Chip Kelly blames the offensive line for Michael Vick’s down year


Michael Vick had a disappointing season in 2012, but new Eagles coach Chip Kelly doesn’t think that’s Vick’s fault.

Kelly told WIP in Philadelphia that injuries along the Eagles’ offensive line were the biggest problem Vick had in 2012, and there’s every reason to think that Vick can play as well in 2013 as he did in 2010, if the Eagles can protect him.

“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 said, via “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.”

The return of tackle Jason Peters, who missed all of 2012 with an Achilles injury, and the arrival of first-round draft pick Lane Johnson, should make a big difference for Vick.

“There is a comfort level when you are playing quarterback when Jason Peters is your left tackle,” Kelly said. “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. The one thing I’ll give Michael, when you watch Michael Vick on film and no one, there’s absolutely no one that can question his toughness. As he stands in there with people bearing down at him and still is trying to throw the ball and deliver the ball. He can throw the ball, it comes off his hands, he can make people miss, but no one, there’s no quarterback in the NFL, there’s no quarterback in any level of football that can function when you are missing four of your offensive lineman. So a lot of things that happened when you watch the film last year, it isn’t all Michael’s fault.”

The Eagles’ offensive line will almost certainly be better in 2013 than it was in 2012. And a better line should lead to a better quarterback.

85 responses to “Chip Kelly blames the offensive line for Michael Vick’s down year

  1. To blame the o-line is ridiculous. Vick has proven time and time again that he does not think and react the way successful QBs do.
    He was elite because he was a threat to pass and run, now there are QBs with that mold that do it better than him. Russel Wilson, Kaepernick, Cam Newton to name some of the better ones.

  2. If you define tough as wincing every time you are touched, publicly talking about how much you get hit unfairly and are targeted and “hit too viciously”. Or by pointing fingers and saying things like “I cant throw the ball and catch it all by myself”. Claiming you are all team, while throwing people under the bus, I suppose he fits that definition of tough as well. Meanwhile, another QB in his division came back with a perforated lung filled with fluid and continued to get crushed by one of the more dominating and hard hitting defenses in football, bringing his team from behind to win in OT. We have a different definition of tough in Texas, and they dont wear skirts like Miss Vicky.

  3. Vick doesn’t even have to make excuses anymore. Everyone makes them for him. How long is this guy going to get the benefit of the doubt?

  4. Sheesh. Vick haters in full force. I think the O-line was definitely a huge factor in why Vick regressed.. but his decision making needs to improve. With a simplified offense, I think he’ll do well. Yes, we had a Top 10 OL, but our defense couldn’t keep it together. If Vick gets rid of the ball instead of forcing a play.. the Eagles will be in good shape.

  5. Half the truth but its true none the less…..If Andy had have ran the damn ball instead of throwing it a 1000 times a game with that Swiss cheese offensive line and played to their strength which was run blocking Vick might’ve been able to avoid some injuries and the Eagles might have been a contender if it wasn’t for the rampant coaching miscues from last season…bottom line Eagles have a playoff year with Vick at the helm period…..

  6. I find the amount of man love by all of Vicks coaches throughout the year as disturbing especially since by his own admission never studied a game plan before he got to Philly and even as recently as last year couldn’t read defenses or call an audible to save his life.

    The offense didn’t know what to do the first time Foles lined up under center and called an audible last year. That was embarrassing having to watch the rookie QB have to tell the vets what they were supposed to do when an audible was called.

    Vick will be 33 by the time training camp roles around, can’t read defenses, can’t call audibles, locks onto his first receiver and if he isn’t open immediately runs, and can’t throw quick slants.

    Vick’s legs were his bread and butter, not his brain. Good luck chip.

  7. Every team gets multiple injuries on the Oline every year. Brady, Rogers, Payton Manning, Bress and a couple others always manage to get the job done well with or without injuries effecting the Oline.

    Lower tier QBs struggle much more when the Oline isn’t at its best. Many teams don’t have great depth in their Oline because they spend too much on too few players and have lousy depth.

