Can Michael Vick Return to Glory Under Chip Kelly’s Offense?

With teams beginning their minicamps, personnel questions will be answered as teams see what their players can do and what they can’t do. One of the more interesting questions out there for this upcoming season is whether or not Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick can thrive under new coach Chip Kelly’s offense.

But first he has to get the starting role and to do that, he will face competition against a stable of young quarterbacks including Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon and maybe Matt Barkley.

Kelly has spoken highly of Foles but just last month he commented that Vick and Foles were “even” in the competition. He also added Dixon into the mix as he took first team snaps at a recent three-day April minicamp.

Remember, Dixon was a quarterback at Oregon and thrived when Kelly was the team’s offensive coordinator but most recently he was with the Baltimore Ravens. He just signed a two-year contract with the Eagles in March.

Now this week after the aforementioned minicamp, Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has a different take on the competition. He sees Vick as the current leader.

He said on Thursday via Philly.com, “Right now, you’ve got Mike going with the ones and Nick ‘sprinkled in.”

Maclin however would not commit to who will have the starting role come September.

Many believe the 33-year-old will eventually get the starting job. Kelly has repeatedly said it’s an open competition and it doesn’t appear that he will make it easy to get there.

Lucky for Vick, after last season’s dismal one, he is essentially getting another chance with this new coaching regime.

In 2012, he had 2,362 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. On the running side, he had 332 yards with one touchdown as the team finished with a 4-12 record.

Staying healthy has been a challenge for Vick and in the three previous seasons, he’s been out for 11 games (five in 2012) as well seen some limited participation in other ones.

He knows the starting role is his to lose and said at the team’s minicamp via ESPN, “I still feel like it’s my team. I just know I believe in myself … I believe in my abilities. I know with the right team around me I can lead this football team because I’ve done it before.”

Vick also commented that from Kelly’s training regimen, he has added nine new pounds of muscle in an effort to be strong in 2013.

This could be a challenge as he hasn’t played a full season of 16 games since 2006–one year before he went to prison.

Vick could thrive in Kelly’s up-tempo offense thanks to his running skills but can you teach an old dog a new trick?

You also have to wonder what Kelly’s expectations are for his starting quarterback.

He said via ESPN after the minicamp, “We’ll find a way no matter who our quarterbacks are to put a game plan in where they can be successful. Sometimes there’s a misconception of what I’m looking for in a quarterback. I’m looking for a quarterback that can help us score points and win games. If we have to throw it 50 times, we’ll throw it 50 times.”

Whether Vick will return to glory under Kelly is yet to be determined but you have to say he is working hard to get there.


Debbie Baratz

Deb has been writing about the NFL and NCAA football for the last few years. She is a full-time writer and an avid sports fan. Follow her on twitter @ldbar.

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