Chip Kelly, Andy Reid still think Michael Vick can play at high level

By Ryan Wilson |

Can Michael Vick win the Jets starting QB job? (USATSI)
Can Michael Vick win the Jets starting QB job? (USATSI)

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Michael Vick signed with the Jets last week after the Eagles chose to let him walk in free agency. But that doesn't mean Vick's former employers don't think he's still a capable NFL quarterback.

"I still think he's got a lot of football left in him," said Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who has replaced Vick with the man he replaced in New York: Mark Sanchez. "He's got tremendous arm skill. I don't know too many guys in the league that have the arm that Mike does. There's still days in practice in December when he rips a couple and you're just like, 'Whoa.' He can throw the football. He still has the ability."

At 33, Vick may not possess the athleticism he once did, but he still remains one of the NFL's most athletic quarterbacks.

“He's probably not as fast as when he first came into the league,” Kelly continued. “But when he first came into the league, he was the fastest guy to ever play the position. A slower version of Michael is a lot faster than maybe every other quarterback in the league, with the exception of one or two."

Vick also has experience in offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's scheme dating back to their time together in Philly when Andy Reid was the coach. And Reid, like Kelly, expects Vick to have plenty of success.

"I think he can still play," said Reid, now with the Chiefs. "I'm not sure he's going in (with) that frame of mind (as Geno Smith's backup). I don't know. I think he understands the young kid is the starter. He's going to compete with him every day, but yet he'll never step on that kid's toes. That's not how he operates."

Last week, before the Jets signed Vick, coach Rex Ryan said that Smith's "going to be hard to beat out" for the starting gig. But during the annual NFL meetings this week, Ryan said the job will be wide open, and then he echoed Kelly and Reid when talking about Vick's skills.

"He's an unusual guy. He was unusual when he came out of the league because of how athletic he was but I think he's definitely still … you see all that athleticism he has," Ryan said. "He can still run, moves well in the pocket, he's more accurate when throwing from the pocket than he used to be when he came into the league. He's got a big arm and can still run so very dangerous. I like the fact that both those guys give us the ability to run zone reads and all those types of things that help your running game. Having a guy, that mobile quarterback, is harder to defend then maybe a guy who's a stationary pocket guy.

"That being said, I'd probably rather defend a mobile quarterback than a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady."

Put another way: It wouldn't be the offseason if the Jets didn't have a quarterback controversy of some description.

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