  8. Bring it you Eagle hating Trolls. If you watched any Birds games last year you would have seen what Chip’s talkin about. But you didn’t you just want to rag in Vick and that’s cool. You’re all very successful armchair QB’s

  9. The blame lies in 2 places alone: Reid and MM. A rational coach who sees their 4 starters go down runs the ball a little more. They passed, passed again, and passed again until both qbs went out with injuries.

  10. richndc, tough like crying when he botched the snap on that FG and refused to take his helmet off. And seems to always cry when he can’t get it done in big games?? That kinda Texas tough??

  11. You mean someone actually used common sense in an evaluation of this situation? Anyone who watched more than jsut the highlights of Eagles games last year saw Vick running for his life almost every snap. Behind a good O Line I think he’ll prove the doubters wrong. NO QB can play behind 4 back ups in the NFL, just not gonna happen.

  12. WTH is Gordon Shell and why am I s’posed to care? Vick will get pummeled on the field come September.

    He did the crime, he did the time. Case is closed. Let it go. Some will never forgive him, that’s their call. Just move the bloody and battered corpse of a horse being beaten out of the way.

  13. Tell Payton or Brady your going to take away 4 of the 5 starting O-Lineman and see how they feel. Not a single quarterback can function in the situation Mike was in last season. Vick has a downside but it isn’t as big as most people think. E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!

  14. There may be a few guys around the league that are capable of playing behind a horrible line, but most cannot. Especially when the offense is so predicated on sending guys deep.

    Still, there were a lot of bad judgment throws made, trying to force plays that weren’t there.

    Lots of blame to go around.

  15. The O-Line should not be a valid excuse. As banged up as the Eagles O-Line was it was still better than Green Bay’s rag tag O-Line (and this is coming from a Packers fan). And Rodgers had a great year and still carried his team to the playoffs being one of the most sacked QB’s in the league. Yes they could have done a more solid job protecting Vick, however as in my previous example Rodgers was able to do more with less.

  16. The “Dream Team” has become the Excuses Team! You’re right Chip, the O-line is the one that made all those fumbles and threw all those INTs. The O-line is also responsible for killing all those dogs!

  17. girls, girls, calm down. You do realize that when he stinks it up for the 5-6 games he starts in this year, you will have the “new coach, new scheme” excuse. That’s legit. Stop all this whining now.

  18. People ignoring how awful the Eagles offensive line has been not only last year, but the year before during the Dream Team phase show their irrational hatred for this guy. I said more than once,

    Andy Reid’s baffling decision to try to employ the Manning like Mudd line calls from the QB position as opposed to what was obviously working better before under Castillo was beyond head scratching and helped doom those last two years in Philly before they began.

  19. People, people. Kelly’s coming in as a new kid in town, and he has to at least say the politically-correct things before the season to appease the players. After things kick off he’ll be able to make his own assessments and as a straight-talker he’ll definitely tell it like it is. But cut the guy some slack, haters.

  20. They lost 3-4 starters on their offensive line.

    Go ahead and tell me Tom Brady can still be effective without Nate Solder, Logan Mankins or Sebastian Vollmer being healthy enough to play.

    Ball-watchers think quarterback is EVERYTHING. Get some perspective.

  21. ronmexicoswartcream says:
    Apr 30, 2013 2:29 PM
    Bring it you Eagle hating Trolls. If you watched any Birds games last year you would have seen what Chip’s talkin about. But you didn’t you just want to rag in Vick and that’s cool. You’re all very successful armchair QB’s
    Well Thank You Ronnie, I have been waiting for someone to recognize my genius and to give me credit for recognizing just how terrible a franchise the Eagles are. Thanks so much. And as I always like to say GO COLTS!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTT!!!!!!!

  22. (drumming fingers on desktop)
    I am still waiting for someone to say “hey!! at least he did not kill anyone like Ray Lewis or Leonard Little or Donte Stallworth or rape anyone like Roethlisberger!!!!” tap…tap…tap….tap

  23. Re: Vick’s Turnovers….yes he did that often last year, but those are a direct result of pressure he was getting too.
    Having to make bad or hurried passes = turnovers.
    Having a defender on top of you before you can make your read = turnovers.

