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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Kelly gives Vick a vote of confidence

By Phil Sheridan

DENVER -- In praising the other quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly might have revealed a little truth about his own.

Kelly was asked about the Eagles’ heavy use of the running game again on Sunday.

“You pick what you do best,” Kelly said. “If I had Peyton Manning, I’d throw it a lot, too.”

Kelly does have Michael Vick. He praised Vick’s performance in the Eagles’ 52-20 loss.

“I think Mike played well,” Kelly said. “I thought he threw the ball very accurately. I do know this and we’ve got to address it: We have to protect him better. I thought he put the ball in really good places, I thought he kept drives alive with his legs and I thought Mike played really well.”

But it is a passing league, and Vick’s production the last two weeks has been less than impressive. He completed 14 of 27 passes against Denver for 248 yards. Vick had at least four well-placed passes dropped by receivers. He was sacked three times for 13 and forced to scramble a number of times.

“I would like to have more time,” Vick said, “but I have to go out with what I have and keep fighting. Regardless of what I got, I have to keep fighting and working with those guys every day. I want to do my job to the best of my ability.”

Like Kansas City last week, the Broncos neutralized DeSean Jackson. Vick threw six passes to Jackon, but only two were complete for 34 yards. Defenses are willing to concede a certain amount of yardage on the ground if it prevents the big scoring plays that have become the Eagles’ calling card.

“We’ve been trying to run the ball,” Vick said. “That’s our thing. We try to keep that momentum between that and the passing game.”

Vick said he would take it upon himself to provide the kind of leadership a team needs to get out of an 0-3 tailspin.

“It took us three days to get over our loss to Kansas City,” Vick said. “That shouldn’t happen. It should hurt because we want perfection, but we have to find a way to get our juice and enthusiasm back. We need to understand that we still control our destination.”

Vick will remain at the wheel. Kelly put Nick Foles in for a garbage-time touchdown, but said he had given no thought to changing quarterbacks.