Sal Paolantonio reports that Andy Reid feels the NFL needs to pay closer attention to the hits that Vick takes after the play is over.
Says Reid, “It bothers me to be honest with you. That bothers me. I see the same thing you’re seeing and it bothers me…he does run, but he’s still the quarterback and you can’t treat him like he’s a running back there. That’s not what the rules state.”
Well, there’s just one question to be asked, how on earth is a defensive player supposed to know when Vick plans to run and when he plans to remain in the pocket?
Let’s be honest here, Vick is a run threat and most defenses are looking to decapitate him if he even looks like he might be thinking of running—can you expect any less?
Defenses want to send a message to all mobile quarterbacks, be it Vick or someone else, that they plan to make life hell if they choose to leave the pocket. The way to do that is to hit them as hard as possible—as often as possible. That’s precisely why, over the course of time, you see less and less quarterback’s making a run for it—they can’t afford potential injury.
They slide or they run out of bounds, but they don’t cruise down the field for 15 or 20 yards—several times a game. Pocket quarterbacks are far more likely to get the calls because they spend the better part of their game being immobile. Aside from taking the snap, making their drop (3, 5 or 7), and throwing the football, they don’t go far. The refs can see all of those movements from one location—the pocket.
Vick has made 268 pass attempts this season (24th*). That’s a lot less than most of his counterparts—the ones who are most likely to get the calls that Reid is alluding to in his statement. By contrast, he has made 74 rushing attempts (1st among QB’s).
Say what you want, but defenses have to respect Vick’s prowess as a rusher or they will get beat.
Is Vick a quarterback, yes, but that doesn’t mean he should be allowed to run-at-will or be given the same degree of latitude as Drew Brees or Tom Brady—he’s viewed differently by defenses and he knows that.
Is that fair, no? But, how does he expect that to be corrected given his ability?
Here’s what Vick had to say, “This has been happening for the last four or five weeks, and I haven’t complained, I haven’t said anything, but it’s getting to a point where I’m getting tired of getting up off the canvas…the defense is going to continue to do it because it’s not getting called.”
We’ll see if Reid’s pleas end up meaning much for Vick on the football field but, from this chair, it just seems like there isn’t much to be said or corrected. Vick’s still a runner, defenses know that, and he’s going to continue to be a target until he stops being so productive on the ground—period.
What say you?
*Based on quarterbacks who pass the ball at least 14 times per game (NFL.com)