    Anyone seem to remember or know why Reid loved O-Line? Remember what he used to say about how important an O-Line is? Oh Look…he’s starting a new job in KC, and look what the focus is…beefing up the O-line!

    Anyone care to hazard a guess why all these O-Line players were getting selected in the 1st round of the draft last week??
    DING! DING! DING! (Tell em what they’ve won, Johnny)

    That’s right, because without a solid O-Line and good O-line play, you can kiss the rest of your offenseive playbook goodbye!

    Haters can keep on hating, but the fact remains that a LOT of last season didn’t fall on Vick, and I’d even say a lot of it didn’t fall on Reid either. I’m ‘all a board’ with Chip Kelly and hope this goes well, but c’mon people….learn a thing or two about the game of football so you can make educated comments.

  24. Would not expect his new coach to say anything else…but lets not ignore the Eagles had a top of the line o-line in 2011 and Vick was still awful. He backs out of the pocket instead of stepping into it.

    Vick always gets that one surprise “out of nowhere” year when no one expects it, but then reverts right back to his old self. Is what it is at this point.

  25. Michael Vick has his flaws on and off the football field. I’m not excited about him being the QB this year and I want the Eagles to eventually move on. But if you watched any Philadelphia Eagles’ games last year and did not think that the o-line was the major cause for poor QB play your an idiot.

  26. A lot of the early fumbles by Vick were due to the flack jacket he wore. Watch the film and you’ll see him tuck the ball to his side, only to have it squirt out when he got hit. The hard plate protecting his ribs allowed for no energy absorption by his body. You can see later when they ditch the flack jacket those same hits are absorbed without fumbles.

  27. While Peters is arguably one of the best offensive lineman on the Eagles’ roster, Todd Herremans at RIGHT Tackle was Vick’s blind side protector. People do realize that Vick is left handed right?

  28. spauldingsmails …..Great paraphrasing. I couldnt have said it better myself. It seems as if people think that anyone can go behind any line and perform like one of the top 3 Qb’s in the league( name who you prefer) and play like allstars. It not going to happen people. Wake up and smell the leather please!

    Yea Vick may be breaking down a little but i dont think that his best days are over yet. And im not even an Eagles fan but we all have to be realistic here. But i will say if he continues to get beat the heck up like he has the past three years his career be will over rather quickly. Get the poor guy or whomever you have back there some help!

  29. No one is ever going to mistake Michael Vick for Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but the truth is that no quarterback could have been successful last season behind that Eagles offensive line. Does Vick make poor decisions? Sure. Is he a turnover machine? Absolutely. But he’s still capable of winning games if his protection is adequate. A Superbowl? Probably not. But he can at least help get the Eagles back to respectability while Foles or Barkley develops enough to become the #1 guy.

  30. Good to see a coach stepping up for his guy. No job is guaranteed in the NFL and Kelly will cut Vick easily if he thinks it’s the right thing to do, but he is starting out on the right foot.

  31. 1.) the offensive line was horrible! Easily bottom 3 in the league.
    2.) Vick will still turn the ball over even if he had Brady’s line.
    3.) Who cares? They are a rebuilding team, I know you want to build confidence in your QB and get fans in the stands but come on they’re a rebuilding team. Worry about that horrible defense you have out there.

  32. The O-line had a lot to do with our issues last year! But you can’t blame them for the fumbles and interceptions, that and the Fat man was Vicks problem last year!

  33. Chip used to be a pretty fair college coach. I have no doubt in my mind that in a short amount of time, Eagles fans will still look at him as a decent college coach.

  34. I said that all year long. I am not going to put 100% on the o-line, but you try playing behind second string line vs a first string def. I would be running around like a chicken too. I blame Andy and Marty also. they never changed the off. scheme to help Vick.

  35. elscorcho5000 says: Apr 30, 2013 2:44 PM

    The “Dream Team” has become the Excuses Team! You’re right Chip, the O-line is the one that made all those fumbles and threw all those INTs. The O-line is also responsible for killing all those dogs!


    Not “all” but yes, when you get hit on every play, a lot of the interceptions and fumbles are because of the offensive line. The few fumbles in the open field are his fault, but unless he just stood there and threw it to the other team, the INTs are the line’s fault.

