Reid Explains Run/Pass Discrepancy (Again)

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidAndy Reid has answered the question many times during his 13-plus years as the Eagles head coach: Why didn’t he run the ball more?

Sometimes the question is unfair. As any analyst worth his pocket-square will tell you, this is a passing league. If you can’t move the football through the air, chances are, you’re not competing for a playoff spot, let alone a Lombardi Trophy.

But other times, the question has merit. Today was one of those times. Michael Vick was in a funk, making mistake after mistake, going 29-for-56 (51.8 percent) and tossing four interceptions. He was sacked twice and hit 11 times, as the offensive line struggled throughout.

LeSean McCoy, meanwhile, looked like the player we saw last year, carrying 20 times for 110 yards and averaging 5.5 yards per carry. It was the kind of day where running the ball more and relying on the defense would have made a lot of sense.

So why didn’t Reid and Marty Mornhinweg call 60 pass plays and just 23 runs?

“We probably could have done a little bit more of that early,” Reid said. “We had a couple fumbles early and got away from it. I thought as it’s all said and done, we probably could have run a little bit more early.

“We thought we saw some things there for the pass game. They were giving us some coverages that we thought we could take advantage of. We hit the one before the half and thought we could come back and get them again there.”

So there you have it.

As for Vick, Reid said he thought the quarterback was “rusty.” But at no point did he consider pulling Vick and going with rookie Nick Foles.

“No, I thought he had to work through it,” Reid said. “He’s our quarterback, so you’ve got to do that. The game’s fast, and it picks up even off of the preseason. He didn’t have any preseason. It’s a fast game. This was an important game for him to get in and play and endure and toughen it out, which he did. That’s what you saw.”

Offensively, the Eagles very much resembled the team we saw a year ago. They picked up big chunks of yardage (456 in all) and turned it over five times. They looked spectacular in some stretches (the end of the first half comes to mind), but lost in others.

Overall, the Eagles were called for 12 penalties for 110 yards. The difference this year is that – for one game at least – the defense played extremely well and turned in a complete performance.

“I’ll take the win,” Reid said. “We’ve got plenty of things to work on. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

MARSH INJURED

The only injury Reid reported was cornerback Curtis Marsh, who hurt his hamstring. No details on his status. Should find out more on Monday.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.