Vick sticks up for Reid

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:42 PM ET

TORONTO - In Philadelphia the sports fans are screaming mad and in a funk.

The Phillies were supposed to win the World Series and they got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.

The Eagles were supposed to win the Super Bowl and instead they have lost four in a row and are on the verge of being out of a playoff race.

The criticism is mounting on Eagles head coach Andy Reid but at least he has the public backing of his star quarterback Michael Vick. Itís not Reid that is the problem, Vick says, itís the players.

ďWeíre going to fight for him every minute,Ē Vick told the Philadelphia Inquirer. ďItís not coach Reidís fault. Coach canít go out and hold onto the ball, coach canít throw the ball down the field. Coach canít go out there and do it, he can only give us what we need ó the recipe for victory, and thatís what weíre getting.

ďItís the little things thatís killing the game. Itís not on coach. I know the game of football and Iíve been around the game for a long time and I know the intricacies and the ins and outs, and itís not coach. Bottom line. Put the heat on the players, you can put it on us. Donít put it on him.Ē

There, now donít you feel bad for criticizing Reid?

WAITING ON HAYNESWORTH

Big things were expected from Albert Haynesworth after he got a second chance to shine as a member of the New England Patriots.

After bombing out with the Washington Redskins, the thinking was that Haynesworth would regain his Pro Bowl form as a member of the Patriots.

So far, though, it hasnít quite gone that way. Thatís the bad news.

The good news is that doesnít sit well with Haynesworth either.

To date, the 6-foot-6, 350-pound defensive tackle has contributed two tackles and one quarterback hit in three games. He missed two other games with a back injury.

ďI wouldnít say Iím satisfied,Ē Haynesworth said. ďIf I ainít making every tackle, every sack, every pass defence, Iím not satisfied. So, Iím OK with it, but I want to definitely increase and get a lot better and want them to see what I can do.Ē

To make his presence felt, Haynesworth needs to play and needs his health. Five games in with his new team and he still hasnít found his rhythm.

ďThe more I play, the more familiar I can get,Ē he said. ďCoach (Bill Belichick) is not going to rush anything, and he wants me to get my feet under me so I can play well.Ē

ďI feel OK. Iím still trying to shake some things or whatever. As time goes, Iím feeling better and better and more comfortable in the whole scheme of things and how Iím doing.

So, when does he think heíll be back to form?

ďOnly God knows that question,Ē Haynesworth replied.

And he wasnít referring to Belichick.

GROSSMAN NOT WOWING 'SKINS FANS

The timing was pretty good for the Washington Redskins to have last week as a bye week as they gained an added week of rest to get ready for their key home game on Sunday against the reeling Philadelphia Eagles.

Skinsí quarterback Rex Grossman used the time to reflect on his performance in his his first four games where he led Washington to a 3-1 start.

Grossman was the surprise winner of the quarterback competition in training camp and to date has not wowed the fans by his performance. The team is winning but itís not due to any kind of special play from Grossman who has completed 83 of 143 passes for 989 yards. He has thrown six touchdown passes but has also tossed five interceptions and fumbled twice.

So, the fans have yet to embrace him. In fact, more of them are waiting for him to fall apart.

ďOverall, it was good, but I can definitely play better,Ē Grossman told the Washington Times when asked about his performance. ďWe can play better as an offence, and we are going to play better.Ē

Offensively, the Redskins have yet to light it up as theyíve failed to score 20 points in each of their last two games.

Grossman knows he has to do more, starting Sunday.

ďAs long youíre doing your job and trying to accomplish your task and keep getting better, thatís all you should focus on,Ē he said. ďIím happy with where we are at 3-1, and I know we can be better, which is exciting.Ē

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

No quarterback this side of Ben Roethlisberger has taken more of a pounding than the Bearsí Jay Cutler.

When he isnít being sacked ó and heís already hit the turf 18 times ó heís running for his life.

Thatís par for the course in Cutlerís short career with the Bears and he says it isnít affecting him physically. Mentally? Thatís a different issue.

ďPhysically, itís not that big of a deal,Ē Cutler told reporters. ďMentally, it just speeds up my clock. It just makes me uneasy in the pocket. You take your eyes from downfield and you kind of check to see whatís going on in front of you, so (itís more) psychologically and mentally (challenging) than anything. I donít want to take the sack. Iím just trying to get rid of the ball as fast as possible.Ē

Cutler isnít the fleetest of quarterbacks but he has shown a good survivor skill. He added that changing up the offence, to have him roll out to help keep the rush off his back, isnít in the cards.

ďThis offence isnít really geared for a lot of rollout, play-action type stuff,Ē Cutler said. ďWe just donít do that. So to implement that six games (into the season) is kind of hard.Ē

Instead, heíll have to keep running for his life.


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