ethic to read defenses and develop the awareness needed to be a real effective pocket passer.

    I remember when he was in Atlanta and when Dan Reeves basically ran a 1970’s style offense for Vick because he never could grasp the nuances of being a quarterback. If he couldn’t see/ignored his receivers, he would run. His completion percentage is low to mediocre at best and while his running is a great asset, he uses it as a crutch to compensate for his lack of pocket awareness. Is it any surprise Roddy White’s career took of when Vick left town?

    He will miss at least 2-4 games this year. It’s been his MO for the past several seasons. Don’t expect a Randall Cunningham/Steve Young conversion to a balanced QB because he simply does not have it in him.

  26. steviesteeler says: Sep 8, 2012 12:00 PM

    If he’s not a pocket passer by now… He never will be!!!

  27. dayvid215 says: Sep 8, 2012 12:03 PM

    @psekiller. No one .. I mean no one .. dreams of being like Tony Tomorrow.

  28. runtheball says: Sep 8, 2012 12:40 PM

    It is amazing he is even in the league. Great athlete average QB. Frequently makes a sportscenter highlight play, but overall hurts his team more than he helps.

  29. adm350 says: Sep 8, 2012 1:16 PM

    Just till him out and let him loose. The O line questionable anyways and he get hurt when someone gets beat…let him work his magic. If he gets hurt….we have a capable QB in Foles. He is the future and he makes throws #7 can’t. Either way, we’re in good shape to make a run. Go birds.

  30. illiniftw says: Sep 8, 2012 1:49 PM

    With how Foles has looked, Vick will be looking for a job as a “wildcat” QB soon. He would probably be great at that if he accepted the role and didn’t demand too much money.

  31. vickluverssuckk says: Sep 8, 2012 1:51 PM

    “VICK STILL A WORK IN PROCESS AS A QB”

    That’s how it should read.

    Very few players have been as hyped as much as Vick in the last 15 years & have been as big a disappointment. The guy never delivers in a big postseason spot & never will.

    McNabb is considered a disappointment after 5 NFC championship games & a Super Bowl appearance for the Eagles but a guy that has a career 2-3 playoff record is idolized.

    Amazing.

  32. flipadelphia77777 says: Sep 8, 2012 2:08 PM

    Of course he is idolized! He is one of his kind in the league, has great explosive play ability by throwing and running. McCann was amazing in this league and for that franchise but he also had all the necessary weapons around him to win a super bowl and did nothing but choke time and time again

  33. 4ever85 (aka Butch DeadLift) says: Sep 8, 2012 2:35 PM

    I’m with a lot of others on this – why are they trying to limit what Vick is best at? (running).

    Staying in the pocket works for 6’4 225 QBs who have a clear view and can take a pounding. Vick ISN’T 6’4 225.

    Some may counter, “how ’bout Brees’ – well, he runs a totally different O and guys like him come maybe once every 20 years.

    If I were the Eagles, I’d let him lose. Can’t hit what you can’t catch.

    If he gets hurt, he gets hurt. At least on the run the defender won’t get a statue to demolish.

  34. listenupcupcake says: Sep 8, 2012 3:14 PM

    Andy is making the same kind of mistake with Vick as he made with McNabb.

    He and Marty see a great athlete and runner at QB and think – wouldn’t it be great if he were also a great pocket passer? Then he’d be a legit HOF level QB, with well-rounded, high level skills; he could beat you running or throwing; he’d be practically indefensible.

    So I understand the theory, the intent. BUT Vick doesn’t have what it takes – the smarts or the vision – to develop into that kind of QB. Neither did McNabb. (Nor does Terrell Pryor, probably the next great running QB.)

    IOW, not all skills are developable with everyone to a high degree; there needs to be a certain level of native talent and intelligence to make the effort worthwhile. Not everyone can be a Steve Young (or even a Randall Cunningham). Or, to mention a few younger QBs, even a Jake Locker or a Russell Wilson, or possibly, an RGIII.

    So in Vick, take what you have – a great running QB and an OK passer, who is on the downside of his career and increasingly fragile – and make the most of him, by letting him operate in his comfort zone. Because realistically, that’s the best you are going to get.

