Don't get hurt. Don't get hit. Throw it away.
These are phrases fans and media alike have been hurling at Mike Vick in his two seasons as the Eagles' starting quarterback. He's missed seven games since taking over for a concussed Kevin Kolb in 2010. But Vick has suffered a lot of bruising hits, some of which he probably could have avoided by throwing the ball away or sliding.
According to offensive line coach Howard Mudd, Vick is aware and working on it.
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"I would wish that he doesn't think he has to take on more than his part. Don't do it. Don't get hurt," Mudd said yesterday. "That's a mantra that we have."
Mudd is a revered coach in NFL circles. He was the main architect behind Peyton Manning's offensive line in Indianapolis, where he coached 12 seasons and allowed an NFL-low 227 sacks. No one is comparing Vick to Manning. Championships aside, the two are very different signal-callers: Vick can scramble, Manning is a statue. Still, Vick needs to find a reasonable balance when plays bust.
"He's working really hard to do all these things everybody's been writing about, to go take care of yourself," Mudd said. "Now, do I expect him to throw every time? Probably not, because you're taking away his athleticism."