Eagles Notebook: No one is wowed by offense so far

Michael Vick, who joined the Eagles 3 years ago, talks things over with Marty Mornhinweg.
Michael Vick, who joined the Eagles 3 years ago, talks things over with Marty Mornhinweg. (YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: August 15, 2012

BETHLEHEM - Someone in the circle of reporters informed Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg that Monday was exactly 3 years since the team signed quarterback Michael Vick.

"Like an anniversary, huh? A celebration?" Mornhinweg said. He did not ask whether there would be cake.

Vick recalled that he "just thought it would be a 1-year deal and . . . venture out and see what happens." He said he felt "weird" in his first practice, as a third-stringer behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb.

"I'm glad I was able to prove to these coaches I had a decent level of skill to play within the offense," Vick said.

Mornhinweg is in midseason form, by the way. He announced solemnly that he was "extremely disappointed in more than several things" that happened in the Eagles' exhibition opener against Pittsburgh, but then pretty much declined to specify any of the several things in which he was extremely disappointed. And have you heard the one about how every game is different?

Anyway, the Pittsburgh game featured a first-team offense that went three-and-out, three-and-out, have a seat - oh, and Vick banged up his thumb. It was just another day in a training camp that has been both uneventful and unspectacular for the quarterback and the offense.

"One of the things that I was disappointed in was our precision," Mornhinweg said. "You saw the plays that were called were precision-type plays, and although we didn't have many opportunities, several times it wasn't there. As far as Mike, he's having a terrific camp and continuing to improve every day, so I have great confidence in Mike."

And that's it. With that, we all can move along now. This is not the month for drawing conclusions.

The truth is that Vick has not put up impressive exhibition numbers since he arrived in Philadelphia. The truth also is that Kolb put up mediocre numbers when he was getting the starting reps during the 2010 summer, and that McNabb tended to be a better training camp player than both of them, but that the offense still often left people wondering as it sputtered in the preseason games.

Overall, there has been little connection over the years between how this offense looks in August and how it looks thereafter. To pretend otherwise is to do just that - pretend. The scheme is obviously a very important part of the process here - a scheme, you will remember, that made A.J. Feeley look good, back when - and we will not see much of it in the summertime and we never will.

In the meantime, Mornhinweg was asked about Vick's pocket presence.

"He will continue to get better at that," he said. "There was one particular play in the Pittsburgh game in which he got sacked and he was well-protected. He moved himself right into a sack. He can get better there and he has gotten better over the past couple of years there. He certainly can get better there. I do believe that if it was a regular-season game - and these are excuses, even though everything we do is important and we make no excuses - that he would have done that a little bit differently."

That is, he would have run - because Vick is different when the games count, and this offense is different when the games count.

Tra makes it official

Three-time Eagles Pro Bowl offensive tackle Tra Thomas will meet with reporters Thursday at NovaCare as he officially retires as an Eagle. Thomas, whom the Birds drafted 11th overall in 1998, last played in 2009 for the Jaguars.

Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement released by the team: "Tra Thomas is one of the best offensive linemen to ever put on an Eagles uniform. He was an anchor at the left tackle position for many years and played such an integral role in our success, though he probably never got all the credit he deserved. Besides being such a great player, Tra is an even better person and someone I've always had a great relationship with. I'm proud of what he has done with his career after football as he has remained very successful while keeping his home in this area. We are very happy that he is retiring as an Eagle."

Moving on

Tuesday is the last day of training camp at Lehigh. Players are off Wednesday, then practice resumes Thursday at NovaCare, as the Eagles prepare for their Aug. 20 preseason game at New England. Players have said the team will treat that as the third game, playing starters more than in any of the other exhibitions, because the actual third game is at the Browns, who also are the Eagles' opponents for the season opener.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Les Bowen at bowenl@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LesBowen. For more Eagles coverage and opinion, follow the Daily News' Eagles blog at www.eagletarian.com.

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