As it stands, the Eagles have four quarterbacks on the roster: Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Trent Edwards and newly signed Dennis Dixon. New coach Chip Kelly will spend the coming weeks and months figuring out the depth chart. Vick, now 32 and injury prone, will use the opportunity to prove that he's still a legit NFL QB.
Kelly talked about exactly that this week.
“Number 1, I think when you look at his age and study it for quarterbacks, he is actually younger than Tony Romo and about the same age as Eli Manning," Kelly said via PhillyMag.com's Tim McManus. " I think sometimes when you look at him, because he has been in the league for a while and he came out early from college and you look at his age and say, boy, he's aging. And it's funny. So I think there is a lot more to Michael.”
For the record, Manning, Romo and Vick are all 32 years old. Manning has been sacked 213 times in eight NFL seasons, Romo has taken 178 sacks in nine seasons and Vick has been sacked 272 times in 10 seasons. Even more telling: Manning has attempted 4,457 passes in that time, which works out to one sack for every 22 dropbacks. Romo is sacked once every 18 dropbacks while Vick is sacked once every 11 dropbacks. The takeaway: even though they're the same age, Vick has taken a lot more sacks, not to mention the hits that he has absorbed as a runner.
Vick said last week that he thinks he can rush for 1,000 yards in Kelly's offense. The implication: he has no intention of curbing his free-wheeling ways, which directly resulted in him missing nine games the last two seasons.
So how will Vick handle the contact that will come with Kelly's unconventional (by NFL standards, anyway) offense?
“We'll see," he said during an appearance on WIP radio in Philly this week (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). "I don't know what else to tell you. I can't give you no explanation for that. It's probably one of the toughest questions you've asked me since we've been talking. I don't know. I think just to train -- train hard and pray to God. That's gonna be my motto. Hopefully, I can sustain 16 games. If I'm out there -- go out there and put forth your best effort and see what happens, that's it."
Not a particularly reassuring answer, especially since Vick has played in 16 games a grand total of one time in his 10 NFL seasons. The upside: Kelly stresses simplifying the game, something that would benefit Vick, who seemed to struggle with information overload at times last season. Still, that means learning a new offense, something that new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur doesn't think will be a problem.
“I don't know if it's rebuilding," Shurmur said via PhillyMag.com. "I think it's going to be very new from what he was trained to do because, systematically, it's going to be different. But it's something that we'll teach it in a way where he'll be able to pick it up quickly and get out there and do what he does.”