Reid, Vick want more protection from officials

The hits just keep on coming: Michael Vick goes down with Texans linebacker Brian Cushing on top. "Every time I get hit, I look up at the ref and I see no flag," the Eagles quarterback said.
The hits just keep on coming: Michael Vick goes down with Texans linebacker Brian Cushing on top. "Every time I get hit, I look up at the ref and I see no flag," the Eagles quarterback said.
Posted: December 04, 2010

Andy Reid has seen his starting quarterback take a beating recently, and both he and Michael Vick made it clear Friday that they think some of the hits have crossed the line, even though they have not drawn a penalty flag.

"It bothers me," Reid said when a reporter asked about some of the big shots Vick has absorbed. "He does run, but he's still the quarterback . . . you can't treat him like he's a running back there. That's not what the rules state."

Vick, who had a sore quadriceps Friday after getting hammered by the Texans on Thursday night, said he is not getting the same protection as other quarterbacks.

"If you go back and watch the film, I'm getting hit after I throw the ball, repeatedly. It's time after time after time. I'm getting my face mask pulled, I'm getting hit in the head, the calls are not being made," Vick said in an appearance on WIP-AM (610).

Vick was hit hard on the first play from scrimmage Thursday, and the abuse continued. At least once he was helped to his feet by a sympathetic official. Reid and Vick said that at times they would rather see a yellow flag than a helping hand after the fact, especially with the NFL's recent emphasis on keeping quarterbacks safe.

"Every time I get hit, I look up at the ref and I see no flag. And I see other quarterbacks standing in the pocket - the minute they get touched there's a flag on the field," Vick said.

Vick said he gets different treatment because he is so mobile.

"This has been happening for the last four or five weeks, and I haven't complained, I haven't said anything, but it's getting to a point where I'm getting tired of getting up off the canvas," Vick said. "The defense is going to continue to do it because it's not getting called."

Vick spent part of Thursday's game riding an exercise bike on the sideline to keep his quad loose. At several points, he got up slowly off the field.

The Texans were the third consecutive team to get to Vick, after the New York Giants and Chicago Bears pressured him. Vick was sacked just once, but he was hit often, in his legs and his side; he was tripped from behind and smacked as he released throws. On one play, a Texan grabbed Vick's face mask. On another, a defender's knee hit the quarterback in the head as Vick went down.

On one scramble, a tackler pulled Vick down from behind while another blasted him from the side. Vick may present a challenge for referees, though. Whereas other quarterbacks might be ruled in the grasp of a defender and down, Vick shows an ability to escape.

Reid declined to say exactly how he might address the concern, though he could ask the NFL to review video of the plays in question.

"I'm not going to get into all that. I'll deal with the people I need to deal with on it," the coach said.

Injury update.Despite Reid's concern about his quarterback, it was a mostly happy day-after news conference. One concern loomed: Tackle Winston Justice has a knee hyperextension that bears watching. Justice has time to recover, since the Eagles' next game is Dec. 12, but if he can't go, King Dunlap will step in.

Reid said cornerback Asante Samuel and defensive end Juqua Parker should be back in practice when the team gets back together Wednesday.

Reid and his players have some time to rest. The Eagles are off until Wednesday, when practice resumes.

Penalty problems persist. As much as Reid would like to see other teams penalized for hitting Vick, he wants his own players to draw fewer flags. The Eagles had 11 penalties for 85 yards Thursday night.

"You make it tough on yourself," he said. "It's going to be tough anyway; it doesn't have to be that tough."

The Eagles are averaging 8.5 penalties a game - third most in the NFL - and 75.8 penalty yards per game, second after the Oakland Raiders.

On Thursday, the Eagles were called for five offside penalties, though one was declined and one came on a kickoff.

Houston's center was using "very dramatic" movements with a silent count, which may have led to some of the Eagles' offside penalties, Reid said. Sometimes the ball was moving, he said, triggering reactions from the defense.

Reid said coaches have to stress discipline.

"You have to be as disciplined as you can in practice and then practice as fast as you possibly can," Reid said.


Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or jtamari@phillynews.com.

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