Sunday’s game against the New York Giants wasn’t the first time Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick took late hits after he released the football with no penalty flags from the officials. Vick hasn’t been getting the calls. All you have to do is look at the tape.
Everything came to head in the Eagles 29-16 loss to the Giants, where Vick made his feelings known publicly following the game.
“Everybody saw the game,” Vick said. “I was on the ground constantly. All of the time. Every time I throw the ball in my highlights and just watching film in general, every time I throw the ball I’m on the ground, getting hit in the head. And I don’t know why I don’t get the 15-yard flags like everybody else does but, hey, I’m not going to complain about it. I’m just making everybody aware and hopefully somebody will take notice.”
Some people may think this is sour grapes on Vick’s part after a stinging loss to a divisional opponent. Some experts say Vick holds onto the ball too long in the pocket. Some experts have also pointed to the offensive line to a certain extent, which hasn’t been very good. But you can’t lay everything on the offensive line. There are a lot of excuses going around. But Vick is right. He hasn’t been getting the calls.
The National Football League officials may take Vick’s comments personally. But what they should do is take them professionally. Teams have been using him as target practice. Sometimes you have to open your mouth and let the powers that be know exactly what’s going on.
“I don’t think opposing teams are trying to pull up,” Vick said. “I think they’re going all out to try to get to the quarterback that they’re playing. If they’re not being made conscious of the situation or what is happening or the ref is not giving them a warning, then they are not going to stop. Like I said, I’m not sitting here trying to blame the refs for what happened. I just want them to take notes. That’s it.”
They should take notes. If they look at Eagles’ games from last year up until now, they’ll see where Vick has been hit late on several occasions. Everybody watches film. The coaches, players, general managers, scouts and officials all watch videotape of NFL games. It’s plain and simple.
The best thing that came out of Sunday’s game was Vick speaking up. There’s a time and place for everything. After the game was a good time and a good place. He had a captive audience with all the sports media.
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens going forward. The league and its officials should take a deeper look at this situation. You can’t have a 300-pound defensive lineman taking late shots on your quarterback well after he releases the football. Someone can really get hurt behind that. Vick has already been injured in two out of the first three games. It’s time to throw the flag on late hits.
Contact staff writer Donald Hunt at (215) 893-5719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.