Andy Reid defends Michael Vick
Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid on Monday defended Michael Vick after the quarterback's four-interception performance Sunday, saying his team's disappointing offensive display in the opening win "wasn't a one-man show."
"Michael took the blame yesterday. It wasn't a one-man show. Everybody had a piece of this pie. From me to the coaches ... to the play-calling, the penalties. ... You start looking at 456 yards of total offense and you're not putting it in the end zone, that's ridiculous," Reid said at his Monday news conference.
Vick showed major rust after missing most of the preseason and committed some of the same mistakes he made last season. Besides the four interceptions, he nearly threw a fifth on the Eagles' final drive.
He hurt the Eagles most when he threw his fourth interception, early in the fourth quarter, and it was returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, who somersaulted the final few yards into the end zone as Cleveland fans flipped out in the stands thinking an upset was possible.
"When you throw interceptions, it's one thing. But when you throw an interception for a touchdown and it changes the dynamic of the game, you look up at the scoreboard and now you're losing, you feel a sense of dissatisfaction," Vick said Sunday.
"I have a responsibility to this team and that's to lead them, not to hurt them."
Reid on Monday, however, said Vick shouldn't shoulder all the blame for his performance Sunday.
"Everybody had a piece of this. It's always going to fall on the quarterback's shoulders. He takes the responsibility and he takes it to heart. But when you put on the tape, everybody has to do their job," Reid said.
Receiver DeSean Jackson also came to the defense of Vick, saying "he's got a lot of courage" on Sunday.
"We worked so hard throughout the offseason and through training camp just to come out on fire and set this team up for a long year and great success. Sometimes, it doesn't always work that way," Jackson said.
Vick Wins Despite Picks
Michael Vick is the first quarterback to win a season opener after throwing at least four interceptions since Joe Ferguson for the Bills in 1980. Vick is the first one to do so on the road since the Oilers' George Blanda in 1962.
At least 4 INT in opening win, since 1960
"But you could see that he fought back. He kept making plays. Regardless of him being down on himself, everybody was saying, 'We will still ride with you.' It was a good situation to see him come back and make a game-winning throw."
Vick will clearly be the story leading up to the Ravens game. Perhaps struggling to find a counter-balance between being a prototypical, drop-back passer and the ad-libbing style that makes Vick who he is -- a mental, physical tug-of-war, if you will -- there appears to be a delay in decisions.
"I don't think it's over-thinking," Reid said. "There were so many good things that he did in the mix there. I mean, he accumulated a ton of yards and so there were some good things. There were just some breakdowns. We've all got to look at that and make sure that we get that right."
Vick was 29 of 56 for 317 yards and two scores to go with the four picks. He ran seven times for 32 yards, including a 16-yard scamper. He was sacked twice, but more important, he was banged around overall a bit too much for Reid's liking.
"I'll tell you, there were some breakdowns in protection and everybody had a little bit of that, whether it was the tight ends in there, (offensive) line, running backs," Reid said. "There were a few where he could have gotten it to a secondary receiver quicker. So, everybody had a little bit of that. We've got to tighten that up.
"You can't go through and have the quarterback get hit that much."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.