Monday night has been billed by many as the matchup between two former teammates at quarterback, with Michael Vick squaring off against former Eagle Donovan McNabb. But those two won't be the only quarterbacks with ties to the Eagles in FedEx Field that night, as former 10-year starter and league MVP Ron Jaworski will be calling the game for ESPN.
Jaworski averaged 10.5 wins for the Eagles between 1978 and 1981, and took the team to its first Super Bowl appearance in 1980. Now, Jaworski excels in his new role as an NFL analyst and has been a color commentator on ESPN's Monday Night Football since 2007. Jaworski explained that the biggest difference in Vick's game from this year compared to last season is that his quickness is back.
"Michael is playing tremendous football," Jaworski said. "One thing that jumps out at me as opposed to last year… Michael being away a couple years, he was rusty. Last year, he didn't have that quick twitch and that's what made him so dangerous … What I see now is the quickness is back.
Another aspect of Vick's game that has jumped out on the game tape is the chemistry between he and DeSean Jackson.
"It seems they are on the same page,"" Jaworski said. ""They see the field through the same eyes. The numbers bear that out."
As Jackson and Vick continue their productivity on the field – Jackson has gone over 100 yards in each game that Vick has started and finished – it's Vick's ability to stay in the pocket that allows for those big plays to develop. The knock on Vick throughout his tenure in Atlanta, it was his reluctances to stay in the pocket. At times, Vick was too quick to resort to his legs and while his speed was awfully dangerous, it ultimately took away from Atlanta's passing attack.
Now in Philadelphia, Vick has learned to stay home in the pocket and deliver the ball downfield – something Jaworski thinks has made him even more difficult to defend.
"What I'm seeing is a quarterback more inclined to stay in the pocket, to go through that progression and find No. 2 and No. 3 (receivers)," Jaworski said. "I think ultimately that's when you become a terrific quarterback. Then you take the run option as the last option, or, if there's quick pressure on the quarterback, get rid of the football. I'm seeing the growth of Michael Vick in that area. I wouldn't have thought it a year ago, but I think it's really a testament to Andy Reid … I think (Vick has) made the strong commitment to learn this offense."
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 11:00 a.m., November 15