  36. OK Chip, then why did you bring in 5 QBs including the trade up to draft Barkley?

    Sometimes I wonder if even Chip believes half the crap that spews from his big mouth. But by all means, keep making excuses for Vick and serve him up another year. We love it in the nfc east.

    Romo had an even worse O line in 2012 and still swept the eagles.

    OK haters, it’s all yours now!

  37. As an Eagles fan I just want him off my team. I don’t care if he comes and plays lights out, he’s almost impossible to route for. He had a nice reclamation project going until he made he clear he didn’t think he deserved any blame… sad to see chip thinks the same.

  38. I’m an Eagles fan…but I have to disagree with Chip on this to a point. Yes having a makeshift offensive line will hurt any quarterbacks chance of success, but Nick Foles seemed to come in and do okay behind the same line so I’m guessing some of the blame does need to fall on Vick

  39. Chip, please keep believing that, and go with Vick as you starter.

    -The rest of the NFL

  40. Nick Foles functioned better at the quarterback position with a less offensive line and skill position talent than Michael Vick.

    That was because Foles could read a defense pre-snap, recognize a need to get rid of the ball quickly and quickly go through his progressions and get the ball out.

    Vick did not do any of those. He is a declining athlete and where his athleticism used to save him, it cannot anymore.

    The offensive line was admittedly poor – were some of the turnovers on them, sure. However, there were plenty of instances last year where a more awareness at the QB position would have saved turnovers and probably won games.

    The Vick apologists do not acknowledge this because they cannot. We are simply “haters”, who “cannot look past what the man has done.”

    You’re right – I can’t look passed the fact that the guy is lousy QB and football player despite being blessed with more athletic talent than most.

  41. The dream team has been dismantled, only to be taken over by the newly hired {dream coach}.

    Seems a lot of dreaming has been going on in Philly for a long time now. It’s time to face reality and realize that the whole team is bad, and it will take some time to fix.

    Perplexed by the Barkley pick-up in the draft?

    Many things wrong with the birds, just not the o-line.

  42. Chip,

    You are absolutely correct on two points: the fact that he had very little line protect and that he is tough. But he certainly froze every time he saw outside or inside blitzing. Foles was able to compensate with the same blitzes when he played and with a lesser line. Inevitably, defenses started not to blitz as much after a while becasue of Foles awareness of them.

    Pouring over multiple games films it was also most aparent that the offensive scheme was so predictable which further caused Vick to have the year he had.

    Last point: Whenever the line scheme was “max protect” Vick still held on to the ball to long.

    You can’t teach an old dog new tricks and all DCoordinators now have the blueprint to scheme against him.

  43. “We have a different definition of tough in Texas, and they dont wear skirts like Miss Vicky.”

    Yes apparently you are armed with a big bad keyboard.

  44. “You’re right – I can’t look passed the fact that the guy is lousy QB and football player despite being blessed with more athletic talent than most.”

    Would have agreed with you up until this line. He is not a lousy QB. Declining sure. TJack is a lousy QB. Learn the difference.

  45. “OK Chip, then why did you bring in 5 QBs including the trade up to draft Barkley? ”

    Do you really think Chip is going to tell you EVERYTHING? Get a clue…

  46. I couldn’t agree more.

    On a side note:

    “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.” -Chip Kelly

    First NFL Coach to ever admit that? I love this guy! He’s a no BS, put your money where your mouth is, and go out and play coach. So excited for this season to begin!

  47. The Eagles debacle was a total team effort. But that’s not a bad thing. The Eagles finally had no excuse to move on from the Reid error.

  48. +1 to all the posts above that mention the fact that there should’ve been more of a focus on running the ball, with such a patch-work offensive line, last season.

  49. After Vick’s 1st year starting in Atlanta everyone and their mom wanted to make tons of excuses for this guy’s terrible QB play throughout his other years there. Crying about his o-line and WRs seemed like it would never stop.

