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Here are 10 things to know about the matchup between the Eagles’ offense and the Ravens’ defense Sunday afternoon. Click here for the breakdown of the Eagles’ D against Baltimore’s offense.
Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.
Let’s start with 97.5 The Fanatic Phillies beat reporter Pat Gallen, who is demonstrating his multitasking skills by both documenting the Phils’ improbable rise from the ashes and submitting Eagles questions for the mailbag at the same time.
Michael Vick and Jason Kelce do extra film study together for about a half hour each week, usually on Fridays, to help ensure they are on the same page when it comes to pass protection. They are working out the kinks of a new set-up where the center and quarterback share responsibility at the line of scrimmage for identifying what the defense is doing and aligning the protection accordingly.
While the duo was in lockstep for the most part, they did hit a snag.
Mike 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.”
Ray Lewis watched the Eagles-Browns game live, wanting to get an early look at two teams coming up on the Ravens schedule. He saw Michael Vick throwing off-balanced and across his body and struggling for much of the day. That is not the quarterback he anticipates seeing Sunday in Philadelphia.
“I think you come in and you play the same guy, but you know there is that spectacular guy with the football that can throw the ball 80 yards, that can run the ball out of the pocket, that can make you miss and can make incredible plays out of the pocket,” said Lewis. “That’s what we have to prepare for.”
Andy Reid on Wednesday was asked to clear up a gray area when it comes to this Eagles offense. Once and for all, who is calling the plays?
“Marty [Mornhinweg] does,” said Reid. “He does a good with that. The thing we have is have great communication during the game. We keep things wide open.”
There you go. If you are looking to assign blame for the decision to throw the ball 56 times against the Browns, the offensive coordinator owns a good chunk of that.
Michael Vick was asked about the aerial show on Sunday, and whether he prefers it that way or would like the running backs to carry more of the load.
“I think we could balance it out a little bit,” said Vick.
Michael Vick dropped back to pass 59 times Sunday against the Browns, and on 14 of those occasions, or about 24 percent of the time, he took a hit.
Who was to blame on those plays?
Here is a breakdown of the 14 hits, followed by a player-by-player review of the offensive line after having re-watched the game.
In the end, Michael Vick was able to laugh about his awful performance in Sunday’s uninspiring 17-16 win over the inept Cleveland Browns. “I gotta […]
Andy 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.
On the play before Michael Vick threw the game-winning touchdown to Clay Harbor, he nearly threw his fifth interception, but Browns linebacker L.J. Fort couldn’t make the play.
Did the Eagles quarterback feel lucky the game didn’t end in a loss right there?
“Oh man, yeah. I gotta get out of Cleveland,” Vick said. “I gotta get out of Cleveland.”
All six of the notable injuries that Michael Vick has sustained since the beginning of last season have come in the pocket. The broken ribs against the Cardinals; the bruised hand against the Giants; the concussion against the Falcons; the finger injury against the 49ers; and the thumb and rib injuries this preseason all happened inside the numbers.
It is the main counterpoint to those suggesting Vick is being reckless. His high-wire stylings in the open field is not the issue. All the knockout blows have come from traditional play.
Missed in this debate is the fact that it is Vick’s game within the pocket that has proven reckless. It is the movements within the cage that are deciding success or failure, big hit or safe escape, smooth connect or batted ball. It was his response to pressure that helped put him in the sights of the Patriots’ Jermaine Cunningham, and led to his hand banging off the back of Jason Kelce‘s helmet.
Throughout the course of the week, we’ll be providing position-by-position previews of the entire Eagles roster. Click here to get to all of them. Today, we cover the quarterbacks.