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Eagles want Michael Vick to break some bad habits

Michael Vick wasn't the only guy to leave plays on the field for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, but there was no hiding the fact he took a step back in his third season with the team.

Vick wasn't terrible by any stretch (18 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and 3,303 passing yards in 13 games), but he was coming off a season in which he electrified the league and was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. The Eagles likely were expecting another MVP-quality season. They didn't get that.

The Eagles now are working hard to clean up flaws in the veteran's game. One issue was passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. Quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson told reporters last week that Vick had 19 passes knocked down, or one every 22.3 attempts.

"Nineteen tipped balls is way too many," Pederson said. "We need to cut that number (at least) in half. Obviously, that comes with finding throwing lanes … slide, find a lane, vision."

By way of comparison, noted this week that Drew Brees -- like Vick a 6-foot-tall QB -- had just six passes batted down last season, according to

Vick will turn 32 in July and has reached an age where it's fair to wonder if he can change his habits. Pederson doesn't doubt him.

"The old adage, can you teach an old dog new tricks? I think you can. Mike's a sponge," he said. "He really soaks up everything you're teaching him. He wants to learn, wants to get better."

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