With all the criticism Mike Vick has absorbed during his NFL career, you’d think he’d be used to it by now.
He apparently isn’t.
Earlier this week, Vick got a little testy during an interview with Mike Missanelli of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on the topic of those who say he doesn’t read defenses quickly enough, and that he holds onto the ball for too long.
“I’m really tempted right now to just say no comment to that because like I said a second ago, you don’t last 12 years in the NFL not being able to read the defense,” Vick said, via Sheil Kapadia of PhillyMag.com. “Those people who are talking and saying that are just ignorant, and they know nothing about football. Unless they turn on the film and watch my game and see what goes on, then they’ll replace those comments with the right comments.”
Missanelli pointed out that critics who know football have made those claims. “But it’s incorrect,” Vick said. “Without getting sensitive about it, it’s incorrect. So I’d rather not talk about it.”
We’d hate to hear what Vick would say if he were sensitive about it. (Actually, we’d probably love to hear it.)
Vick attributes the perception of holding the ball too long to the West Coast offense the Eagles ran under Andy Reid. “We had a lot of deeper throws last year, which required more time,” Vick said. “It’s just a big difference.”
New coach Chip Kelly’s system will result in quicker throws; if Vick can make them, he’ll likely be the starter. Kelly also has taught Vick something unrelated to throwing the ball — how to run with it, without fumbling.
“The other day, I broke out in the pocket, and the first thing Chip told me was to tuck the football,” Vick said. “So I showed him how I was running with it, and he looked at it and he knocked the ball right out of my hands. And he was like, ‘Hold it like this.’ And what he told me felt comfortable. I had a tighter grip on the football. That should secure that problem as long as I work on it.”
It remains to be seen whether Vick will undergo a Tiki-style transformation when it comes to ball security. But if he can get rid of the ball when he needs to and keep possession of it when he has to, Vick could have a big year in 2013.