Eagles Wake-Up Call: Peter King Talks Vick Benching

For one reason or another, opinions shared about Michael Vick in the media over the last day or so have had a particularly sharp edge to them. Here’s a sampling of what’s being said about the quarterback, along with my take:

“I think Andy Reid, after watching Mike Vick lose two more fumbles in the first quarter at Pittsburgh, has to be thinking about benching Vick. Not today, but soon, if Vick can’t hold onto it. That’s 11 turnovers in the first 17 quarters of the season.”

Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column

My take: King is plugged in, so you never dismiss what he says. I disagree with his assessment, however. As curious as the head coach must be to see what the offense looks like with Nick Foles in it, Reid knows that benching Vick is a locker-room altering risk that doesn’t need to be taken right now. For all the struggles, a 3-2 record. And for each of those victories, a game-winning drive by Vick. I don’t think Reid is close to making a change yet.

“I am  blown away at how patient Andy Reid has been with how inept Michael Vick has been at seeing what is actually coming. I have a list of plays where they’re bringing more than the Eagles can block, and Michael has no idea that it’s coming. Now they’ve been competitive because they have so much speed.

“He doesn’t know that it’s coming. That’s the problem. You watch other quarterbacks, and they at least have the awareness that it’s coming and, boom, the ball is out.  They’re not always successful, but they are at least aware that they are not protected.”

Tim Hasselbeck on Mike & Mike

My take: I feel confident in saying that Hasselbeck hasn’t watched Vick very closely over the last couple weeks. If these statements were made coming off the Arizona game, then I get it. Vick did seem to struggle with decoding defenses early on. That wasn’t much of an issue against the Giants or the Steelers, though. Marty Mornhinweg has dialed up shorter routes and a little more protection, and Vick has been pretty efficient and in control. He has been able to identify and react to pressure more successfully. He has not thrown an interception since a third-quarter pick against the Ravens, a stretch that spans three-plus games. On Sunday he completed 67 percent of his throws and tossed  a pair of touchdowns for a 104.2 QB rating. Ben Roethlisberger completed 57 percent of his balls and had a 72.7 rating. I would love to see the list of plays Hasselbeck has on him.

I don’t think Vick is nonchalant about his turnovers. I think he’s annoyed — that they’re happening, that he has to keep answering for them and at the perpetual implication the whole ongoing topic makes about his worth as a player. It may seem obvious to you and me, as outside observers, that Vick’s game has inherent flaws that keep him from rising to the level of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. It may seem easy for you and I to jump to the conclusion that he’ll never get them fixed. But it’s anything but easy for Vick, as a world-class athlete with a lifelong history of success and a heap of professional pride, to make the same assessments and conclusions. And it’s no surprise that such a person might bristle when confronted with them.

Dan Graziano on ESPN.com

My take: I agree with a lot of this. Dan’s entire reaction to Vick’s “if it’s meant to be” comments are worth a read. Vick recognizes he can’t turn the ball over and definitely cares. My concern is the fact that they continue despite his desire to prevent all the turnovers from happening. That concern is heightened when he suggests that the prevention of said turnovers is somehow out of his control.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Sheil gives his review of the offensive line, and picks up a possible shift in offensive philosophy in the process.

The defense has gone two games without a sack. Where have all the sacks gone, and does it matter that they’re missing?

A look at the snap distribution Sunday shows an increased role for Stanley Havili and Brandon Graham.

Why is Vick fumbling the ball? We take a look.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Steelers linebacker James Harrison copped to pulling up on one occasion when he had a chance to hit Vick, in fear of drawing another fine from the league.

Sunday, Harrison returned to play for the first time in 2012, and Tomlin praised him for his work that included a team-high three quarterback pressures. But on his best shot at sacking Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, Harrison pulled up and let him throw. He explained why, that all those penalties and fines came to roost right then and there.

“I was nervous,” Harrison said of that second-quarter play, which resulted in a deep incomplete pass. “I thought he might duck his head, I might hit him. I can’t take [a] fine. I was worried more about a fine.

“It’s Michael Vick; he goes shake and bake. You have to sit there and wait almost just to see what he’s going to do. Because if he at the last second drops his head and ducks down and we make helmet-to-helmet contact, it’s the fault of the defender.”

The Redskins are optimistic that RGII could play next weekend despite the rookie QB suffering a concussion Sunday.

Shanahan said that Griffin will rest before seeing an independent neurologist Monday evening. Griffin has not experienced any dizziness or headaches on Monday, and Shanahan said that the star rookie is “feeling good.”

“We should fine out in the next few days exactly what happens,” Shanahan said Monday. “Right now it looks good. I’m not really sure if it stays that way. The professionals will monitor his situation and let us know if able he’s able to play or not. We surely have nothing to do with it.”

COMING UP

A day off for the Eagles before preparation for the Lions gets underway. The Eagles are currently 5 1/2-point home favorites.

