Michael Vick was holding a blue tarp full of all his belongings during his exit interview back in late December, the one in which he strongly criticized some of his teammates for their lack of effort through a demoralizing 4-12 campaign. His locker room was cleaned out, his patience had been sucked dry, and you got the definite sense that he was ready to put the Eagles in his rear view mirror.
It felt like the end and sounded like the end, but it wasn’t. Instead he is returning to the Eagles for another season, and must play with a lot of the same teammates that he was so frustrated with just a few weeks ago. He addressed that dynamic during an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic Saturday.
“I talked to about 15, 16 of my teammates already,” said Vick.”They know me as a person. They know me as a competitor. I wasn’t pointing the finger at one person. It would have been easy to just point out one group of guys or a couple individuals who I thought could have played better, but I said that including myself.”
Vick has a new attitude about his future with the Eagles due in large part to his positive impression of new head coach Chip Kelly. A large portion of the fan base is skeptical whether Vick, who has had a difficult time staying healthy, will be able to survive if Kelly has him run the read option. The soon-to-be 33-year old was asked what he can do to help ensure that he stays on the field this season.
“Well if you think about what I endured [last season] and how many hits I took, I stayed upright for seven games and took about 180 hits,” he said. “I am going to train the way I train, I’m not going to change anything. I’m going to be who I am and I’m not going to change. I think everybody just has to accept it. I am going to put in all the hard work to be the best player I can be, but it’s not just about me. It’s about team, it’s about unity, it’s about everybody playing together. That’s the only way we’re going to win.”
Vick made it clear that while he is appreciative that the Eagles gave him a second chance back in 2009, it was not a factor in the decision to restructure his deal.
“That was five years ago,” said Vick. “We’re talking about winning championships now, putting ourselves in position to win and what makes sense. They know that I’m thankful for what they’ve done for me — I could have parted ways two years ago when I signed the franchise tag — that’s not an issue.”
Listen to the interview here.