Eagles re-sign Michael Vick, but will he start?

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Eagles re-sign Michael Vick, but will he start?

From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Michael Vick took a significant pay cut to stay with the Philadelphia Eagles and compete for a starting job.The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback agreed Monday to a restructured three-year contract with the Eagles, just two seasons after signing a 100 million extension that included 35.5 million in guaranteed money. The new deal is essentially for one-year, however.A source familiar with the contract said Vick could earn up to 10 million in 2013 if he meets all his performance incentives, and the team will void the remaining two years on March 15. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms haven't been released.Vick was slated to earn about 16 million next season, including a 3 million roster bonus. He lost his starting job to rookie Nick Foles last season, but new coach Chip Kelly will give him a chance to win it back."I am grateful and proud to be a Philadelphia Eagle," Vick wrote on Twitter. "My heart is in Philly and this community is important to me."Vick had a breakout year in 2010, leading the Eagles to the NFC East title, winning The Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award and starting in the Pro Bowl. But he's battled injuries and inconsistency the last two years."What I look at is skillset first and foremost," Kelly said. "What he can do, how he can throw the football, how he can beat people with his feet. There are a lot of different factors he has. And you have to look at the landscape for other quarterbacks. I guess the best way I can put this is I agree there is a change of scenery going on here. For Michael Vick, there is a change of scenery, but not a change of address."Since the Eagles hired Kelly to replace Andy Reid, there's been plenty of speculation about which quarterback will run his aggressive, up-tempo offense. Though Kelly has been effusive in his praise for Foles, the slow-footed, pocket-passer isn't an ideal fit for a zone-read offense. Kelly, though, said he will cater his offense around his players' strengths. After all, he's known for being an offensive innovator who had tremendous success at Oregon."I don't think what we do offensively can be said in one or two words that we're either this or we're this," Kelly said. "We're an equal-opportunity scoring operation. Whether we run the ball over the goal line or throw the ball over the goal line really doesn't bother me, it's how do we move the football."There have been games we've had to throw it in our league 50 times and there are games we have to run it 50 times. You need to be built for the long haul. There is a skill set that Nick has that really excites me about him. I think we've got an older quarterback in Michael who is 32 now, and have a younger guy in Nick who is going into his second year, and I think it's the ideal situation for us moving forward this season."Kelly didn't rule out a trade, however."I don't rule anything out, I don't rule anything in," he said. "But I know moving forward we, as an organization, had to make a decision on what to do with Michael, and I want Michael to be part of this team."Vick has missed 11 games because of injuries over the last three seasons. He sustained a concussion in Week 10 last year and Reid decided to let Foles play the rest of the way because the Eagles were in last place. They finished 4-12.Vick returned to start the season finale against the New York Giants because Foles was hurt. He finished the year with 2,362 yards passing, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and also lost five fumbles.A former No. 1 overall pick by Atlanta, Vick was signed by Philadelphia in 2009 after missing two years because he was in federal prison. He came in as the No. 3 quarterback behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb.After McNabb was traded and Kolb was injured in the season opener in 2010, Vick took over and was outstanding. He had career highs in yards passing (3,018), completion percentage (62.6), touchdowns passing (21), touchdowns rushing (9) and passer rating (100.2).But he hasn't come close to playing up to that level. There are questions, of course, about his durability and his age -- Vick will be 33 in July."He's younger than (Dallas quarterback) Tony Romo, and he's right about the same age as (Giants quarterback) Eli Manning," Kelly said. "The only reason I say that is because I told Michael that this morning, and he didn't know."Vick is undersized and stubborn about playing it safe. He usually takes on tacklers instead of running out of bounds and dives headfirst instead of sliding."I looked at the films, and studied the tape. When you look at Michael, it's his toughness. That cannot be overrated at all," Kelly said. "We looked at his skill set. He still has that skill set. He can still throw the football."He's got an unbelievable release, and it's our job as coaches to make sure he can get the ball out quickly."The Eagles scored just 280 points last season as they endured an eight- and a three-game losing streak. Only Arizona (250) scored fewer in the NFC.When asked whether Vick or Foles would work with the first-team offense in training camp, Kelly smiled and quickly showed he's going to be able to handle the Philadelphia media just fine."We'll go alphabetical," he said with a grin. "First name? Last name? We'll flip a coin."

Brady-Ryan marks rare case of NFL's top two quarterbacks meeting in Super Bowl

Brady-Ryan marks rare case of NFL's top two quarterbacks meeting in Super Bowl

For all the flack that Matt Ryan got heading into this season, he’s been a damn good quarterback. Is his career on the same level as Tom Brady’s? Of course not, but this regular season saw him stand as Brady’s peer, making him an MVP favorite.

One of Ryan’s biggest challengers for that hardware is the same man who stands in the way of him winning his first Super Bowl. Though he missed the first four games of the season due to suspension, Brady finished second in the league in passing yards per game and threw just two picks in 12 games while tossing 28 touchdowns.  

