Vick gets less than a ringing endorsement from Eagles coach

Michael Vick has engineered three late, winning drives, but he also has 13 of the team's 17 turnovers. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Michael Vick has engineered three late, winning drives, but he also has 13 of the team's 17 turnovers. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Posted: October 17, 2012

If Andy Reid had hoped to light a fire under Michael Vick, he probably did so when he gave the Eagles quarterback a nearly identical endorsement to the one he gave Juan Castillo one day before he fired the defensive coordinator.

"As I sit here today, he's the starting quarterback," Reid said Tuesday when he was asked if Vick would start when the 3-3 Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 28.

On Monday, when he was asked if Castillo would continue to make the calls on defensive plays, Reid said, "That's the way I'm looking at it as I stand right here." A day later, Castillo was gone and defensive backs coach Todd Bowles was in as coordinator.

A questioner noted that the coach's lukewarm support for Vick could lead the media and fans to believe that the veteran could be benched in favor of rookie Nick Foles.

"I'm just telling the truth," Reid said. "That's what I'm saying to you. Right now, Michael Vick is the starting quarterback."

Reid said he was still evaluating the rest of the coaching staff and the team. Vick has struggled this season. He has 13 of the Eagles' 17 turnovers - eight interceptions and five lost fumbles.

"You obviously can't have that many turnovers," Reid said. "You can't do that. If you can't have that many as an offense, you surely can't have that many as a quarterback."

Vick has engineered three fourth-quarter drives to win games this season. He has had his moments despite playing behind a tattered and struggling offensive line. The Eagles' protection issues could be a primary issue why Reid would not go to Foles.

Vick escaped many would-be sacks in Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to the Lions. Foles is nowhere near as fast. He did appear to get rid of the ball quicker than Vick during the preseason.

Foles, the Eagles' third-round draft pick out of Arizona, completed 40 of 63 passes for 553 yards and six touchdowns in the preseason. He threw two interceptions. As impressive as he looked, most of his playing time was spent against reserve defenses and he faced little blitzing.

Reid was asked if was willing to roll the dice on the rookie in light of the success a number of young quarterbacks have had in the NFL over the last few seasons.

"I'm looking at everything," Reid said. "I'm going to try and do what's best for our offense in this case and then whatever that decision is, I'm going to do. Right now, Michael's the guy."


 

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