    Vick goes to the Eagles has a big 1st year and impresses, but even by the end of that year teams were starting to figure him out in the Eagles offense. Now history is repeating itself, people always need to find someone else to blame for Vick’s shortcomings. Rodgers and Reothlisberger never have good pass protection and are less mobile than Vick but they still play much better. Vick was never a good passer and never will be.

    You Eagle fans just have to hope Chip has a great scheme that will keep passing very simple for Vick while allowing him to run quite a bit.

  50. Please all of you Foles lovers (Vick haters). Go away with the revisionist history i.e. Delusional thinking. Vick fumbled 11 times in 10 games amd Foles fumbled 7 times in 5 games but that makes Foles the better QB ? Why not let them compete and may the best QB win ?? Because in your world it is never done like that, in your world you attempt to talk your way into what you want regardless of any and all facts. Thank God this is Chip’s world and not yours.


  52. I have to laugh at some people that write in to this webb site think they know football. Here is the facts, not an opinion…The Eagles had the worst Off Line in all football last year.

  53. Sorry, but this is a complete farce. Vick didn’t just suck wind last season, he sucked in 2011 too. And he sucked for the back half of 2010 … a fact people conveniently forget.

    The offensive line woes didn’t help, but Vick is Vick. He’s not that good. He can’t read defenses, he turns the ball over too much, makes bad decisions, and is wildly inconsistent. He is what he is. Time for him to move on.

    Maybe the Jets will take him lol

  54. Oldbyrd,,, Possibly in the history of football. And some idiot mentions that McNabb (who they hated also, until it suits their purpose) played with a bad line as proof that Vick is a bad QB. Wow the lengths that they will go to to prove the unprovable. Once more with feeling,,, LET THEM COMPETE AND MAY THE BEST QB WIN. Seems to be what Chipper plans to do.

  55. It’s amazing to me that people see this as an excuse… and it’s all opposing fans who only saw Eagles highlights and didn’t have to sit through that abomination last season. Lets put this in perspective… the Birds lost their center, the guy who makes all the blocking assignment calls, and replaced him with a practice squad player. They lost the best left tackle in football and tried to replace him with Bell/Dunlap. And lost a Pro Bowl caliber right tackle in Herremans. Not to mention Andy’s handpicked firefighting guard Danny Watkins was worse than Stacey Andrews. That was an historically bad Oline. Don’t give me the Packers and Chargers Oline, they don’t even compare. On top of that you have a gameplan where every snap is a 7-step drop to attempt a deep pass into triple coverage over the top. Now, can anyone QB complete a 25+ yard pass into triple coverage with less than two seconds of protection? Not to mention Marty and Andy continually attempted play action when they NEVER ran the ball! All defenses had to do was keep their safeties deep and blitz and they’d get a 3 and out every time. Vick was bad but he was never put in a position to succeed.

  56. Oh that wacky offensive line – always failing to audible out of bad plays, protect the ball, hit receivers in stride and read coverages….

  57. Y’all have short memories. What about 2011?
    “Tough”? If that is what you call toughness, Chip Kelley, thank God
    You are on the Eagles staff. If I were you, I would figure out how to reverse the rich contract of that “comeback kid”. Miss vick (and his cartoonish felon brother) do nothing but whine and cry. If any other NFL team thought it was all the Oline- you would have received offers. No one wants Mr. Redeamed and his team of handlers- mediocre, high salary and a ticking time bomb.
    My favorite is how he blamed his upbringing and the hard working “in his life parents” for his stupid “mistakes”. Whine, cry some more vick.

    Best of all, he “lost focus” with the Falcons a few years ago while he was throwing his full concentration on Bad Newz Kennels- and he wasn’t even good at THAT.

    Watch out Kelly, you will be on the media blame list yet!

  58. Well, it is a sad day to see the greatest mind for a coach leave the Oregon program, but if I were a Philly fan I would be stoked to have Chip Kelly as the Eagles coach. Keep in mind that Chip will make all of these quarterbacks compete for their job…not one of them is favored until the QB competition is over. He has the ability to make people buy in to his system and be effective. Coming from Oregon and playing for Oregon… Chip will play to strengths of his players. All I can say is I feel sorry for his opposition, so Philly fans just sit back, have a beer and get use to winning.

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