Vick needs to protect himself to help Eagles

The magic that makes Michael Vick so special, and maybe the MVP of the entire league this season, is exactly what could also lead to his demise. It’s the classic double-edged sword.

It’s going to be a problem that Vick really doesn’t know how to protect himself on the field. He doesn’t make people miss, he doesn’t slide and he doesn’t go out of bounds. I think it’s going to be an issue for the Eagles, because their offense all but stops without him.

Vick just can’t get out of harm’s way sometimes, leading to unnecessary hits. I don’t think there’s any way he survives the season the way he’s playing.

Teams can’t stop Vick, but he can stop himself.

In a way I feel like I’m criticizing Vick, taking him aside and giving him an earful. But he  needs to understand how valuable he is to the entire franchise. By taking these hits, he’s putting the Eagles’ entire season in jeopardy. There’s no question that Andy Reid could win his first Super Bowl this year. The Eagles have all the tools to do it, and Vick is the key ingredient.

Part of Vick’s magic, though, is the unpredictability of what he does. Nobody really knows where’s he’s going to go next. It’s like squeezing Jello. You just don’t know where he’s going to come out from.

It’s almost comical the amount of attention Vick and DeSean Jackson get from defenses because of their speed. But that will all fall apart without Vick. It’s not an indictment on Kevin Kolb, either, but he can’t make defenses do what Vick makes them do. The Giants showed their concern for Vick in everything they did, using schemes against the Eagles they hadn’t used all season. We’re going to see that from teams every week.

There’s a certain arrogance about Vick, who has a Superman tattoo on his hand. But that’s what he is, and he knows it. But he literally has to take it down just a notch. He can still make all the plays and still be the MVP and win a Super Bowl. But he doesn’t need to take on safeties, dive head-first between players and avoid going out of bounds. He needs to be his own safety net.

I don’t even think this year’s MVP is really about statistics. It’s about exciting your team and your fan base. Vick has Jason Peters, a classic underachiever, playing the best football of his life. Everyone wants to be out there and be a part of it. He’s energized the entire franchise. That’s what special players can do.

You don’t want to take away what makes Vick the special player he is, but I would love to explain to him that he can’t continue to let guys get their shots in. He’s done that in the past, but now he’s playing at a totally different level. He needs to be a little bit more like Peyton Manning.

Live to play another play.

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