Michael Vick’s time has come and seemingly the revolving door of his 2011 has already begun to pick up the pace before his foot is out. With a broken hand involving Philly’s backup quarterbacks more than Coach Andy Reid may have anticipated, the choice is not so simple.
At the beginning of the season, things may have been crystal clear as to what the general direction of Philadelphia was going to be. The so-called “Dream Team” had been assembled and was waiting to take on any and every competitor ballsy enough to risk a loss. Speedy Gonzalez QB Vick was going to lead the offensive charge as the protection in the pocket grew after a few free-agent signings. With the blocks being picked up as they should, Vick would have the time to maintain a threshold of production that included more passes than last season during which time he would risk far less injury.
More pocket movement, more games for their franchise QB and an exceptional secondary that would stop anything running in its direction. That was how the cookie was supposed to crumble.
Then the season started. After a self-proclaimed lights-out performance from Vick in the season’s opener, things looked brighter towards the end of the tunnel. The Atlanta Falcons were just a stepping stone, right?
However, had anyone forgotten how instrumental Falcons’ Michael Turner is for spreading the defense in TE Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White’s favor? What about rookie WR Julio Jones? Was he supposed to lie on his back and just allow Vick to return to his former team guns blazing?
Things were not going to happen as easily as the Eagles and overzealous analysts had predicted. With Matt Ryan taking advantage of a late-game situation and a tiring defense, a running back with semi-truck strength and a veteran tight end with enough juice in his legs to spread throughout the Eagles’ entire offense, Atlanta walked away with a W and the Eagles with a 1-1 record.
No longer undefeated, it was time to face he who shrank in the face of adversity in the previous season. Eli Manning and the NY Giants went into Week 3’s meeting beat up and broken down. Easy come, easy go.
I mean, Nnamdi Asomugha is in the secondary this time around, so things could not have possibly happened as the slow start last season did. Not only were the Eagles going to redeem themselves, but with Vick returning from a concussion, they were going to embarrass the Giants.
They are the Eagles, hear them roar.
Yet, Vick’s protection seemed to fail him again. No matter how many commentators would like to bail Eagles’ O-line out and blame all the contact Vick receives on his own method of scoring or gaining yards, there were missed blocks on more than a dozen plays and Vick’s body pays for it every time. His comments after the game echo his frustration on the field, but he was directing his anger at the wrong source, as reported by NFL.com.
"I am conscious of my safety, and I want to play this game and protect myself at all times even though sometimes I can't," he said. "I trust in my offensive lineman...I guess I got to do more. There's something I'm not doing right maybe. I just got to keep pressing."
Vick said he wasn't complaining about not getting calls Sunday, but rather commenting on a season-long trend that is unfair to him.
"I don't know why I don't get the 15-yard flags like everybody else do," he said. "Hey, I'm not going to complain about it. I'm just going to make everyone aware of it.
Vick is sick of getting hit, even in the pocket, but he firmly keeps his trust in his offensive line. Is it just me, or is there a sickening sense of denial brewing on the turf in Philly?
While Vick may be conscious of his own safety, the men that are supposed to keep him from getting pummeled attempt at a seemingly low rate of success. Yes, late hits on quarterbacks in the professional league are inevitable. Still, there is an insurmountable of ways to let a lineman roll around a block and get a hand on the QB. The Eagles seem to be finding each one as time marches on.
The same song is being sung in Chicago where sometimes you can blame Jay Cutler’s sacks on his own slow release of the ball, but a lot more times the contact he receives can be blamed on the offensive line’s mistakes. Not to say that none of these men are doing their jobs correctly, though there must be a better way to protect the QB or they will not last for the entirety of the season.
Vince Young was brought for a very simple reason. Vick was not expected to last an entire season due to the way he chooses to play football. No one knew that he would get so trampled in the pocket, as everyone has persuaded him he should get better at doing.
Personnel changes need to be made, and after a $100 million extension, it is apparent the change will not come at Vick’s expense. No. 7 cannot get his feet planted long enough to get a genuine offensive flow going for the season.
Guess he’ll have to take his seat on the sidelines long enough for this revolving door to slow its pace.
UPDATE: As reported by ESPN, Vick's hand is not broken as the Philadelphia Eagles first thought, it is only bruised..