Asked about critics who say he holds on to the ball too long and takes too long to make reads (that sounds ... familiar) during a recent interview Vick declined to not make a comment, called his critics "ignorant" and said they "know nothing about football."
“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 told 97.5 the Fanatic 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.”
This should go over well. Vick is a transcendent athlete, but the reality is he has frequently held on to the ball longer than he should and tried to use his athleticism to make plays when plays didn't exist.
He had an interesting point, though, when justifying why he had to hold the ball longer (but, um, that kind of disproves his theory that critics are incorrect, right?).
“We had a lot of deeper throws last year, which required more time,” Vick said. “It's just a big difference. Not to say there was anything wrong with the West Coast system, I loved it. I spent seven years in it, and it was cool. But I think the change of pace for me at this point in my career is good and the game is a lot easier now.”
It's hard to disagree with that notion. I think he'll find more success in Chip Kelly's quick-hitting system than he did previously, at least when it comes to playing consistent football. One thing he said about Kelly's system really stuck out to me, too.
Specifically, he said Chip told him how to "run with the football."
“Chip told me how to run with the football the other day,” Vick said. “He taught me how to run with the football and how to carry the football, and I think it's something that you just have to work on."
Vick apparently wasn't joking -- he related an incident where he broke out of the pocket, and after the play showed Kelly how he ran with the ball. Kelly promptly knocked the ball out of his hands and told him to tuck the football in a manner that will secure it. Given Vick's penchant for running with the ball in a way that has only slightly less security than Bryce Brown's carrying style, it's surprising no one's pointed this out before.
The much-maligned Eagles quarterback has a lot to prove this season. He's still not a lock to be the starter, but if he wins the job and the offense is as good as he's expecting it to be, the results might be good enough to shut up his critics. At least for a little while.