Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘No One Is Scared Of Vick Anymore’

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael VickMike Freeman of CBS Sports, after talking to various assistants and scouts around the league, draws the conclusion that the book is out on Michael Vick. 

One unnamed scout supposedly told him: “No one is scared of Mike Vick anymore.”

More from Freeman:

This is the theory that more than a few people in the league are talking about behind closed doors. It goes like this …

The league has changed drastically since Vick entered it over a decade ago. The speed of defenses, even in that short period, have gotten faster. While Vick, because of injuries, has slowed slightly. Along the way, defenses have gotten much more effective at defending scrambling throwers. The way to beat a defense that does well against running quarterbacks is to move the pocket and throw with accuracy on the run. It’s what players like Aaron Rodgers have done to eat defenses alive, and yes, Rodgers, in many ways, is a scrambling quarterback.

Vick, the theory goes, still cannot throw with great accuracy on the run, or if the pocket shifts. So if teams crowd the line of scrimmage to prevent him from scrambling, Vick still has difficulty making defenses pay with accurate throws.

There is little question that opposing coordinators have discovered a blueprint to slow Vick down. A lot of people look at the Minnesota game at the end of the 2010 season as the turning point. Vick went seven straight games without throwing an interception to open that season, and had a shimmering ratio of 20 touchdowns to five interceptions heading into the Vikings game. Since then, he has completed 60 percent of his throws for 22 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. His 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio has crept towards 1:1.

And, to Freeman’s point, defenses seem to have done it by crowding the line, bringing pressure and keeping him from escaping to the edges. There may be something to the loss of speed as well. While he is still an exceptional burner,  his scrambles don’t appear to have the same type of jaw-dropping quality that they did when Vick’s body was fresh in 2010, particularly early in that season. So, yes, the league is likely less “scared” of Vick than they once were. And it’s Vick’s job to make the adjustments and strike the fear back in them.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Andy Reid faced the media for the first time since deciding to release last year’s second-round pick. Shockingly, he did not want to spend much time on the subject.

As Sheil details, Reid and Vick were under heavy fire from the national media this week.

Vick had a chance to address Sunday’s struggles and said he would like to see some more balanced play-calling. Ray Lewis spoke to the Philly media and expects to see a different quarterback this week.

Here’s an updated injury report on both the Eagles and Ravens.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

RGIII mania has hit a new level. There is now something called, “Griffining.” From CSN Washington:

“Who would have thought getting knocked on your butt and throwing a touchdown would start a phenomenon like that?” said Griffin. “Griffining and RGIII and whatever they want to call it, I’m not opposed to it. It’s pretty funny to me.”

Pro Football Talk rolled out the top 5 coaches on the hot seat after Week 1. Reid came in at No. 2. Mike Florio breaks it down.

“Because of the pressure that Jeffrey Lurie has put on Andy Reid, it’s obvious he’s on the hot seat. He could be No. 1. The only reason he’s not at No. 1 is because I think he’s in a better position to satisfy whatever it is, wherever the line is. Jeffrey Lurie says we’ll know it when we get there. I don’t know that we will because I think there’s a chance this team gets to the playoffs, wins a game and loses in the divisional round. Is that enough to keep Andy Reid around?”

The full top 5:

5) Leslie Frazier
4) Norv Turner
3) Chan Gailey
2) Andy Reid
1) Pat Shurmur

COMING UP

Preparation for the home opener against the Ravens continues. Practice begins at 1:50. Bobby April, Marty Mornhinweg and Juan Castillo will address the media.

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  • Jerry from Flawda

    What I don’t get is if ‘everyone’ knows how to defend Vick, then why can’t Andy and Marty, the ‘great’ game planners they are, devise a way to keep defenses honest? And btw, as much as he stunk on Sunday, his 10 yd scamper for the almost 1st town is what makes him dangerous. He may have lost a step, but he still has running back speed.

    • Cory Widmann

      Coaches stand on the sideline, you need a competent QB to force defenses honest.

  • Uncle Carm

    I don’t remember the year, but the Eagles beat Vick in the playoffs when he was still with Atlanta. They did it with pressure up the middle and sealing the edges. The Eagles wrote the book that is hurting them now. The Minnesota game also was the product of Jim Johnson defensive schemes turned against us. Hard to believe we can’t figure out the solution to our own schemes.

    • WeaponX4life

      Well said man, actually someone who understand the game.

    • http://twitter.com/EaglesScout73 Brush

      How can you not remember the year?? It was last time Eagles went to Superbowl, 2004

  • http://twitter.com/EaglesScout73 Brush

    I don’t buy this. Funny, every NFL player has said you HAVE to account for Vick and he is as dangerous as ever, maybe more so now that he will stand back there and hit targets, while the defense is using extra guys on Vick. Only way to hold Vick is using a safety or corner blitz to throw him, that’s it and that’s always a gamble and teams know it