Two weeks ago we all had a hearty chuckle when word surfaced that Michael Vick — a quarterback who runs a whole lot, and is therefore subjected to tacklers in the open field who want to strip the ball from his hands more often — has only now learned how to properly hold and secure a football thanks to the teachings and wisdom of Chip Kelly. He fumbled 11 times in 2012 over just the nine games he appeared in before getting injured, and going forward the frequency of those turnovers will now be minimized. In theory.
Vick has been practicing with his new-found grasp of a core football skill for a bit now, and he elaborated on his lack of knowledge prior to Kelly. Before reading the quote below, I’d like to remind you that this fall Vick will enter his 11th season as a professional quarterback, and prior to that he spent two years at Virginia Tech, one of which ended with his Hokies playing in the National Championship game while he finished third in the Heisman voting.
Alright, you may now continue.
From Tim McManus of Phillymag.com, here’s what Vick said recently about his learning process:
“As crazy as it may sound, I never carried the football correctly. And that’s partly my fault because my coaches always got everybody in a circle and did a four-points-of-pressure drill, and I never paid attention, thought I was doing it right. Now I know how to hold it. It feels comfortable, it’s tight, so I’m just trying to challenge myself each and every day and that’s what I’m doing.”
Vick still deserves much of the blame and ridicule here, and he’s inviting it by admitting he had formed bad habits, and didn’t pay attention in drills because he didn’t see the need. But that’s why at worst, the blame is shared between Vick, and every head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach who’s worked with him. Ever.
It remains beyond comprehension that no one noticed exactly what Kelly did a few weeks back, and said something like “hey Mike, you’re failing to grasp a fundamental football skill” just with much more profanity. And maybe they did, and Vick was still being Vick, and not paying attention. Here’s another wild and crazy thought though: it’s a coach’s job to teach, and make a player pay attention while he’s doing it.
There’s just so much mishandling here that it’s simply baffling.