Hello from Philadelphia, where I’ve spent the day. The Eagles practiced, and there was a whole bunch of interviews. Gearing up for Sunday’s Eagles-Ravens game.
It’s safe to say, it wasn’t a fantastic experience for the Eagles — Iggles — last week. Sure, sure, they did win, but they looked ugly doing it. QB Michael Vick threw four interceptions, which tends to overshadow the game-winning drive against the Browns.
With that in mind, two things I’ve realized after spending a bunch of time here. One, Vick has an offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg who does a fantastic job keeping Vick focused on what he needs to be focused on. And two, Vick handled criticism as well as anyone.
The first thing: Mornhinweg maintains confidence in Vick because he’s seriously talented. But also, he puts a lot more focus on Vick’s last drive than on his first. And I got to imagine that’s nice for QB to hear.
“You take the last drive,” said Mornhinweg, when asked how he knows Vick’s confidence isn’t shaken. “Absolutely. You don’t think he’s confident? Shoot. Come from behind win. We’re 1-0. He’s on a five-game win streak — I don’t count last year but technically. Yeah, I don’t think any quarterback can lack for any confidence, but he’s rocking and rolling right now.”
That’s what the focus is on. As Mornhingweg pointed out, hey, at least they won. So, that’s something. He takes solace in that.
“I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve coached in some (great games),” he said, “where it happened and lost the ball game. I think, with Mike, I know this – the things he went through in that ballgame, and some of them were horrible types of things to go through – the things he did on that last drive, I think you do have to give him credit there as well. We’ll build upon that and make all of the corrections. He has seen that film over and over again. Like I said, I go back to several plays were things were just performed perfectly in the passing game, with some of the same coverages as well.”
Mornhinweg and Vick had a film session that the OC described as “real. We make it real.” They went through it all, and spotted 10 plays that were really trouble. They talked about the turnover battle and it’s importance, and Vick listened.
“It was a good thing we were able to overcome them,” Mornhinweg said. “One thing I told Mike, I’m proud of him. Prouder than heck because he overcame a lot of things to get that win.”
But here’s the real underrated thing: Vick’s life has been out there. Now, famously, he has no secrets, and he even wrote a book about them. I wonder if that helps him weather the storm, whatever the storm may be. I wonder if that helps makes all the noise about his performance not a huge deal to him. Mornhinweg described to me how Vick deals.
“We do discuss that, oh sure,” he told me. “We pay attention to what the fellas in this building are thinking. We don’t pay much attention to any outside influences. It’s just that simple. You have to be a certain type of player and I will say coach, as well, to play here because of that. However, I’ve been here quite a while and I’ve learned to, absolutely, love our fans and media. Because they’re so passionate and intelligent, but there is so much of it. I don’t know what’s out there because I didn’t pay much attention. But I will tell you, you can win a ballgame here and feel like that you didn’t do much.“