SOME OF THE EAGLES' problems are hard to fix, such as the fact that they don't really have a top-notch, starting-quality corner to play opposite Asante Samuel, or that rookie middle linebacker Jamar Chaney remains extremely inexperienced.

Other things that contributed to Tuesday's loss to the Vikings are more under the control of players and coaches, and shouldn't have happened. That was part of Andy Reid's message in his day-after news conference.

"We have to get rid of the things that I don't consider very smart things, like [confusion on] substitutions . . . the offsides, all of those things, you have to eliminate those," said Reid, whose team incurred 12 penalties in losing the first game all season it had been favored to win by double-digits. "No matter who's in there, that part has to stop. That's 'early in the year' mistakes, and you don't make those right now. That's concentration things, paying attention on the sideline, that's coaches and players. So that part has to end.

"And then, responsibilities on the field. So when you're out there, are you in the right gap? Are you using the right techniques on both sides of the ball and special teams? Doing the right things?"

Among the things Reid had in mind was that penalty his defense drew for having 12 men on the field for a red-zone snap.

"There has to be a communication when you're coming on and off, and we had a couple guys that got banged up a little bit and had to come out; two guys on the defensive line. I had taken [defensive tackle Mike] Patterson out for a series there. So you know, there was some confusion there," Reid said.

Defensive end Derrick Burgess, signed 2 weeks ago, played his first snaps of the season. Reid said Burgess did OK. Seventh-round rookie defensive tackle Jeff Owens, only a handful of snaps into his NFL debut, tore his patellar tendon and was placed on injured reserve yesterday; with Trevor Laws struggling to get over a shoulder sprain, the team almost certainly will add a defensive tackle.

Reid demurred when asked whether corner Dimitri Patterson, benched in favor of Joselio Hanson in the third quarter, will continue to start.

"I haven't gotten that far yet," Reid said.

The Eagles averaged just 16.5 yards on kickoff returns, with Chad Hall and Jeremy Maclin returning. Reid said Gerard Lawson, signed last week, will get a chance this week to show he can be the answer. Kickoff returners Ellis Hobbs and Jorrick Calvin are on injured reserve.

Vick: Taking treatment

Last night's weekly Michael Vick appearance on ESPN 94.1 in Virginia Beach, Va., produced no revelations about Vick's bruised quad. Vick talked more about deciding to stay in the game after suffering the injury on the first play.

"There was no way I was coming out of that game," he said. "We had a lot to play for."

Vick, who seems unlikely to play in Sunday's meaningless regular-season finale against the Cowboys, said he would "work it out every day."

Vick was asked about his postgame, onfield conversation with Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, who was sidelined by a concussion.

"Brett told me he's proud of me," Vick said. "I told him, 'Vice-versa, I'm proud of you, for all the things you've accomplished' . . . If I could accomplish half the things he's done in this league, I'd consider myself a great one, when all's said and done."

Birdseed

Andy Reid said linebacker Keenan Clayton (hamstring) ought to be good to go this week . . . The Eagles are one point shy of last season's team-record 429 . . . Michael Vick has set career highs in passing yards (3,018), passing touchdowns (21) and rushing touchdowns (nine) this season. Vick is the only player in NFL history with at least 3,000 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 500 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns in a single season.

For more Eagles coverage and opinion, read the Daily News' Eagles blog, Eagletarian, at www.eagletarian.com.

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