- Last Updated: 3:37 AM, September 27, 2011
- Posted: 3:22 AM, September 27, 2011
Here is what the 2011 Giants learned about Michael Vick: His bark is a lot worse than his bite.
Vick’s blubberings that other quarterbacks are protected more by the zebras, that he was subjected to late hits from the Giants, has only served to provide Big Blue with a lasting image of Public Enemy No. 7 clad in green-and-white diapers, tears cascading onto his bruised right hand.
The refs don’t need to do a better job of protecting Vick, his coaches and his offensive line need to do a better job. And when Vick leaves the pocket, Vick needs to do a better job of protecting Vick.
Chris Canty, who knocked Vick to the X-ray room, was not penalized for any late hit.
“I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the hit when it took place,” Canty said. “I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the hit after looking at it again [yesterday]. It’s unfortunate that he got injured. . . . It’s unfortunate for him, it’s unfortunate for their football team.”
Asked where he thought he hit Vick, Canty said: “I thought I hit him on the shoulder pad. I thought it was a legal hit.”
The 6-foot-7 Canty has a smaller strike zone with the 6-foot Vick.
“I tried to hit with my shoulder, you try to keep your helmet out of there. . . . I’m sure maybe the helmet got in there a little bit but, obviously it wasn’t a situation where I was trying to lead with my helmet, I was just trying to make it a clean, legal hit on a quarterback,” he said.
The Giants heard no wailing on the field.
“I didn’t realize it was such a big deal ’til I woke up this morning and turned on SportsCenter,” Canty said.
Asked about Vick whining, Canty tried to stifle a chuckle and said: “You can understand why he’s got that stance, he’s been pretty banged-up the last couple of weeks. He’s entitled to his opinion. It is what it is.”
It is The Crying Game.
Mathias Kiwanuka doesn’t buy Vick’s cries that he isn’t protected in the pocket like a Tom Brady is.
“I feel like if he’s standing in the pocket, as a defensive player, it’s tough to be able to get a legal hit on a guy, so we always feel like they overprotect the quarterbacks,” Kiwanuka said. “If he’s just standing in the pocket and he doesn’t tuck the ball away at all, I feel like he’s gonna get that call nine times out of 10. It’s hard to make that distinction of when he’s actually put it away and become a runner, and when he’s standing there.”
The Giants did not headhunt the post-concussion Vick, and had little sympathy for him.
“I’m not gonna feel sorry for him,” Justin Tuck said.
These Giants hit Vick the way those Giants hit Joe Montana.
“I didn’t see anything on film [yesterday] that looked like we were doing anything dirty,” Dave Tollefson said. “I thought we were puttin’ great legal hits on him. That’s become a pretty big focal point now in the league, is the legal hits on the quarterback, how you hit him, late hits, etc., etc. And after watching film, I felt like we did a really good job of when it was a gray area we didn’t hit him, and when we had a chance to hit him legally, we hit him. . . . As defensive linemen, that’s our job — we’re supposed to hit the quarterback. I don’t think any of us apologize for any type of way that we hit him.”
Neither does Tom Coughlin.
“You gotta say it goes on both sides of the ball, it just happens, the game is so fast,” Coughlin said. “Our quarterback had a flagrant facemask penalty that no one saw. I just think it’s part of the game. There might have been a glazing blow (by Jason Pierre-Paul) at one time, but I couldn’t verify it. You can’t tell on film.”
Tollefson splattered Vick after Aaron Ross’ first interception when Vick was looking to make a tackle.
Tollefson knew exactly whom he was hitting.
“Well yeah, obviously, it’s not like he didn’t have a number on his jersey, and if he wasn’t making a play on the ball, I know the rules, and I’m not gonna hit him,” Tollefson said.
“Coach Parcells said it best: ‘The best players don’t always make the best teams, but the best teams always win,’ ” Canty said.
Message to Vick: Beware of Giants.