Why Mike Vick Will Have Success This Season…Or Could

Since Michael Vick had his comeback season in 2010 we have seen his production go down hill. There are many theories for this such as an unhealthy offensive line, his inability to read defenses, his health, or a combination of all. Whatever the case may be, Vick should thrive in this offense. (My 2013 Eagles Stat Projections)

Chip Kelly’s playbook is simple but complicated. It’s simple in a way that makes it easier for the quarterback and other players to understand what is going on. The complicated part, which may not be complicated at all, are the options that can come from one formation. Check out this video of Oregon running the read-option under Kelly. This video explains the offense at a level for the casual football fan to understand. Also check out http://fishduck.com/playbook/ for tutorials on the formations and plays in the read-option.

Now as you can see, this offense, which Kelly is figured to run, will spread out the players thus creating more space for the players on the field. This offense makes it harder for the defense to guess where the play is going. As you saw in the video in the game vs UCLA, UCLA’s D-line shifted to the left when Oregon’s tailback switched sides and they stuffed the play. So it isn’t unstoppable but it is hard to stop because the play can go in many different directions.

This type of scheme forces players to win the individual match-ups and to also be disciplined. If a player over pursues then the play goes backside. If they don’t shed the block then there is space for the running back or quarterback to gain yards. When the defense starts to play the run more aggressively then you have the option to fake the run and pass (play action) over the top.

Now a few days ago after I posted my projected stats I received a nice comment from one of our biggest fans on twitter.

Critics   I would agree with this kind fans opinion usually, but in this case he is wrong. If this were a regular offense such as the Patriots or Ravens with Mike Vick leading the way I would agree with his statement, but here is why I have to disagree.

I looked back at the quarterbacks who played under Chip Kelly during his 5 years at Oregon- ’07-08 as OC and 09-12 as the HC. In the respective years Kelly had Dixon-2007, Masoli from 2008-09′, Thomas from 2010 to 2011, and Mariota in 2012. I looked at each players completion percentage, passing yards, touchdown passes, and interceptions.

Completion %
Passing TD
Passing Yards

As you can see each quarterback under Kelly had a good touchdown to interception ratio. Why? well it is mostly because of what I said in the beginning about keeping the defense off-balance and the bevy of options from a formation.

Kelly didn’t have the top recruits committing to Oregon so he utilized each individuals skill set so that it would fit with the scheme, vice verse. The only “good” quarterback Chip had under him from a passing perspective was in 2012 when he had Marcus Mariota. Other than that all the quarterbacks had some sort of mobility but ultimately it was the formations, reads, and options off of certain plays that led to Oregon’s success.

Now I’ll get to the running back comment. The gentleman said that McCoy will have nowhere near the yards I projected. Again, If this was the old offense under Andy Reid or even a conventional offense then I would have to agree but here is why I disagree.

As you hopefully saw in the video, which only displays one formation with one play, you can see that the running backs have a lot of space to run because of how spread out the offense is. We all know Shady is probably one of the toughest if not the toughest of backs to tackle one-on-one. Let’s take a look at the running backs at Oregon’s stats while under Kelly.

Carries Yards Yards Per Carry Rushing TD
2012-Barner 278 1767 6.4 21
2011-James 247 1805 7.3 18
2010-James 294 1731 5.9 21
2009-James 230 1546 6.7 14
2008-Johnson 168 1201 7.1 13
2008-Blount 137 1002 7.3 17
2007-Stewart 280 1722 6.2 11

As you can see every back had a YPC greater than 5.9. I’m projecting McCoy to have around 18-22 caries a game. If he has at least 22 carries every game at a 5.5 ypc average than McCoy will finish with 1,936 but if he has 18 carries at 5.5 ypc average that puts him at 1,584. I projected McCoy at 1684 yards for the season. He would need to average 105.25 yards a game to accomplish that. At that rate McCoy would need to average 4.78 yards a carry on 22 attempts. That average is slightly higher than his career average of 4.6 but way less than 5.9. His 4.6 career average is skewed because of the injuries to the line in 2012. Based on these numbers my projection for McCoy isn’t unreasonable at all.

Lastly, Jackson’s 74 catches are figured because of more short passes like bubble screens and etc. He will still have opportunities to go deep just as much but Kelly will look to get the ball into the hands of another explosive weapon besides McCoy. Click on this link to view Oregon’s leading receivers from the years 2007-to-2012 (Oregon’s Player Stats). Kelly never had a big time receiver while at Oregon but he did have solid Tight Ends.


About Kickinit215

I am a die hard sports fan. Philly all day every day! I have always had a huge passion for sports and sharing my opinion surrounding our teams.


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