Is Michael Vick on the Verge of Another Career Revival Under Chip Kelly?

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystMay 14, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles drops back to pass in the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick may be on the verge of the NFL's first rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches story. The first player to start in the penthouse, land in the outhouse, climb back to the penthouse, fall back to the outhouse and then scramble up the ladder to the penthouse one more time.

If you're confused, join the club. A lot of NFL teams are going to be too, once they get a look at Chip Kelly's offense this season.

That offense, which will all but certainly feature many of the hurry-up and spread concepts that were a staple of Kelly's teams at Oregon, would appear on many levels to fit Vick's skill set very well.

So, is Michael Vick headed for yet another career resurgence? Can he once again rise from the ashes, much like he did in 2010?

Well, on one hand, the table would seem set.

The Eagles kicked off OTAs on Monday and fans as well as the media were treated to a "frenetic" practice, according to Les Bowen of The Philadelphia Daily News, who also relayed that the team worked on several read-option looks.

If Kelly intends to make the read-option a staple of his offense in Philly, then that would certainly appear to help Vick's chances of landing the starting job under center. Vick is a far more mobile quarterback than either Nick Foles or Matt Barkley, and a much better passer than Dennis Dixon.

According to Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer, it seems that Vick has the early edge in terms of first-team reps in practice, but Kelly disputed that notion when speaking with Bowen:

He hasn't. Count them up. Someone charted them, I would imagine. He and Nick switched to different groups, so that's what we did ... again, it's May 13 ... we've got a long ways to go before we ever set a deptth chart or do anything like that.

Kelly is absolutely correct in that it's still early, and if Vick is going to emerge victorious from this four-way battle to lead the Eagles offense in 2013, then there are least two pitfalls the 32-year-old is going to have to avoid.

The first is turnovers. In Vick's renaissance season back in 2010, he turned the ball over only nine times while accounting for 30 total touchdowns.

Over the past two years, that script flipped alarmingly, with Vick turning the ball over 33 times compared to 32 scores.

Improved play from the offensive line may well help in that regard. Too often last year, Vick had less than no time to read the field. While he was often able to extend plays with his legs, poor decision-making led to giveaways.

The return of Jason Peters and the addition of Lane Johnson should afford whoever is under center for the Eagles more time to survey the field.

The second potential problem may be more difficult for Vick to dodge, which is a bit ironic considering it's borne of his ability to dodge.

Even at well over 30 years of age, Vick remains one of the National Football League's most agile quarterbacks. However, Vick's ability to extend plays with his mobility often leads him to hold on to the ball too long.

Kelly's offenses at Oregon may have usually featured mobile signal-callers, but they always featured a scheme built around an up-tempo style. An integral part of that style involves his quarterbacks reading the defense and getting rid of the ball quickly, then hurrying to the line to repeat it over and over again.

The ability to change his playing style to fit Kelly's offense likely poses the biggest obstacle to Vick being the starter for the Eagles in 2013.

For his part, Vick told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports that he's looking forward to the challenge and he's enjoying adapting to the demands of the new coaching staff:

Coach Kelly's offense is refreshing, it's new. I think it suits all of our quarterbacks. I think it suits our team for what we have in place as far as talent. The things that we've been asked to do and the way we've been asked to go about being professionals and the transition of doing the right things and taking care of our bodies has been outstanding.

Those comments should be music to the ears of Eagles fans. If Vick is sincere and truly dedicates himself to doing what it takes to win the starting job in Philly, then he will.

It's that simple. He has the most varied skill set of any of the quarterbacks on the Philadelphia roster. The mobility. The cannon of a left arm.

Combine those traits with a dedicated quarterback with his head on straight and you have all the makings of player who could do some serious damage in Chip Kelly's offense.

It's a long way to Week 1, but the rest of the NFC East would be well-served to take notice.

Vick may be headed for the penthouse again. The last time that happened, the Philadelphia Eagles won the division.


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