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Michael Vick: Eagles Must Find a Way to Protect Star QB

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 05:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to throw a pass against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 5, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Jesse ReedCorrespondent IFebruary 11, 2013

Michael Vick is a perfect fit to run a Chip Kelly offense, but the Philadelphia Eagles won't win games without first addressing the offensive line and keeping Vick on his feet. 

The Eagles and Vick came to an agreement on a one-year deal on Monday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter:

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane added the following:

Vick was set to make $16.9 million this year before this new deal, a price tag that would have certainly marked him as an expendable player. But Vick wanted to stay in Philly and, after a close examination of Vick's tape, Kelly wanted to keep him. 

Thus, the one-year deal came to pass. 

Kelly's offense is predicated first and foremost by a pounding, relentless running game, which will certainly help Vick stay healthy in 2013.

During his tenure with the Oregon Ducks, Kelly's offense ranked no lower than No. 6 every single year, and the team's lowest per-game average on the ground was 231.7 yards, back in 2009. So, it's safe to assume Kelly will utilize LeSean McCoy's and Bryce Brown's rare abilities more than what Eagles fans saw under Andy Reid's reign. 

Nevertheless, the Eagles still have tons of work to do in order to ensure Vick stays healthy in 2013. 

Between Vick, Nick Foles and Trent Edwards, Philadelphia quarterbacks attempted 618 passes last season and were sacked 48 times.

Pro Football Focus (subscription required) tracks every single snap. According to the site's records, Vick dropped back to pass 418 times and was pressured 173 times, 41.4 percent of the time. 

In Vick's defense, when Foles was behind center, that rate did not improve much. He dropped back 292 times (PFF) and was pressured 108 times, 37 percent of the time.

To put the stats in perspective, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning dropped back 655 times (PFF) and was pressured just 131 times—roughly half as often, or 20 percent of the time. 

If Vick (or Foles, for that matter) is to have any success this year behind center, Philadelphia must improve its offensive line. 

Granted, Jason Peters was out the entire 2012 season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon, his second such injury on his right side. Peters was one of the NFL's premier offensive tackles and, if he can return to pre-injury form, part of the team's troubles will be instantly cured. 

Regardless, left tackle wasn't the only problem child on the team's offensive line last year. 

Demetress Bell was atrocious, King Dunlap wasn't much better, Todd Herremans was in the same boat as Dunlap and every interior lineman played poorly except Evan Mathis, who is one of the NFL's top guards. 

Kelly and his new staff have a lot of work left to improve this offense.

Signing Vick to a one-year deal with incentives is an excellent start, but he's no miracle worker. He needs help.

Unless Philly makes significant upgrades to its offensive line, the Eagles offense will continue to struggle in 2013, regardless of who is at helm. 


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 


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