Every Eagles’ game always gives it’s fans high hopes that the promises made by Andy Reid about putting his players in better positions to make plays, finally comes to fruition. But after watching Sunday’s 27-6 pounding administered by the Arizona Cardinals on Michael Vick and the rest of the convocation, it’s time for those who are still holding their breath, to just exhale already.
Forced to play center, Dallas Reynolds, making his first NFL start and left tackle, Demetress Bell, starting for the first time this season, all signs pointed to a game plan featuring running back, LeSean McCoy. Instead, in Reid’s infinite wisdom, decides throwing the ball on the first three plays was a great way to ease these two new pieces into the flow of the game. They punted and Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb, then drove his team to field goal. Reid did run McCoy on 1st down on the ensuing drive for no gain and then quickly abandoned arguably the league’s best RB on the ground until the team was already down 10-0. McCoy gained 15 yards on 2 carries on that drive until Vick’s scramble resulted in a fumble recovered by the Cards. After a short drive, they were forced to punt and after three failed pass attempts by Vick, another punt followed. Kolb this time ends the drive with a TD pass to Eagle-killer Larry Fitzgerald to make it 17-0.
The Eagles get the ball back with 7:20 left in the half and McCoy carried the ball on 3rd and 20 for no gain and that was his last before intermission. The point here is they ran 5 times with McCoy carrying 4 and rookie Bryce Brown the other. How is that an effective game plan against a ferocious defense like Arizona has? Reid continually puts Vick in danger by not letting his offense line establish control of the line of scrimmage.
By that I mean when lineman are constantly asked to be passive when pass blocking and not aggressive when run blocking, it doesn’t give Vick the opportunity to improve. If Reid let’s the line pound on the defensive line to start to the game, it won’t let them tee-off on Vick. It will slow the defense down and give Vick a better chance to try to decipher what their doing.
I’m not letting Vick off the hook here, he’s been in the league for 10 years and he should be a lot better at seeing a blitzing corner or safety coming off the edge. Case in point, Kerry Rhodes blindsiding him on the goal line leading to the fumble that was returned for the TD that made it 24-0-game over!
Vick has to be more aware and so does his teammates. Since the New York Giants laid the blueprint out on how to neutralize Vick in 2010, the Eagles have yet to adjust to stopping or recognizing blitzing secondary personnel.
A veteran QB should be able to audible out of a dead play, something Vick never seems to do. Does Reid not trust Vick or does he think any play he calls can work no matter what the defense shows? There has to be options the QB has when presented with a situation he can’t win. I see QBs kill plays at the line every game when this happens. I don’t expect Vick to be like Peyton Manning with all the gyrations and finger pointing at the line, but I do expect when LBs creep up to both ‘A-gaps’, he recognizes that he needs to make an adjustment. And when a drive stalls or when a defense does something in-game that they didn’t see on film, why doesn’t Vick and offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg look at game pictures or talk when he’s on the bench? Why is he always sitting alone or talking with teammates. Why isn’t he forced to learn from what just happened? I see the great QBs doing it, trying to come up with an answer…trying to be a better student of the game!
Reid is always late in realizing what we as fans already know. Whether it be the need to upgrade the wideouts, linebacking corps or like yesterday when he decided to run McCoy in the 2nd half yesterday. Even though by that time it was way too late.
Whatever Reid saw in the film sessions that led him to devise that arid game plan in the desert, he needs to study a lot harder to improve his and Vick’s football I.Q.