Friday, August 14, 2009

Vickkampf: Werner von Braun Is Now Making Rockets for the Other Team

Michael Vick returns December 6. You think there might be a little coverage of that event at the Georgia Dome? G-d help us all if the Falcons are struggling at that point.

I have to admit that I'm interested to see what Andy Reid does with Vick. He's clearly not bringing him in to compete for the starting spot. Donovan McNabb is entrenched as the starter and the Eagles spent a second round pick on Kevin Kolb in 2008. The Eagles' primary offense is a variant of the West Coast Offense, which proved to be a poor fit for Vick's skill-set when Jim Mora and Greg Knapp were calling the shots here.

Rather, I suspect that Reid is going to deploy a version of the Wildcat. College fans should be familiar with the offense that Reid is going to use, as it will most likely look a lot like the Spread 'n' Shred that is all the rage in college football right now. NFL types will look confused and call this offense the Wildcat, but Vick is an actual quarterback and the Wildcat (as I understand it) usually involved a running back or wide receiver taking the snap. If Reid does his homework and watches enough college tape, he could create a devastating offense using Vick as the quarterback, Brian Westbrook as the runner, and Jeremy Maclin and Desean Jackson as the slot receivers. Imagine the pressure a defense would face with Vick and Westbrook running the zone read and Jackson and Maclin working into plays as pitchmen. This wouldn't be the Eagles' base offense, but for 15-20 plays per game, it would be incredible. Additionally, the Eagles would avoid the main reason why Vick couldn't run the Spread 'n' Shred in the NFL: the injury risk. If Vick is running the offense for 15-20 plays, then he isn't going to take the same pounding that he would if he ran the offense full-time.

I have all sorts of questions about the implications of the Eagles running a college offense with Vick. First, Andy Reid is a West Coast Offense guy. Can he figure out how to run a different offense now that he has the right personnel for it? Second, NFL teams have a lot of practice time, but do they have enough to deploy two very different offenses? Third, if the Spread 'n' Shred is successful for 15-20 snaps per game, will there be pressure on the Eagles to expand the package? If Vick is doing well for the Eagles, does Miami create a bigger package for Pat White? Will another team in the NFL go to the Spread for 50% of its snaps? Or all of its snaps? Will this create a bigger draft market for college quarterbacks who run the offense? Like that guy in Gainesville whose name escapes me right now?


chg said...

When/if it succeeds, will it make Peter King's head explode?

Will Andy Reid be acclaimed by other northeast media types for inventing the offense?

Will a single NFL writer rethink the 'professional offenses are non-descript and predictable because 'gimmicks' won't work against pro defenses' script?

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