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Vick and McCoy’s Usage Should be Monitored During Early Portion of Schedule

Sep 11, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT


The Washington Redskins defense weren’t the only ones who looked completely exhausted by the end of the Eagles’ 33-27 win on Monday night. Michael Vick was hit seven times on dropbacks and ran nine times with the football, and was noticeably hobbled in the final minutes. By his career-high 31st carry, LeSean McCoy practically needed to be scraped off of the turf.

Usage is going to be a concern all season as long as Chip Kelly’s offense keeps moving at 100 miles per hour, inevitably leading the NFL in plays from scrimmage. Vick has only made it through a 16-game season once in his life to begin with, while Shady is currently on pace for 496 carries which would absolutely destroy Larry Johnson’s record 416.

Obviously McCoy isn’t going to touch the ball 500 times in a season, and only Vick can truly protect himself, but the question remains. How are these guys going to survive the season at this torrid pace?

Forget the season. The first true test with regard to these heavy workloads will arrive in eight days. The Eagles host the San Diego Chargers this Sunday, then must turn right around and play a game against the Kansas City Chiefs four days later next Thursday.

If you think Vick is limping around now, and Shady seemed gassed on Monday, what condition do you imagine they’ll be in after they’ve played their third full NFL game in a span of 11 days?

It’s a little simpler to conserve Shady, at least in theory. Bryce Brown did have nine carries at Washington, and figures to be featured in that spell role going forward. Chris Polk was conspicuously absent from the offense this week, but he’ll likely get some touches in the future.

Of course, McCoy was the only person Chip could rely on the salt the lead away in the fourth quarter, a big reason for his inflated number of carries. Brown hasn’t yet shaken the reputation that he’s prone to fumbles, and they haven’t even trusted Polk enough to give him the ball at all.

How they plan to keep Vick upright is another dilemma entirely. This is the same guy who took it upon himself to become Shady’s lead blocker on Monday – twice! As much as you have to like it when your quarterback is doing whatever it takes to win, Vick’s lack of an “off” switch and unwillingness to concede a play is over are going to get him killed – as usual.

Not much Chip or anybody else can do for Vick at this point. McCoy’s load is the real issue here.

It will be interesting to see how the snaps are divided at running back in the coming weeks, but the recipe calls for more Brown with a dash of Polk. The Eagles should lean on those two more earlier in games especially, so the biggest weapon in that backfield is still at the team’s full disposal when the fourth quarter rolls around.

Chip was asked about the proximity of the games at his day-after press conference, and didn’t sound concerned in the least:

We’ve known the schedule since we got here.  We know every game is the ultimate importance for us.  There’s no way you can say, Hey, we got another game next Thursday, let’s focus and concentrate on that.  I think everybody’s attention is on getting ready to play San Diego.  That’s what this thing is all about.

It’s great to have a head coach who is committed to the running game, but the new challenge is finding the right balance of playing time for one of the best backs in the league. Chip Kelly seems to have a plan for everything though, so it’s possible there isn’t really a problem here at all.

  1. Lyle - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Can your useage get monitored?

  2. BenE. - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Herb Brooks’ assistants thought Herb was working Team USA too hard.

    • sfsu - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      Some of Herb Brooks’ assistants didn’t think Herb was working Team USA too hard, except the goofy looking guy from the Disney Movie.

      Clearly this bodes well for the Eagles’ chances at going 3-0 before heading to Denver.

  3. David - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    I don’t think it’s Brown’s butterfingers that were the problem, just his terrible running. McCoy got almost six yards per carry in that game, but Brown, running behind the same line, got 2.8. You can’t run out the clock with an RB who doesn’t get first downs.

    • Andrew Kulp - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      That’s a fair point, too. In particular I remember Brown tried to bounce a run outside and wound up losing five yards, which hurt his average obviously, but I’m sure annoyed coaches as well. Don’t remember seeing him much after that. Still, I think ball security plays into the decision behind who’s carrying the football late in the game.

  4. Terd Ferguson - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    VIck played all 16 games in 2006 and had his second highest passing TD total that season. Don’t count me in favor of it happening this year, but dont say it’s never happened.

    • Andrew Kulp - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Yeah, that was a slip-up on my part.

    • Steve - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      He said it happened once and only once.Not sure what article you were reading.

  5. Smithers - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    One thing I noticed on Brown is that they seemed to call too many plays that involved him bouncing outside on runs. He is shifty but is the kind of runner that is much more successful running between the tackles. Hopefully, they fix that going forward.

  6. 2sentz - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    A few more games like this, and season tic holders will need to “monitor” the upcoming 3-month long procession of 1p start times as they turn into 4:15′s and 8:30′s.

  7. Steve - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Only the first game,he wanted to get that first win out of the way.He is not going to be running McCoy 30 times a gsme.

  8. Emil - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    You guys should state all the facts instead of half of them. Vick played all but one game in 2002, 2004, and 2005, in 2006 he played and entire NFL schedule. He only suffered one major injury in his 5 years in ATL where he had to miss substantial playing time, which was in 2003 when he was injured in the pre season.

    When Vick takes hard hits it’s always when he is getting crunched in the pocket after a pass or for a sack by 300lb defensive lineman. When Vick gets tackled down the field after a run it’s by corners and safeties and for the most part it’s not a bone crunching hit. Vick was smart bulking up to 220lbs since muscle works as a cushion for the bones. Vick will be fine, he will last the entire season and he will make the pro bowl. And if Vick was limping from a pulled muscles or hamstring that comes from running, not from getting hit. Nobody every got laid out by a bone crunching hit or any hit for that matter and got up grabbing their hammy.



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