Michael Vick is entering his third full season with the Philadelphia Eagles this season, and despite his short stay in Philadelphia fans have already seen many different dimensions of Vick. After Kevin Kolb was hurt in the first game of the 2010 season, Vick stepped in and had a phenomenal year to win over the starting role going forward. However, a disappointing and injury-plagued 2011 season brought Vick back down to earth as the Eagles missed the playoffs after starting the season 4-8. With the 2012 season kicking off this weekend in Cleveland, fans want to know which Michael Vick will show up for the Eagles this season.
If the preseason happens to give us any indication for how the season is going to go, expect to see rookie quarterback Nick Foles under center a lot. Vick only played in parts of the first two preseason games this summer, and he was hurt in both of them. In the first game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Vick's throwing hand hit a helmet. The next week against the New England Patriots, Vick took a hard hit to the ribs after trying to throw a pass deep downfield. While neither injury should affect Vick long-term throughout this season, fans are holding their breath wondering if Vick can stay healthy throughout the season. History is not on Vick's side, as he has played all 16 regular season games just once in his career.
While injuries are a concern, the other big concern is which Vick will show up on the field in 2012? In 2010, Vick revamped the offense and redefined his style. In Atlanta, Vick was a run-first quarterback who used his speed instead of his arm every chance he was given. However in 2010 Vick was looking at all of his receivers, checking down to a nearby receiver when needed, and only running when no one was open after allowing the routes to develop for a few seconds. Vick had more completions, passing yards, touchdowns and fewer interceptions than he ever had as a starter in his career. Vick's play led the Eagles to the NFC Eastern Division title while Vick himself earned the AP Comeback of the Year Award while also earning a start in the Pro Bowl.
The 2011 season went in the opposite direction for Vick. When pressured, he fell back into his old habits of running-first. A player who the year before seemed to never make a bad decision when passing was now passing down the field into double and triple coverage. In addition, injuries were also a big part of Vick's season as he only played in 13 games. Vick threw for fewer touchdowns and had more than double the number of interceptions in 2011 as the team missed the playoffs.
2012 is a big year for the Eagles and for Vick. At 32 years old, Vick is not getting any younger and he may not have an offense this talented again in his career. With LeSean McCoy in the backfield and DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin as the starting wide receivers, Vick should be able to have huge numbers while the team racks up the wins. In addition, Andy Reid is potentially on the hot seat as Jeffery Lurie said another eight win season would be unacceptable for this team.
Like always, Michael Vick has a lot to prove heading into a new football season. He has the pure talent to be one of the top players in the league, but can he make the right decisions and throw the right passes to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league? Vick expects more from himself this season, as do the fans. Another mediocre season will not be accepted by fans or by ownership and if that happens there will be a lot of changes in Philadelphia in 2013, and that could mean a new quarterback.
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