PHILADELPHIA // After Michael Vick tossed four interceptions, was sacked twice, and finished with a 50.9 rating in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 17-16 win against the Cleveland Browns, the quarterback has been poked and prodded by media and fans alike.
One line of questioning has involved Vick’s state of mind as the Eagles prepare for their home opener against the Ravens this Sunday. But offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg simply pointed to Vick’s ability to engineer the game-winning, touchdown drive against the Browns as Exhibit No. 1 in his faith in Vick’s confidence level.
“You take the last drive,” Mornhinweg said Thursday. “… You don’t think he’s confident? Shoot, it was a come-from-behind win and we’re 1-0. I don’t think any quarterback can lack for any confidence.”
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But NFL ON CBS analyst Dan Dierdorf, who will provide analysis for Sunday’s contest, said queries about Vick’s confidence are valid.
“Four interceptions, that sticks,” said Dierdorf, a former St. Louis Cardinals offensive tackle. “That doesn’t go away until you go out there and have a couple good performances. So I would have to think that Michael Vick’s confidence level right now isn’t really high. And keep in mind that he didn’t have a great year last year either after having a phenomenal year back in ‘10. I can only imagine that the offseason he and [head coach] Andy [Reid] spent, there were a lot of hours on fine-tuning a lot of different parts about Michael Vick’s game, working on his blitz recognition and his adjustments and whatnot. And then to have that happen in the first game, the only positive thing you can take from it is, it’s a ‘W.’ The Eagles are 1-0 just like the Ravens are 1-0. But Michael Vick’s confidence just can’t be very high right now. So how do you change that? You change that by letting [running back] LeSean McCoy and your running game take a lot of pressure off of him.”
Mornhinweg said he had no objection to the run-pass ratio he called in the win against Cleveland. And he reminded the media that Vick’s performance on Sunday was his first since bruising his ribs in the second game of the preseason last month.
“You know we don’t make excuses or reasons, but after the ball game, I do think there was some rust there, and I usually don’t go there,” he said. “But I do think that was a real thing because we expect our players to play at a high level no matter what has occurred in the past and play at a high level consistently.”
With Vick’s four interceptions and McCoy’s one lost fumble, Philadelphia prevailed despite finishing with a -1 turnover ratio. Mornhinweg said protecting the ball is a priority for Vick & Co. on the offensive side of the ball.
“He understands, our team understands the turnover ratio. We understand it,” Mornhinweg said. “We’ve got proud players, and we want to take care of the ball. So let’s take care of the ball.”