Rumors have been running rampant since Wednesday night about quarterback Michael Vick possibly making a visit to the Twin Cities to meet with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday. Will it turn out to be true? Only time will tell.
But let’s just say he is making his way to Minnesota and ends up signing with the Vikings for at least the 2016 season. What exactly would be the benefit of Minnesota bringing in a quarterback who has not thrown more than five touchdown passes in a season since 2011?
It is essentially all about what he could do.
Everyone knows that if the Vikings were to sign Vick, they would not be getting the guy that ran for 3,000 yards in Madden. But, the guy can still run.
Ideally, Minnesota would be able to best utilize Vick’s athleticism by lining up in some sort of read option formation. Since Adrian Peterson is, for some reason, incapable of running well out the shotgun, a pistol formation would likely be the best option.
Coincidentally, the Vikings had already been practicing plays in the pistol with Teddy Bridgewater and Peterson this summer.
Given the ability of Vick and Peterson both being able to break away for a 80-yard run is something that Minnesota could certainly use to their advantage. A certain team from Wisconsin that the Vikings see twice year has displayed some recent struggles when it comes to defending a quarterback who can run.
What about his arm? Can he still throw?
How about fitting in to Norv Turner’s offense? Well if the preseason has shown anything, it seems like the 2016 Minnesota offense will be a mix of schemes from Turner, Pat Shurmur, and Tony Sparano.
Meaning, plays will likely be more tailored around the Vikings player’s skills rather than forcing them to fit into a stubborn system.
Shurmur, the Vikings’ current tight ends coach, was Vick’s offensive coordinator back in 2013 when the two were with the Philadelphia Eagles. However, it is unclear how much influence Shurmur had in the Eagles’ offense that season given that offensive “guru” Chip Kelly was the team’s head coach.
Minnesota technically runs an Air Coryell-style type of offense under Turner which involves more plays that call for deeper passing routes. In the seasons where Vick had the most success in his career (particularly in 2006 and 2010), he played for teams that ran a version of the west coast offense.
In this scheme, the offense relies more on shorter passes that have an opportunity for large gains after the catch. With players like running back Jerick McKinnon, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and tight end Kyle Rudolph, incorporating some west coast-like plays to help Vick should not be too hard of a task for the Vikings to accomplish.
So if Minnesota ends up bringing in Vick for at least a trial run, do not panic because it may actually work out. Of course, if he were to be added to the team it would definitely be a, “coach’s decision.”