DISCLAIMER: I am in no way calling for, or proposing, a stupid 2-QB system. I don't like 2 QB systems, Chip doesn't like a 2 QB system, and I don't think a 2 QB system is sustainable in the NFL.
However, I think when you have a player with the skillset that Mike Vick brings, I think you need to consider using him in certain situations. I want to be clear that I wasn't a fan of the Wildcat with Vick. I felt that was a gimmick that wasn't worth breaking up the continuity on offense. We saw the Wildcat (despite what Chip said) with Brad Smith. Would have been interesting to see how that play developed had Smith not dropped the snap. All that being said, I hate the idea of splitting Nick Foles out wide.
But here's my argument. We use the read-option component in a lot of our base plays. Yeah, yeah, the read is not always on and there isn't always an option. But that's a big part of what we do on offense. I think one area where the read-option concept works really well is as a situational tool. It's OK to use in base plays, but I find it especially dangerous in short yardage, or in the red zone. We've converted an awful lot of red zone and short yardage plays using the read-option (even with Foles).
So in the 4th quarter yesterday while we were trying to bleed the clock, we tried doing so with our bread and butter play. The inside zone read. It worked early on, it worked when we bled the clock against the Packers and Bucs earlier this year so naturally, it made sense to go back to it.
First of all, I liked that Chip went to the read-option early in the 2nd half. I think he saw in the first half that the Cards weren't paying attention to Nick so he wanted to remind them that Nick will run if it is given to him:
For a play like that, first drive of the 3rd quarter, trying to get a first down and get our tempo going, Nick is your guy. Here is another example on 1st and 10 as we try to eat the rest of the clock. Make them respect him:
Big running lane for Nick and he gets 6:
But here's a different situation. 2:28 left on the clock. Key 3rd down. If you convert, you get 3 more snaps and start to force the Cards to burn their timeouts. This is a HUGE play. It's 3rd and 2. The perfect call is your bread and butter inside zone read. You play the numbers game and you set up a favorable match-up. Here Nick reads the backside DE. He crashes down on McCoy. The correct decision is to keep. But here the Cards set up a scrape exchange and assign Daryl Washington to essentially spy Nick on the keeper:
You can see #91 is effectively burned. But he's not the guy the Eagles need to worry about. In this shot, you'll see that Nick really has no chance to get past Daryl Washington to that yellow line:
and to make matters worse, not only does Nick not get the 1st down, he takes a pretty nasty hit:
Sorry, but on a key play, in that situation, I am not sure that is putting your QB in the best position to be successful. The read-option works with Nick if you fool the defense. It's easy yards. I think we may have just about used up our Nick Keeper's quota for this year. At least in short yardage situations.
I'll be the first to argue that i think Vick beats Washington to that marker. More importantly, Nick is showing all the hallmarks that he might be your next franchise QB. Should we really be risking him taking this kind of punishment on a play that's not really his strong suit?
I think rolling out Vick in situations like this, might not be the worst idea. You force the defense to respect him as a running threat, hence opening holes for the running backs. If they don't respect him, he can burn them in a big way. He can now take hits because he's now your veteran back-up, not your franchise QB. And, no he's not Brad Smith, he's Mike Vick. Teams actually have to respect his arm and the chance he might throw the football.
If Chip chooses not to go in this direction, I think the Cardinals showed him that perhaps he needs to mix in some more straight up, traditional running plays perhaps with Casey at FB to burn the clock. I agree with Tommy Lawlor on his post stating this.