Vick Revisits ‘Starter’ Comments, Says Kelly Has Team’s Attention

When we last heard from Michael Vick, he was walking off the field at the NovaCare Complex following the Eagles’ final mini-camp of the spring.

At the time, Vick admitted it was tough splitting reps and said he hoped Chip Kelly would name a starter before training camp so that he wouldn’t have to answer more questions about the QB situation.

Today, while making an appearance at Jeremy Maclin’s football camp at RiverWinds Community Center in West Deptford, N.J., Vick said he didn’t expect his comments to create such a stir.

“I was very surprised because I didn’t try to say it in a derogatory way where I felt like Coach should make a decision or there’s pressure on him to make a decision,” Vick said. “I was just asked a question, and I answered it the best way that I could. But Coach is totally involved in our team and what we’ve got going on and what needs to be done. Like I said, we’re all going to sit back and make sure that we do exactly what he asks us to do, regardless of who’s out there on the field.”

Kelly has preached competition for every starting job since the day he was named the Eagles’ new head coach. He often points out that players, not coaches, determine playing time by how they perform during practice.

But it’s important to remember that Vick has never been part of a QB competition at the NFL level, and when the Eagles brought him back on a one-year deal, the veteran might have assumed that the starting job would be his.

Asked specifically if Kelly told him there would be a competition when he agreed to come back, Vick said, “Coach and I talked, and we have an understanding. I think the most important thing is the relationship that we have and continue to carry on, and the working relationship, which has been great. You’re just trying to do what’s best for this football team, and that’s the reason I came back, to try and help this football team win games in the best way possible.”

After Vick made the comments during mini-camp, he texted Kelly to make sure the coach knew he didn’t mean any disrespect.

“Coach is just so straightforward,” Vick said. “After the first four or five words, you already understand and know where he’s coming from. So we talked the next day, and I sent him a text and he called me back and we talked and that was it. Like I said, everybody on that football team respects Coach Kelly and likes what he’s been able to accomplish so far. He’s grabbing the attention of everybody on our football team. We’re just focused trying to do what’s best for the organization.

“The things that I’ve been able to learn and obtain mentally over the last three months is uncanny, so I just appreciate that, and we all as players appreciate him being there for us.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • JofreyRice

    I really hope the straightforward approach works for these guys–it’s really the least complicated, and most effective at transferring information.

    Reid had a lot of success in Philly in the early years, but I felt there were times when he mishandled things with Donovan. Like benching him for Kolb in the Baltimore game without even talking to him directly. That’s just weird. I know I certainly prefer open and honest communication, even when things aren’t going in the exact direction I want.

    • theycallmerob

      “After the first four or five words, you already understand and know where he’s coming from [...] Like I said, everybody on that football team respects Coach Kelly ”

      Granted, he’s using the royal everyone, but I think Vick is pretty accurate. A lot is made of the transition for Kelly from working with kids to grown men. However, as a grown man myself, I would take a straightforward boss who makes me earn my $ on merit any day of the week.

      I’m between excited and giddy thinking about the first veteran cut at camp. I’m curious which players will be unable to stay on the field- and team- based on accountability.

      Can you imagine Nnamdi starting all last season if Kelly was coach?

      • Dutch

        If you thought last year’s back end defense was terrible for the Eagles, wait until December and the results come in on this year’s back end defenders.

        There’s no way possible you should look for improvement with Allen and Coleman back again in any capacity.

        • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

          Yeah, even with potentially 4 new starters, no way possible we should look for improvement. Please.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Well, surely Coleman and Allen will beat out the 4 new guys, and they will be on the bench anyways. right? This is Coleman’s year..

          • theycallmerob

            Not to mention the departure of Washburn and Bowles, as well as the ol’ 4-5-2

          • Dutch

            Nope, the 4 new Starters would not have been resigned by their teams, and made little to no impact on those respective teams in 2012 and should likewise with the Eagles be of no consequence in 2013. Still the crux of the issues from 2012, Coleman and Allen are suiting up in 2013.

