Six years ago, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning called out his offensive line in not-so-subtle fashion after a playoff loss to the Steelers, citing “problems in protection.” After getting sacked and knocked down and hurried and harassed by the Browns’ defense on Thursday night due to a work-in-progress wall of blockers, Eagles quarterback Mike Vick was far more diplomatic.
“You can’t expect a guy to come in and be a Pro Bowl player in two games,” Vick said of sixth-round rookie center Jason Kelce, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News. “That’s just not the way this thing works.”
Kelce and rookie Danny Watkins started on Thursday night, and tackle King Dunlap continues to try to shed his training wheels.
Addressing the protection problems more generally (without infringing on Manning’s copyrighted phrase), Vick said, “The minute you start to get down on a player, or down-talk ’em, then that’s when they lose confidence.”
Meanwhile, Vick’s confidence tank remains topped off. “I’m going to give defenses fits anyway,” Vick said regarding his effective play despite being repeatedly chased and hit. “Just plain and simple, saying that out of confidence, not arrogance.”