Philadelphia Eagles offensive line coach Howard Mudd says that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has been working on his ability to stay in the pocket this offseason (via Philly.com).
Mudd said "He wants to and works really hard to overcome his instinct, when a little something goes wrong, to take off. Just take off and create something. So he's working really hard to do all these things that everybody's writing about - to go take care of himself so he doesn't get hurt."
And, Mudd's offensive line is being coached hard to protect Vick, who missed three games with injury last season. Mudd said, "Don't let him get hit, don't let him get hit. That's a mantra we have."
Vick has already absorbed plenty of punishment in his career. He has been sacked 244 times in 111 games. Vick was sacked 23 times last season. Vick also rushed 76 times last season has hit the 100-rush attempt mark five times in his career. On average, Vick rushes about 40 more times per season than the average NFL quarterback. As Eagles fans saw in 2010 when he had a career-high 9 rushing scores, those carries can bring added touchdown production.
What could help Vick be more efficient with his rushing attempts is trusting his young center Jason Kelce, who was a rookie last season. Mudd said about Kelce:
"Jason is probably taking on more than he had before. I think Mike trusts that more than he did last year. By that I am saying Jason now understands the scheme so he goes up and says something to declare the pattern we are going to use. Then Mike may even be thinking about something else and will ask Kelce or he will change it. The synergy is way better now because of trust. Kelce has now gone through the war and now Mike knows that Kelce is doing something now only to help us. I think that is a big deal."
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