Jaguars have to contain Michael Vick


Make no mistake about it, the Jacksonville Jaguars were preparing for Michael Vick regardless of who the Philadelphia Eagles claimed was starting earlier in the week. Coach Jack Del Rio knows the Eagles use packages featuring Vick, even if Kolb is the starter.

Despite the fact that Vick has looked good passing the football in one and a half games for the Eagles this year, the way for the Jaguars to beat he and the Eagles is to force him to pass the football.

In one and a half games, Vick has completed 63.7% of his passes for 459 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and rushed for 140 yards.

Vick is going to get his yards running with the football, that's a given. The Jaguars don't have the personnel on their roster to stop it, they can only slow it down. The real key to stopping him is to keep him in the pocket and force him to beat you with his arm. Vick has looked exceedingly more accurate so far this year than in years past, but it's still the best way to shut him down as a quarterback. It's also worth noting, a big problem for Vick late during his tenure as an Atlanta Falcon was batted passes at the line. Vick's listed at 6'0", which means he's shorter than that. The defensive line should be able to bat quite a few of his passes at the line if they can keep him in the pocket.

You would think putting a quarterback like Vick in 3rd and long situations would be great for the defense, because that's a passing down.

Not so fast.

In his time so far this year on 3rd and long, Vick is 6/7 for 123 yards, a touchdown, and 34 rushing yards on 4 attempts. Third and long is right in Michael Vick's wheel house. The real key is when you have him in 3rd and say 5, where he's just 2 of 7 passing for 15 yards and has yet to run the football. It's a more manageable down, because you're not forced into playing one way. You can spy and play a combo package of run/pass instead of dropping back into coverage.

The key to the game on the defense is contain, contain, contain. Vick showed last week a propensity to get sacked, as he's been sacked a staggering 9 times in just 6 quarters of football, so the Jaguars must contain him in the pocket.

If the Jaguars let him break contain too often and have to commit someone to him... they're in for a very long day.

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