Michael Vick stood to one side in a white long-sleeve Eagles shirt and grey sweatpants. Nick Foles set up to his right in a red No. 9 practice jersey and black mesh shorts.
Together they stood for 11 minutes, 54 seconds, answering questions in a joint press conference outside the NovaCare Complex Thursday afternoon.
“You never had a tag-team press conference,” Vick said. “”This is the first time it’s ever been done in history. We made history today.”
The two QBs started walking off the practice field, knowing each was scheduled to address reporters separately. They looked over to Eagles director of public relations Derek Boyko to see who was up first, and he waved them both over to the tent.
The first question centered on Vick’s hamstring injury, and the veteran QB revealed that he still needs time to heal.
“I’m not playing this week,” Vick said.
After the press conference, when asked what’s realistic in terms of his return, Vick told Tim McManus: “Next week, maybe the week after.”
That projection is consistent with what a source close to Vick told McManus – that this is a three-to-four week injury.
“Everything is coming along as planned,” Vick said. “So I just can’t rush it.”
At no point during the session did either quarterback indicate the job would be Vick’s once he’s healthy. But throughout, they emphasized their strong bond and explained that there would be no hard feelings, regardless of what Chip Kelly decides down the road.
“I think that questions are asked,” Foles said. “That’s the one thing that Mike and I, we don’t worry about it. I respect Mike with everything I have. I love Mike. We have a great relationship and we don’t worry about that. We know that the most important thing is for the Philadelphia Eagles to win, no matter who’s at quarterback. We’re gonna support each other. When Mike’s out there, I love watching him. When he comes to the sideline, I’m gonna be there talking to him. He does the same for me. We can’t worry about that. That’s what messes up friendships and that’s not what it’s about. We want to keep this friendship for as long as we live, so we don’t worry about that.”
Added Vick: “Regardless of whatever happens, it’s all about rooting for one another. This is a fun game. You can’t have animosity towards a teammate because of the way he plays or what people want or what they feel. We know how hard it is to play this game. You heard Peyton Manning say it last week: This game is not easy. So we’re gonna always root for one another and always try to be there for one another. And whatever comes out of it is gonna be all good for the both of us, and we appreciate that. We appreciate the opportunity to play this game. Like I said, our friendship has grown over the years. I love Nick, like he said. That friendship is there, and it won’t go anywhere regardless. We’re just gonna keep trying to win football games. And that’s what’s most important for the Philadelphia Eagles.”
The situation right now is that Vick is injured and Foles is the quarterback. So really, no decision has to be made yet. Once Vick is healthy, that’s when Kelly will take all the information into account and decide which direction the team goes in.
“I’m working to try to get myself back to 100 percent. Until then, Nick is the quarterback of this football team, and that’s where we stand,” Vick said.
He’s been on the other side of this scenario before. Back in 2010, Kevin Kolb was the Eagles’ starter, but he got knocked out of a Week 1 game, and Vick took over. That’s how Vick ended up winning the job.
“I understand the nature of this business,” Vick said. “I understand how things go. The thing is, I’m very confident in myself. I’m very confident in what I can do. When I’m needed, I’m gonna be there. And that’s the bottom line.”
Asked what he takes away from Vick’s game, Foles joked: “I think I try to emulate his moves a little bit, which causes injuries sometimes. Had a little rushing touchdown last week, so that was because of watching him.”
Added Vick: “What people don’t know is Nick is very athletic. You’ll start to see it as time goes on, but I’ve always admired the things that he can do, the things you don’t see when we’re out here at practice, the way he just handles he football, the way he moves around. It translates over when he’s out on the field. So don’t be surprised when you see him getting rushing touchdowns and moving a little bit. It’s a part of what he do.”
And so that’s where things stand as of Oct. 17. Foles starts Sunday against the Cowboys, Vick continues to heal, and Kelly gets another week before coming to any real conclusions.