The Philadelphia Eagles eked out a win despite an ugly four-interception performance by quarterback Michael Vick Sunday, but Eagles coach Andy Reid went out of his way to pin the responsibility for Vick's poor play on anybody but the signal-caller who sat out the majority of the preseason.
Reid began a recent press conference by criticizing himself and his coaching staff:
"Offensively, turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. You just can’t have those and I would say that we didn’t play as disciplined offensively as we needed to all the way around. I know [QB] Michael [Vick] took the blame yesterday [but] it’s not a one man show. That’s not what it is. Everybody had a piece of this pie starting with me and the coaches."
Reid shook off the idea that Vick was unable to recognize defenses after only briefly in one preseason game dating back to 2011.
"Like I said it’s a combination of things. It starts with the plays that are dialed up. It starts with protection and then it comes back to decision making. All three of those things fit into what took place and you’ve got to add the route running in there too. If they’re going to come up and bang you around then you’ve got to work like crazy to get yourself open and do the right thing. Everybody had a piece of that. It’s always going to fall on the quarterback’s shoulders and we have one that takes that responsibility and he takes it to heart. But in reality when you put on the tape everybody’s got to do their job. You play an aggressive defense that’s good against the pass, particularly last year, then you have to come and you’ve got to be ready to roll every snap and you’ve got to be aggressive every snap. We have to do a better job with that."
He then brushed off the idea that Vick was thinking too much:
"I don’t think it’s over-thinking. There were so many good things that he did in the mix there. I mean, he accumulated a ton of yards and so there were some good things. There were just some things; like I said, there were breakdowns, whether it was him, whether it was the o-line, whether it was receivers, running backs not checking through quick enough and getting to their spots, the calls. We’ve all got to look at that and make sure that we get that right."
A major problem was that Vick seemed constantly under pressure. Vick got the ball away in most cases -- he was only sacked twice -- but with dire consequences and lackluster results. He only completed 29 of 56 passes. Although Vick's calling card is his ability to elude tackles on his feet, Reid insisted things needed to get better up front to protect the notoriously fragile QB.
"I’ll tell you, there were some breakdowns in protection and everybody had a little bit of that, whether it was the tight ends in there, o-line, running backs held a piece of that. There were a few where he could have gotten it to a secondary receiver quicker. So, everybody had a little bit of that. We’ve got to tighten that up. You can’t go through and have the quarterback get hit that much."
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