Former New York Jets great Joe Namath talked to 1050 ESPN's "Michael Kay Show" on Thursday afternoon about the evolution of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick's game. I thought Namath made a keen observation regarding something Eagles coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have done to make Vick more comfortable in the pocket:
"Andy Reid has got to get a lot of the credit for utilizing Michael with real good plays," said Namath. "In other words, his depth varies when he goes back to pass. He's allowed to take a deeper drop. They want him back there so he can get out of trouble with his footwork, and he's got some big-play people to work with, too."
Vick has such a powerful arm that it doesn't matter if he takes a deeper drop than most quarterbacks. And it also allows him time to juke defenders. When a quarterback such as Tom Brady sidesteps a defender, there's a chance the player could recover and sack him. When Vick eludes a rusher, you rarely see the player on the screen again. That's why defensive players look tentative against Vick a lot of times.
Namath also said he could identify with Vick's desire to become a better person:
"Being a guy that sinned myself, the man paid his dues, he's fresh, and let's go, " Namath said. "Let's hope that he understands. The repentance is there, he felt good, he's a new man. I'm a better man myself for having fouled up along the way and changed. Michael has changed. Change is a constant. It can either be better or worse but nobody stays still. Michael's changed for the better."
It's pretty apparent that Vick's the biggest story in the league right now. No matter who you talk to this week, the conversation eventually leads to the Eagles quarterback.