Eagles quarterback Michael Vick says physically he is “getting better” after returning to the field for the first time after missing three games with broken ribs.
“It’s been tough the last 3-4 weeks,” Vick told the team’s website. “Last week didn’t make it any better. I’m just trying to stay alive and just trying to be accountable to my teammates and my team.”
The question of Vick’s unwillingness to slide and avoid contact continues to arise.
“I don’t want him to take the big hits,” coach Andy said Monday. “That’s probably stating the obvious. Again, there’s a fine line there of taking away his competitive spirit and edge, and getting him to slide, so I’m sensitive to that. It’s tough with somebody who’s as competitive as him to get him to do that when things are flying around. He believes when he has the ball in his hand that he has the opportunity to score every time. But, I will still hammer home the point about getting yourself down and being smart. There’s a time and a place to step out of bounds, there’s a time and a place to get down, and I figure by the time he’s about 43 I’ll have that figured out for him.”
Vick was wearing padding on his ribs, made by one of his sponsors. He said the padding “got me through the game Sunday.”
“If you break your ribs, it hurts. It takes a while to recover. With any injury, there’s nothing that can protect it other than it being all the way healed. I’ve got to get it all the way healed and keep it protected as much.”
The other issue hindering Vick is the number of tipped passes.
“I don’t know, but this is the first year that I’ve had probably 30 tipped balls in a season,” Vick said. “It’s never happened before and I don’t know where it’s come from. I haven’t changed my game . I haven’t done anything different. Everything’s the same. I don’t know what it is but we have to figure it out.”
He added, “I can’t stop it. I’ve been in this league for 9 years and I’ve never had a season where I’ve had so many tipped balls. I don’t know what it is.”
Without getting into specifics, Reid said there were four tipped balls against Miami. He cited a combination of factors – where Vick threw the ball and penetration from the defense.
“It’s going to happen to the best of quarterbacks every once in a while,” Reid said. “There are times that you do have to move suddenly in the pocket to make throws. I think if you asked Mike he’d tell you he had a couple of those where he could have moved a little bit better, and then if you talked to the offensive line they’d tell you they could have done a better job on a couple of those.”
As for what he wants from the last three games, Vick said, “Playing the game, being smooth, just trying to be flawless -- even though that’s not really what’s been happening -- striving to be the best each and every down on Sunday, making the plays I can make for my team, helping the team, not hurting the team putting us in position to win.”
The Eagles remain alive, barely.
“We’re just fighting to stay alive,” Vick said. “Unfortunately, it’s led to the situation being this way. But I think we are able to overcome. We’re taking it one game at a time and control the things we can control and that’s winning on Sunday. If we can do that, then we better our chances.”