The Education of Michael Vick
One of the major criticisms I have of Michael Vick is the fact that he doesn’t seem to be making a lot of extra effort to get to know his receivers better. Peyton Manning seemingly set the precedent when it comes to the near-telepathic bond a quarterback can have with his receivers. Other passers are copying what Manning does, including Carson Palmer. It’s time Vick does it too. And Jim Mora indicated that he is doing so in the offseason.
Now, I don’t expect the same results of Manning, in that I expect Vick to be tossing 40 touchdowns in a single season. But it would be nice that if by the time training camp rolls around, Vick is nearly on the same page with his receivers. That was very evident last summer, that he and notably Jenkins and Roddy White weren’t on the same page. Part of that may be attributed to the fact that the starting lineup was not set yet, but he won’t have that excuse this summer. White and Jenks will be starting this season. One thing I did notice from Vick during the season, was that he was much more hesitant to tuck and run and probably forced some passes to those two wideouts in order to try and build a stronger rapport.
His rapport with Finneran developed over several years, from their shared days as backups in 2001, to both being promoted as starters in 2002 and beyond. The same with Crumpler, another guy he worked with on the second string from day one.
This is the vaulted third year of the West Coast Offense for Vick. It is the year that the light is supposed to come on. If not, according to those that teach the offensive system, it is unlikely to ever will. I think we got a preview of that from Vick’s outstanding month of November passing. Now that he should be developing a solid rapport with his starting receivers along with the top backup and the tight end, I really expect a big year from Vick. He may not wow us with a 100 passer rating, but I think we’ll see his first 3000-yard passing season.