'Sliding' not in Vick's DNA

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (R) avoids a tackle from the Dallas Cowboys linebacker...

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (R) avoids a tackle from the Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee during the first quarter of their NFL football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania October 30, 2011. (REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:54 PM ET

Michael Vick is expected to be back in action Sunday for the Eagles’ game against the Miami Dolphins.

Vick has been missed the past three weeks due to broken ribs and said that when he returns he intends to play smarter and not place himself in dangerous situations.

Asked for a clarification, Vick replied: “Sliding. Getting down.”

“I’ve made my mind up. There’s going to be times when I can’t get the extra yards. I gotta get down. I get too caught up in the game sometimes, but that leads to me being sidelined, not being accountable for the team on Sunday.”

The only problem with that scenario is that it isn’t the way that Vick plays.

His strength, one of the dynamics that separates him from the others, is his ability to take off and gain major yards in scrambling situations. Vick has shown he isn’t the type of quarterback who is looking for a soft spot on the field to land. He excels at making something out of nothing and in the heat of action, that instinct may take over.

At 4-8 the Eagles’ season is over but they could be a spoiler as two of their remaining games are against the Jets and Cowboys, two teams fighting to get into the playoffs.

PONDER’S HIP TO PLAYING

Christian Ponder has a hip pointer and that’s not the kind of news you want to hear about your starting quarterback, even if your team is 2-10 and going nowhere.

Ponder will take it easy this week in the Vikings’ preparation for the Detroit Lions but the team is more hopeful than pessimistic that he can start.

“All indications are (he will play),” coach Leslie Frazier told reporters. “A lot of it depends on what happens between now and Thursday, whether or not he improves, as at least our trainers expect him to.”

Ponder, who suffered the injury in the first quarter of last week’s loss to Denver, is confident he can play.

“I’m not too concerned,” he said. “I’ve been working ever since the game ended on Sunday with Eric Sugarman, our head trainer. He’s done a great job. There’s been a lot of progress since it first happened. Monday, I was sore. Yesterday, I was sore. But today I feel better. So a big shout-out to Sugs for helping me out.”

Still, it’s bothersome and could be problematic in the game.

“It is stiff,” Ponder said. “It’s your hip, but there’s so much swelling everywhere. Everything that’s attached to the hip is sore as well. It’s not fun.”

LAME EXCUSE

The Philadelphia Eagles have been the biggest disappointment, the biggest underachiever of the season.

They are 4-8 and should be embarrassed by their performance, their lack of heart, their selfishness and bad decisions by the front office and coaching staff.

Instead, coach Andy Reid pulled out the plum of the Eagles being a young team and as such young teams take time.

No joke, that’s what Reid said.

“If you stay in one place long enough, age catches all players no matter how great they are; they’re going to out-play their career and you’ve got to rebuild it,” Reid said on his weekly radio show. “We’re going through that. You look down the middle of our defence and we are young, young.”

“People perceive us to be an old football team, but we’re really not an old football team. We’re one of the youngest teams in the (NFL). That takes time.”

At the start of the season the Eagles had the sixth youngest roster but among their starters, half of them are going to be 30 years of age or older next season.

Of all the excuses Reid could come up with, this has to be the lamest.

BUCS BOUND FOR BASEMENT

Speaking of disappointments, you can throw the 4-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers into the mix.

At the start of the season they had dreams of winning their division but now it looks as if they will fall behind the Carolina Panthers and finish in the basement of the NFC South.

Tampa Bay travels to Jacksonville on Sunday and they are confident that quarterback Josh Freeman will be back after missing last week’s game against Carolina with a shoulder injury.

“Continually, it’s gotten better,” Freeman told the Tampa Tribune. “It started out extremely painful, but my movement’s greatly increased. Right now, I’m feeling better than last week, for sure. I’ve thrown the ball around a few times and it’s day to day gotten better. So, if I can continue on this pace, then I really hope we can play this Sunday.”

Freeman was limited to some light throwing in practice on Wednesday.

Freeman, who was bothered by a thumb injury earlier in the season, appears to have taken a step backwards this season. He has completed 61.8% of his passes for 2,715 yards but has thrown 16 interceptions against 12 touchdowns.

Last year when he led the Bucs to a 10-6 season, Freeman tossed 25 TDs and threw just six interceptions.


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