Saturday, November 10, 2012
Opposing voice: Michael Vick
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys coach Jason Garrett described what's happening to Michael Vick best when he said that the Eagles' quarterback gets sacked a lot.
Vick has been sacked 27 times this season, third most in the NFL, and has been a turnover machine. He's thrown nine interceptions, sixth most in the NFL. When it comes to third-and-long plays, Vick has completed less than 50 percent of his passes.
Once more, the Eagles quarterback is leading a team that's 3-5 overall and he's had to hear about his job status being in question.
If things keep going in a downward turn, coach Andy Reid and Vick could lose their gigs. Reid might get fired and Vick could be benched in favor of rookie Nick Foles.
Yet, Vick and the Eagles have a chance to salvage what's left of their season if they defeat the Cowboys on Sunday.
"Man, I think every week from here on out is a big week for us," Vick said in a conference call this week with reporters. "We kind of dug ourselves in a hole a little bit. But the thing is we still have a shot. We just got to keep playing, stay tight, stay together, stay firm."
Vick has had success against the Cowboys in the past, going 4-2 lifetime and completing 61.5 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware has 108.5 career sacks, with 6.5 against Vick, tied for the second most against any quarterback. By the way, former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb has also been sacked 6.5 times by Ware.
Overall, Vick has been hit a lot more than he's used to. It could be his offensive line that's endured inconsistent play and injuries or Vick himself. He's been criticized for holding onto the ball too long, resulting in unnecessary hits in the pocket.
"Yeah, it’s been tough this year," he said. "I’ve got hit a lot more than I’ve ever been hit in my career. The thing is, I’ve got to train hard this offseason and continue to train hard in season to prepare me for the hits and the contact. I’m just thanking God for just keeping me upright."
Vick might not get an offseason with the Eagles if things continue in the downward turn.
"The relationship is still good," Vick said of his with Reid. "It’s still on a great basis, and coach and I talk through everything we need to talk about to try to come up with a solution or how we can maintain our focus with the team and continue to push forward. My primary focus is helping this football team, and I care about the guys in this locker room. I see how hard they work, so my main priority is just to try and help them."