So Super Bowl LI will pin the quarterback with the best numbers overall (Ryan finished two touchdowns behind Aaron Rodgers for the league lead but threw for 516 more yards and had a higher completion percentage) against the quarterback with the best touchdown/interception ratio ever for a single season. 

In other words, this is a Super Bowl that puts what one could argue are the season’s two best quarterbacks each other. That’s pretty rare. 

Going back the last 25 years, there are four candidates for such meetings: Manning vs. Brees in Super Bowl XLIV, Favre and Elway in Super Bowl XXXII (this one is a stretch), Favre and Bledsoe in Super Bowl XXXI and Kelly and Rypien in Super Bowl XXVI.. 

Why haven’t the two best quarterbacks squared off in the Super Bowl more often? Because Brady and Peyton Manning played their entire careers in the same conference, silly. It’s taken other players entering their echelon to even set up such a scenario, and that’s why Brees’ Saints beating Manning’s Colts serves as the only example during Manning or Brady’s career. 

The strong performances of those who dominated the regular season have often carried over into their Super Bowl meetings, but not always. Drew Bledsoe and Jim Kelly (both throwing two touchdowns and four picks in Super Bowl losses) are examples of the wheels falling off in the final game. 

Here’s a breakdown of past occurrences. Note that all four of them saw the winning team score at least 30 points, something the Pats have done just once in Brady's four Super Bowl wins: 

Super Bowl XLIV: Brees vs. Manning

Brees led NFL with 34 touchdowns in regular season; Manning finished tied for second with 33

Final score: Saints 31, Colts 17

Brees: 32/39, 288 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Manning: 31/45, 333 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Brees completed a postseason in which he had no turnovers and did so in a nearly exactly average game for him that season, as e averaged 292.5 yards, 2.26 touchdowns and less than one interception per game in the regular season. The two quarterbacks also combined for just one sack. 
 
Super Bowl XXXII: Favre vs. Elway

Favre led NFL with 35 TDs in regular season, Elway finished second in TD/interception ratio

Final score: Broncos 31, Packers 24

Favre: 25/42, 256 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, fumble lost 
Elway: 12/22, 123 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT

Again, this is the forced one because Jeff George (3,917 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, nine interceptions) had the better regular season than Elway (3,635 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 11 picks). Elway may have been the winning quarterback, but he didn’t have anything to do with the win. Terrell Davis carried the Broncos, playing through a migraine and rushing for 157 yards with three touchdowns en route to Super Bowl MVP honors. 

Super Bowl XXXI: Favre vs. Bledsoe

Favre led NFL with 39 TDs, Bledsoe third with 27

Final Score: Packers 35, Patriots 21

Favre: 14/27, 246 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Bledsoe: 25/48, 253 yards, 2 TD, 4 INT

Both quarterbacks took five sacks in this game. For Bledsoe, it was the most he took all season. The game was the third four-pick performance of his NFL career. 

Super Bowl XXVI: Kelly vs. Rypien

Kelly led NFL with 33 TDs, Rypien second with 28

Final score: Redskins 37, Bills 24

Rypien: 18/33, 292 yards, 2 TD, INT
Kelly: 28/58, 275 yards, 2 TD, 4 INT, fumble lost

Turns out five turnovers (and being sacked four times) is not a recipe for winning the Super Bowl. Kelly’s 58 passes thrown set a Super Bowl record.
 

Dimitroff, Pioli the first Belichick defectors to lead new team to Super Bowl

Dimitroff, Pioli the first Belichick defectors to lead new team to Super Bowl

Working for the Patriots makes you attractive to other teams. Many have left, but Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli are finally showing that major success can be attained in the process. 

Dimitroff and Pioli have built a team in Atlanta that will play for the franchise’s first Super Bowl title on Feb. 5. While many have been hired away from Bill Belichick's Patriots to lead other organizations, Dimitroff is the first of the defectors to get to the Super Bowl on his own. Adding an old friend in Pioli has played a part in that. 

Dimitroff served as New England’s director of college scouting from 2003 through 2007 before becoming Atlanta’s general manager in 2008. He hired Pioli in 2014 as an assistant GM after the longtime Patriots director and vice president of player personnel had a messy stint as the Chiefs’ GM. 

Executives and coaches (even Field Yates; yes, the fair-haired boy from the television) leaving the Patriots for better positions with other organizations has been common, but with the new positions have often come diminished success compared to New England. 

Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Bill O’Brien, Charlie Weis (in his brief return to the NFL in 2010) and Josh McDaniels make up the list of coordinators who have left winning with the Patriots to experience a dropoff without Brady and Belichick. John Robinson (Titans), Jason Licht (Buccaneers) and Bob Quinn (Lions) currently serve as GMs elsewhere, while former Pats secondary coach Joe Collier works with Dimitroff and Pioli as the Falcons’ director of pro personnel. 

It’s only fitting that Dimitroff and Pioli will have to go through Belichick in order to secure a title on their own. Winning without Belichick has proven hard enough for his former colleagues; winning against him will be even harder.