Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees have all had their fair share of injuries. In the 2006-2007 season, Brees tore his labrum in his throwing shoulder, which would ultimately result in his departure from San Diego. In the 2008-2009 season, just one year after nearly having an undefeated season, Tom Brady tore his ACL in the first game of the season. Peyton Manning missed the entire 2011-2012 season due to a bulging disk in his neck that required four surgeries.
Michael Vick has accumulated multiple injuries in his career. He has had several ankle and shoulder injuries and an injury to his rib cartilage that sidelined him for a long period of time. Then, he sustained a concussion that sidelined him for the latter half of last year.
All four of these quarterbacks have had injury issues in the past, but it seems as though Vick’s injuries have been minor, whereas the other three have all required invasive procedures. Additionally, Brees, Manning, and Brady are all older than Vick, yet they have their teams sitting at a 4-0 record early in this 2013 season. This begs the question, why does age and longevity seem to be an issue for Michael Vick? My answer to that would be 5,780 rushing yards over an 11-year career.
It is difficult for people to recognize Michael Vick’s “old age.” He still has the arm strength that impressed the Atlanta Falcons’ coaching staff into drafting him with the 1st overall draft pick in 2001, as well as the dashing speed that gave birth to a new era of speedy quarterbacks. But Vick is on the wrong side of 30.
After a certain age, if you don’t wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead. Vick exemplifies what it means to wake up with aching pains. When you take Vick’s style of play into consideration, and recollect all the of brain jarring hits that Vick has endured, along with the wear and tear that comes with being a scrambling quarterback, it becomes simpler to see why at age 33 and with 125 games under his belt, Michael Vick may be starting to decline.
Vick has basically played one and a half positions throughout his entire career. I’m not saying Vick is over the hill by any means, because he is still capable of being the starting quarterback for at least ten teams in the league. But when you compare Vick to other quarterbacks around the league who are in their 30’s, like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees, there is a glaring difference in the way growing older has affected their game.
At age 37, Manning is breaking records this season and has the Broncos looking terrifying to match up against. Brees continues to lead the NFL in passing yards year after year, and Brady literally becomes more attractive with age, just ask Gisele.
But when it comes to Vick, fans in Philadelphia are still searching for the Michael Vick that burst onto the scene following a three-year jail sentence. With age, Vick has become less explosive and therefore, a less dynamic quarterback.
There are other issues with the Eagles aside from Vick. The defense ranks 31st in points allowed, 32nd in yards allowed, 31st in passing yards allowed, and 26th in rushing yards allowed. That’s not Vick’s fault. But on the other side of the ball, the Eagles rank 1st in rushing yards. When you have a running game that is the toughest one to stop in the entire NFL, ranking 12th in the league in points earned is unacceptable. That falls on the shoulders of the quarterback.
With Chip Kelly at the helm for the Eagles’ coaching staff, Vick is being asked to do more physical work than ever before in his career. He is being told to run the fastest paced offense in the league, one at which a younger, more spry quarterback would excel.
Eagles’ half back Lesean McCoy challenged Vick to a 40-yard foot race in training camp, most likely thinking he would leave the rusty veteran in the dust. Well, Vick smoked him and it made headlines. Once again, Vick’s blinding and unnatural speed at his position has the ability, solely by itself, to draw excitement and hope from fans and coaches. But Michael Vick has endured both the career of a quarterback as well as a running back in some ways, which takes its toll on the body.
The Eagles are 1-3 at the moment and two of those losses have come against teams who are still undefeated, so the season is anything but over. Nonetheless, it is worth keeping an eye on Vick’s play, under a coach that has him running marathons on the field every Sunday.