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  • http://twitter.com/THEKID_ Mike Jehle

    C’mon…benchng Vick would mean Andy is admitting he made a mistake…Andy doesn’t do that (admit his mistakes…he makes plenty of them).
    That being said…if the Andy & Marty Show calls a decent game (i.e….McCoy!), Vick is at all a little careful with the ball…Detroit is not what they were thought to be and the Eagles get a W, go 4-2 into the bye…all this goes away…for two weeks anyway.

    • Myke Lowery

      I’ll take 4-2 going into a bye…with Andy’s record coming out of bye..that should mean 5-2? But then again I think his record going into bye isn’t that great

      • Cyrus Robinson

        4-2 going into the bye is good. Eagles have always been a 2nd half team under Reid, so if we can be 5-2 after week 8, Eagles will be in a great position to do great things.

  • Adam

    Benching Vick would be throwing in the towel for Andy. Andy’s job is on the line this season, if he puts in Foles his career in Philly is over.As good as Foles looked in the preseason (and he does have a ton of promise) he’s not ready yet. Like it or not Vick gives us the best chance to win NOW, which is what Reid has to do if he wants to continue in Philly. If he had job security then maybe he might think about the switch now. But barring an injury OR the Eagles getting statistically eliminated from the playoffs I really don’t think you’ll see Foles before then.

    • BlindChow

      I think Foles would look a lot like Cousins in Washington. He might hit on a big play but would then throw a couple of interceptions and the game would be over…

  • Beavis

    Vick is not getting benched. See: McNabb, Donavan.

  • Meh

    Tim Hasselbeck is just about one of the worst commentators on television in my opinion. Never backs up his arguments, says alot of uninformed things–not too much different a performance than his pro career. Remember that? Me neither…

  • Jmtyl

    That Kevlar vest is caused the problems Sunday and I am shocked that nobody on that sidline did not recognize that it was made to deflect any hard contact. Of course the ball is going to bounce off. That is the reason for the fumbles when Vick was on the ground. Now the fumble he had when he was trying to put the ball away was on him. My question is if you see he had a issue with the ball the play before why would you call a QB draw? With the best running back on the field. So Vick brings them back in the 4 th quarter and gives them the lead the special teams and defense can’t stop anybody. The team needs to look in the mirror at itself. This is not all on Vick. If he had scored a TD, there was no guarantee they would have held Pittsburgh. Michael Will get that fixed and then what are they going to say about him? Foles will not last and he is not ready for starter position. It was fools gold preseason. I am sure the Cowboys, Redskins Saints, Falcons would love for the Eagles to make the change. Tell the haters just shut up they really don’t have a clue.

    • Myke Lowery

      Could also say the three wins are fools gold

    • RunMichaelRun!

      I’m actually really curious as to whether or not there is any truth to your claim that the new bodyarmor is playing a role in the fumbles. I mean, I’m guessing it probably doesn’t, but you never know…he did only have 2 fumbles combined in the 2 seasons prior to this one

      • AJ King

        He had 21 fumbles in the past two seasons. It is a big problem!

  • JTR

    I don’t get the idea that it’s do or die this year for the Eagles. I get that it is def. do or die for Vick, and probably for Reid, but this team is super young and set up to be good for a long stretch of time. It’s not like this team is filled with veterans who are trying to give it one last shot, like the Celtics in the NBA last season.

    I have to believe that if Reid had more job security, the QB job would be Foles’ by now, considering the youth of the team and the chance for all of these young 20-somethings to learn and grow together…

  • atlvickfan

    Peter King is a dog lover. His opinion on Vick is meaningless.

    • JustSayNOBama

      That would make you a dog killing thug lover I guess, which makes your opinion meaningless to many others.
      Nothing has changed about Vick at all, he is still the same broken, me me me mentality that he was, is and always will be. It is just a matter of time for him and you know it, he will find trouble once again, whether it is the trouble he finds that kills his NFL career or his own ineptness, only time will tell.

  • ICDogg

    Changing QB’s is a radical thing to do under the circumstances, and Reid will not do it. (nor do I think he should.)

  • FMWarner

    I agree that Reid shouldn’t even be thinking about benching Vick. They’re tied for the division lead, Vick is showing improvement in every area other than the fumbles, and he can’t possibly continue to fumble at this rate. If they were 1-4, then sure. But why put a possible playoff season in the hands of a rookie? Sure, he looked great in the preseason. But so do lots of guys. There’s only a remote chance that Foles could equal Vick’s level of play while also reducing turnovers.

  • aub32

    I find it funny how lazy some of the national media guys can be. Every star player has generalization about their play, and analysts, like Hasselbeck, go straight for them, rather than doing intense film study. I heard him say this on Mike and Mike, and thought he was very wrong. Thank goodness there are local sites, like the Birds 24/7, to give us accurate breakdowns of our players, so we aren’t just being spoon fed by lazy analysts, who just so happen to have good connections.

  • sprawl

    Vick WILL get injured and Foles will play some real NFL games. I’m not wishing for it but he already managed to miss the preseason after getting banged up and even with the fumbles it looks like he’s still willing to put himself in vulnerable positions when the team needs a big play.

    If the coaching staff isn’t seriously preparing Foles to step in for at least a game or two they would be amazingly shortsighted.