This is the chance to build a dynasty, as the Philadelphia Eagles are thinking about. Not just one Super Bowl, but a few over the coming years, and as long as Michael Vick is performing as he can when healthy, but the key word seems to be healthy and as banged up as little as possible, which always seems to be the greatest concern about their quarterback.
There’s no doubt in Vick’s mind and in Andy Reid’s mind that his #1 QB will be ready for the season opener against the Cleveland Browns on September 9. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Eagles have it in them for a much better season than last year’s disappointing 8-8, missing out on the playoffs after being preseason favorites to win the NFC East and perhaps the NFC.
There’s less talk this time about a super team. No big free agent signings – The Eagles had an OK defense, a decent quarterback (at least that was his level of play) and a good running game last season. This year it need to be more than that. They’ve added three defensive players with their first three draft picks – Defensive Tackle Fletcher Cox out of Mississippi State; Linebacker Mychal Kendricks out of California; Defensive End Vinny Curry out of Marshall.
They traded for more defensive players – Two time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryan of the Houston Texas; Ollie Ogbu, a defensive end from the Indianapolis Colts and another former Colt, Kevin Thomas at cornerback. Despite all the changes, it’s mostly about keeping Vick healthy through the season and even more importantly, as the regular season wraps up and we enter the playoffs. As the Giants proved last year, it’s about getting hot and healthy at the right moment, putting the 7-7 start behind them to win the Super Bowl.
And no one is going to change the way Vick’s play. At 32, Vick isn’t becoming a pocket passer. He posted a record-year in passing yards for a second straight season in 2011, but his completion ratio dropped and his TD-INT ratio fell apart with a mediocre 18-14 compared to his 21-6 from 2010.
It’s going to be about Reid’s play-calling that limits the chances of Vick getting hurt, banged up and fumbling the ball. Vick is very good at retrieving the ball after he’s fumbled it, but he still cost his team 16 total turnovers last season in comparison with his 19 touchdowns, with his feet or with his arms.
You can say the offensive line needed another season in getting better all you’d like, but Vick wasn’t good enough last year. All the talent that’s there in Philly on both ends of the ball are waiting for Michael Vick to put together a full season of playing great and remaining healthy, with the second half of the equation, especially late in the season, being the most important ingredient in the recipe.