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