  35. laserw says: Sep 8, 2012 4:05 PM

    Vick is a work in progress as both a human and as a quarterback. There is no evidence he has joined society in dignity and there is no evidence he’ll ever be more than a mediocre quarterback – his only strength is his elusiveness – he makes poor judgments under the pressure and the NFL has found how to eliminate his impact in a game – pass rush and containment. He is awful.

  36. wizerud says: Sep 8, 2012 5:32 PM

    You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Hmm, probably not the best analogy.

  37. phillyphannn83 says: Sep 8, 2012 6:30 PM

    No evidence he’s joined society in dignity??? You need to do a little research first before you say things like that because you’re completely wrong. Vick fulfilled his obligation to the ASPCA 2 years ago yet he still continues to work for them, still continues to go to elementary schools in the offseason to talk to kids nonstop. he didn’t just do what he was told and then stop. He continues to do these things on his own accord. If that isn’t rejoining society with dignity, then I don’t know what is. Tell me, what has he done since he got out of jail to be in the headlines in a negative light? Nothing!!

  38. docredskin says: Sep 8, 2012 7:05 PM

    Since he is clearly among the most physically gifted QB’s ever, the fact that he is still a work in progress at this stage of his career likely means he’s one of the dumbest to ever play the position as well.

  39. green41563 says: Sep 8, 2012 7:54 PM

    For pete’s sake, give him a chance to develop!

    He’s only been in the league 11 years!

  40. laeaglefan says: Sep 8, 2012 7:56 PM

    Whatever the deal is with Vick, he’s got this season to get it right, or he’s out of a job. If that happens, his days as a starting QB in the NFL will probably be over. He’ll be relegated to the role of an “old” Tim Tebow (meaning a freak show) on whatever team he ends up on next.

  41. dlmcc1010 says: Sep 8, 2012 7:59 PM

    At this point its pretty obvious he has reached his ceiling. I wouldnt be expecting him to improve as a passer. Hes not terrible but hes not exactly elite. His big asset is his ability to scramble. Thats just who he is

  42. suhdidntstompanyone says: Sep 8, 2012 8:15 PM

    mhalt99-last time I checked he was the coach and Millen was the guy in charge of the draft. I didn’t know the food vendors had such responsibilities in the NFL. Thanks for enlightening me.

  43. bluebongzilla says: Sep 8, 2012 9:39 PM

    Still a “work in progress” at 32.

  44. briang123 says: Sep 8, 2012 10:19 PM

    Whats the rush to develop him? He s got plenty of time. It’s not like he entered the league in 2001 or anything like that.

  45. phillyphannn83 says: Sep 8, 2012 10:27 PM

    Judging by what the Falcons are doing to Matt Ryan, is anyone surprised that we basically had to start all over with Vick, especially after he missed 2 seasons? I forgot, you’re all sooooo smart!!

  46. downhillrider says: Sep 9, 2012 12:03 AM

    work in progress huh.. good thing they gave an injury prone 31 year old qb $100m contract!

  47. mikeanthonymirabella says: Sep 9, 2012 12:08 AM

    Someone once that the Raiders would never win a super bowl with kenny stabler at quarterback in 1976 they beat the Vikings in what considered by many writer in the nfl the best superbowl ever played where one team completely dominated the other actually saying the Raider offensive line blocked out the sun and I believe Allen Page and a couple of the other defenders for the vikings did not even have a tackle. Case closed the above mentioned a very stupid reply and should count as a historical fact that no one should ever say the word never.

  48. phillyphannn83 says: Sep 9, 2012 9:32 AM

    dhrider, once again you prove the point that you need to do some research before talking. This is the last year of that contract that is guaranteed!! That’s why the Eagles are so good with the salary cap. All you uninformed, know-it-all fans think they’re on the hook for $100 million when really its all smoke and mirrors and Vick is the true sucker, not the birds! Trust me, even if he gets us to the Superbowl, they’re not paying him 16 mil next season. Foles is taking over in 2013.

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