Matt Moseley, the NFC East blogger for ESPN.com has a hunch that Michael Vick will struggle against the Washington Redskins this Sunday. Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles fans might have a hard time buying that after watching the Skins stumble against Sam Bradford and the Rams last Sunday.
Moseley says the Redskins will force Vick to scramble. That sounds like a bad idea to me. Vick is at his most dangerous when he’s running. Here’s how Moseley described in his Final Word post Washington’s approach to defending Vick:
“I think [Jim Haslett] will have a defensive back spying on Vick at all times. He has told his players to get their hands up earlier than usual in an attempt to disrupt Vick’s rhythm. The Eagles’ quarterback looked brilliant against the Lions and Jaguars, but those teams did a poor job containing him. The Redskins will try to lure Vick into throwing the ball across his body. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall played with Vick for several years, so he knows a lot of his tendencies. Look for outside linebacker Brian Orakpo to play a different style in this game. He can’t race up the field. Instead, he’ll hold the edge and try to force Vick the other direction.”
The Redskins faced Vick only once, in December 2006. The Atlanta Falcons snapped a four game losing streak by beating the reeling Redskins 24-14 at FedEx Field. The Redskins won the prior meeting against Atlanta 33-31 in the 2003 season. Doug Johnson started at quarterback for injured Vick. (T.J. Duckett made a particularly strong impression on the Redskins front office in that game. But, I digress.) Matt Ryan was Atlanta’s quarterback when the teams met in 2009, a 31-17 win for Atlanta.
Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was head coach of Falcons rival the New Orleans Saints for six seasons. He is very familiar with Vick. Haslett is 4-6 against Atlanta when Vick was the starter for Atlanta.
Donovan McNabb is familiar with Vick. McNabb tried to recruit Vick to Syracuse out of high school and supported, perhaps lobbied, adding Vick to the Eagles roster. The Eagles traded McNabb to Washington when they figured they were set at quarterback with Kevin Kolb and Vick. More proof that no good deed goes unpunished.