            Neither Coleman nor Allen have proven they are capable of covering a boiling pot of water with a lid.

      • GEagle

        I could envision Chip running on the field chasing after Nnamdi, kicking him in the ass repeatedly all the way out of the Linc

        • G_WallyHunter

          LMAO all the way to the front gate

          • GEagle

            Amen!!!

        • G_WallyHunter

          CK hoppin on one leg while he kicks Nnamdi’s ass with the other all the way haha

        • OregonEagle

          I share the dream with you but that’s not how Chip works. Chip seems to communicate what he expects and then the game is played. If the player didn’t deliver to the best of his capability, the next man in line is starting and that’s pretty much the end of it. Chip has never been big on disrespecting his team, players, or organization in public.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Yup, everything we’ve seen from players has been nothing but encouraging. All the players that have said anything seem genuinely committed and respectful, few look like they’re doing it for good PR and/or to make the team. They will be weeded out anyways. This is the most exciting offseason since I started following in 02, can’t wait for stuff to start rolling….

  • G_WallyHunter

    this halfXmas is the greatest ever… thanks for the presents today Sheil and Tim.

  • illadelphia21

    Best part of the article for me…
    “I was very surprised because I didn’t try to say it in a derogatory way where I felt like Coach should make a decision or there’s pressure on him to make a decision,” Vick said. “I was just asked a question, and I answered it the best way that I could…”

    I think it funny (not haha funny) that he seems to sometimes forget that he’s Mike Vick and that he’s talking to Philadelphia sports reporters. It’s like, haven’t you learned that anything you say is going to be used against you yet??? I would hate to tell anyone to not express themselves, but at some point the good ol’ no comment needs to come into play more often w/ Vick.

  • Dutch

    Sheil, your straightforward approach in your essays makes it difficult for me to accept that other writers in the pool representing other organizations can take away a completely different intent on Vick’s comments without malice intentions.

    It’s as if they’re looking to ignite a firestorm where there is none. Vick saying he wanted some kind of confirmation “so he wouldn’t have to answer the same annoying questions” certainly adds an entirely different dimension to the abbreviated comments and banner headings reported after answering that reporter the other week.

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      Do you think it’s just be coincidence that every post that involves Vick generates more hits and comments than any other one? Don’t think it escapes Sheil or Tim either. Vick can say just about anything, and you can present it in just about any way possible, biased or unbiased, and it will still start a fire. It’s just the way things go with have a polarized guy like Vick. It’s not going to change no matter where he goes.

      • Dutch

        However, omitting the entire comment especially the part indicating ” so I won’t have to answer these annoying question any more” distinguishes those comments from the reported comments in related articles penned by competing writers on blogs central to the Eagles and Philly.

        That’s lying by omission and typical of Philly sports writers who have some ax to grind and a platform.

  • Beotch

    It’s because the fans do not like you #7. It’s personal, and they want “something different”…like a career backup with cement blocks tied to his feet to “win games” for us.
    Sad but true….but overcome that shit like you always have #7.
    Prove them all wrong again.
    They wanted Jeff Garcia instead of #7 in 2010. I laughed my ass off on that and I knew KLOB was too weak to hold down the job.
    Prove’em wrong again Vick.

    • Johnny Domino

      At least you didn’t go third person during that.

  • GEagle

    I always suspected Vick could back peddle like this. Knew we should have tried him out at corner…
    Backpeddle all you want, Im not sure how else to interpret a defiant “PRINT IT!!!”-Vick

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    Mike Vick is just the sweetest guy in the world. the Worlds best teammate and a coaches dream to coach. blah blah blah. talk is cheap. mr innocent now. I didn’t say anything wrong did I coach. im with you on this one coach. I was misunderstood.

  • Gary

    I wish I could text Chip Kelly.

  • Mike

    Vick will be starting.

  • theycallmerob