NEW ORLEANS --Back when the grass was green and the air was warm and thick with optimism and the Eagles opened training camp at Lehigh University, Michael Vick had the highest of expectations for this football team.
Now that the Eagles are 3-5 and have lost four straight games, Vick admits, he is "shocked" that the team is where it is at the midway point in the 2012 season.
"Absolutely. We started out 2-0, we lost one and came back and won a big one against New York and now we've lost four straight," said Vick. "That's tough. That's tough on you mentally. You have to stay strong. Only the strong survive in this game.
"We have to find a way to figure it out. I think we have the coaches to do it and I think we have the players to do it. The best teams are doing that right now."
For the Eagles to do it, to overcome a 3-5 start and the many mistakes being made in every phase of the game, the offense has to play through a series of injuries that have left the offensive line in tatters. Todd Herremans' ankle/foot injury is the latest setback in a season full of them.
"I think that's been the biggest thing," said Vick. "We've lost so many offensive linemen this seaosn and normally that doesn't happen throughout the course of a season. We're finding ways to work through it. It's difficult. It's tough on us as players and it's tough on the coaches.
"But we're battling. We're moving the ball at times but we're not finishing. So, we have to find ways to do that."
Vick completed 22 of 41 passes for 272 yards, one touchdown and a costly interception in the red zone that glanced off the hand of tight end Brent Celek and was intercepted and returned 99 yards for a touchdown. Vick was hit early and often, absorbing seven sacks and another dozen hits. He ran 6 times for 53 yards.
"We're going to keep fighting," he said. "That's all we can do. There is no other option here."
Vick also denied any truth to an in-game Tweet from brother Marcus, currently incarcarated, that suggested that Vick wants to leave Philadelphia via a trade.
At this point in time, for sure, Vick has other things to worry about. Dallas and DeMarcus Ware come to town on Sunday, and for an offense struggling so much, that's not promising news.
"We need to score more points and win games, bottom line," said Vick. "We're not doing that right now."