Michael Vick: Why the Eagles Offense, Not the Refs, Is to Blame

WesAnalyst IOctober 4, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by Aldon Smith #99 of the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field on October 2, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The 49ers defeated the Eagles 24-23.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Michael Vick is the only cure for the Philadelphia Eagles' defense this year.

He isn't going to shed blocks, fill the hole and take down a running back. He won't cover or tackle receivers running rampant through the secondary. And he isn't going to come up with a game plan to slow down anybody.

The only thing Vick can do right now is outscore the other team.

It's not the best way to play and it's not the formula for winning a championship. At this point, though, no one should think about toting around the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Eagles need to win a game, even though it doesn't seem likely based on how poorly they have played this season.

To put up more points than the other team, Vick has to remain healthy.

To avoid injury, the refs need to throw more flags. It's that simple.

They're the ones who are responsible for protecting Vick. Whenever an official steps onto the field, he should only focus on keeping Vick's uniform clean and ensuring the Pro Bowl quarterbacks walk away from every game unscathed.

Hopefully no one actually believes this. The responsibility of keeping Vick healthy falls squarely on the shoulders of Andy Reid, Marty Mornhinweg, Howard Mudd, Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Kyle DeVan and Todd Herremans.

Add King Dunlap to the mix, with Peters scheduled to miss up to a month, according to Philly.com.

For those who don't know the names, they are the head coach, offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and offensive linemen.

Oh, and add Vick to the list as well.

Let's start at the top. Reid has put together an offensive line that is probably one of the worst in the NFL. It's only a matter of time until someone at BR puts together a top 10 list of the worst offensive lines. If they do, the Eagles are sure to land on it.

Reid tried to address the right guard position by selecting Danny Watkins with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Watkins now sits on the bench while Kyle DeVan plays. Maybe it should be mentioned that DeVan was signed less than one week before the start of the season.

How you lose a job to someone who didn't even go through training camp with the team sounds nearly impossible. Reid somehow drafted a player capable of doing it.

Reid compounded the situation by asking Vick to the throw ball about 32 times per game. That number doesn't even take into account how often Vick takes off and runs or is sacked when a pass play breaks down.

The NFL is clearly a pass-oriented league. ESPN showed a stat last night, which showed the first four weeks of the NFL season were the four highest weekly passing totals in NFL history.

It doesn't mean Reid has to follow the trend and put Vick in harm's way. Reid does have a capable running back in LeSean McCoy and a great backup in Dion Lewis. Ronnie Brown isn't too bad either when he's not screwing up half-back option passes.

Mornhinweg is told what the game plan will be, but that doesn't mean he has to go brain dead if and when he calls plays. It's actually a mystery as to who calls some of the plays, but Mornhinweg has to catch some flak for the calls that expose Vick to unnecessary hits.

Two quarterback sneaks along the goal line against the Giants? Even after Vick was coming off a concussion and was playing with a potential injury to his hand? Mornhinweg has to be better than that.

Mudd, the offensive line coach, is also culpable. He was the one who decided to go with Kelce and Mathis while sending Watkins to the bench and moving Herremans to right tackle. He wanted players who are quicker even though they are lighter.

It's led to the o-line being overwhelmed and Vick taking a beating.

And then there's the offensive line. It's actually hard to blame them because the talent is not there, and as Reid has told us numerous times, he does not put his players in the best position to succeed.

Asking a small offensive line to get enough push against the Giants in order for Owen Schmitt to fall into the end zone does not seem like the best approach. But at some point, they need to play like a professional and stop being an embarrassment.

With so much blame to go around, Vick can't walk away guilt-free.

He has to learn this sliding thing and when to get out of bounds. It's really not a difficult thing to learn, and it will help preserve his health. Falling head first for an extra yard is not doing this team any good.

We get it. Vick wants to win and he is willing to do anything.

Well, if you are willing to do anything, learn how to stay healthy by avoiding hits. That would be a tremendous place to start.

Because without Vick on the field, the Eagles' offense can't overcome their lackluster defense.