Eagles Notes: Kelly hopes Vick's days as a blocker are over

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Posted: September 12, 2013

Don't expect Michael Vick to block after handoffs in the read-option as he did in Monday's 33-27 win over the Washington Redskins. Don't expect him to suddenly slide as an act of safety, either.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday that Vick's blocking was not by design. He will instruct Vick not to block in those situations.

"We're going to constantly coach it, emphasize it with him," Kelly said. "There's a lot of things I saw out of Mike that we've emphasized since I got here that we're happy with, other things we're still working on, other things he needs to work on."

But sliding is one area in which Kelly conceded that Vick will not change. Vick dives headfirst instead of sliding. Sometimes, that exposes him to hits. But he struggles sliding. Even President Obama encouraged Nnamdi Asomugha two summers ago to tell Vick to slide. Kelly said it's up to the coaches to put Vick in a "little bit better situation" so he doesn't endure big hits.

"I'm also realistic in terms of I don't think at 33 we're going to get him to hook-slide," Kelly said. "We can talk about it, wish for it. I don't see that happening."

Schemes limited Casey

When the Eagles signed tight end James Casey in March, team officials raved about his versatility and how he'd fit in Kelly's offense. In Monday's game, though, Casey played only two offensive snaps - and both were kneel- downs. He was relegated to a core special-teams player, which was not what was expected when the Eagles gave him a three-year, $12 million deal.

"I'm never going to be a guy that kind of causes problems in the locker room," said Casey, 28. "They know I want to play. . . . I'm obviously disappointed not being on the field, but that's part of the game. I'm just going to keep working and I'll be ready when my number's called and I get opportunities to go on the field."

Casey was signed before the Eagles drafted Zach Ertz in the second round. The Eagles did not go into the draft with the expectation of drafting a tight end in the second round but found Ertz's value too high to pass up. Ertz played 24 offensive snaps on Monday. Brent Celek played 66.

"Of course I signed here expecting to play and get opportunities to be on the field playing offensively. And then they drafted Ertz at the top of the second round, and he's of course going to get some opportunities," Casey said. "He's a great player. Brent's a great player. I think I'm a really good player. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in my ability."

Kelly said that Casey's lack of playing time had to do with the personnel groupings the Eagles used to attack the Redskins defense.

Fletcher has concussion

Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher suffered a concussion Monday and is the only injured player from the game who could miss any practice this week. Brandon Boykin anticipates playing outside cornerback if Fletcher is absent. . . . The Eagles re-signed cornerback Brandon Hughes, who was released Saturday. Hughes' broken hand would have kept him out of Monday's game, and the Eagles avoided guaranteeing Hughes' salary by not having him on the opening-day roster.

Record rating

ESPN's coverage of the game earned an 11.6 overnight rating, the highest for a Monday Night Football opener on the network. It was watched by 16.52 million viewers, according to deadline.com.

ESPN began televising Monday Night Football in 2006.


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