With a growing throng of Eagles fans beginning to demand that coach Andy Reid be held accountable for the performance of the so-called “Dream Team,” quarterback Mike Vick says that the blame should be placed not on the coach, but on the players.
“I know it’s not Coach’s fault,” Vick said Wednesday, via CSNPhilly.com. “It’s not Coach’s fault. Coach can’t go out and hold onto the ball. Coach can’t throw the ball down the field. Can’t go out there and do it, he can only give us what we need. The recipe for victory and that’s what we need.”
But, Mike, the problem is that, since Week One, “Coach” hasn’t given you the recipe for victory. And the ingredients in that stew for success include ensuring that the players on the field know how to hold the ball and do all the other things necessary to cook the meal.
“It’s the little things that’s killing us in games,” Vick said. “And I know the game of football, and I’ve been around the game a long time, and I know the intricacies and the ins and outs, and it’s not Coach. Bottom line. So put the heat on the players. Put it on us. Don’t put it on him.”
It’s easy for Vick to say that, since there’s no way he’s getting fired. (Yet.)
Even though it’s the players who play, it’s for the coaches to prepare them to play — and for the front office to pick players who will be able to play. In the Eagles’ case, Reid ultimately wears both hats, making him completely responsible for the product on the field. Either he should be getting the guys on the team to do a better job, or he should have gotten better players.
So while Reid isn’t playing the game, it’s on Reid to get his players to do what they’re supposed to do. If they can’t, then he should have gotten other players.
The Eagles have gone “all in” this year, but neither Reid nor the players can claim that the coaching staff is merely playing the hand they’ve been dealt. By signing Nnamdi Asomugha and Vince Young and Ronnie Brown and Steve Smith and other recognizable names, and by moving a 13-year offensive line coach to defensive coordinator, Reid tried to stack the deck in his favor. If what he thought would be a full house ends up being queen-high, it’s on no one but him.
But I’m sure Reid appreciates that the recipient of that $100 million contract is expressing his gratitude by trying to take the heat off the man who gave it to him.