Vick: I Saved Cooper’s Career

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Michael Vick
believes he saved Riley Cooper‘s career, and he’s not sure the receiver is fully appreciative of that.

Vick, in a piece written by Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York, revisited the turbulent time for the Eagles last summer after a video of Cooper using the N-word went viral.

We had guys talking about knocking him out, taking his head off, doing X, Y and Z to him on the field, and none of that happened, out of respect for myself, I think…

“I just felt like I was the most capable guy on that team of taking a stand for Riley, and being a voice for him at that time,” Vick said. Without taking that stand and being that voice, Vick maintained, the video of Cooper’s racial slur “was going to derail our team. Unfortunately, it was going to derail Riley’s career. It would have ended his career.”

“Guys were mad at me for a while,” he said of fellow Eagles. “They were upset with me for a day or two, like six or seven guys who were just like, ‘Really, how could you do that?’ And then I’m getting phone calls from people everywhere, and my Twitter page is kind of in an uproar. But I took that stand for him, man, and I just hope at the end of the day that he appreciates that.

Vick said Cooper did thank him for standing up for him at the time but says a text to the wideout this season went unanswered.

“A couple of things transpired since [the incident] that I dislike, and I’ll be honest with you,” Vick said. “After he signed his contract, I sent him a text and I never got a text back, and that made me feel a certain type of way. But I’m not the type of guy who holds grudges.”




Vick said he told his former teammate he was proud of him in the text that wasn't returned. When it was suggested to him that any white player in Cooper's shoes should owe the quarterback an eternal debt of gratitude, Vick said, "I'd have you on speed dial. That's the only reason I say I hope Riley appreciates that. His life is his life and he played good football last year, and he was always like a little brother to me. But money should never change an individual, and I'm not saying it did that to Riley."

Regardless, Vick called his actions amid the controversy "the best thing I've done as a professional athlete."

"I handled it so my team could move forward, and I handled it so people could forget about it and not look at Riley a certain kind of way. I changed the whole dynamic of that situation, and that was a proud moment for me. ... I was able to save a young man's career, and that young man went on to have the greatest year of his career and get a contract that he probably never imagined he would get."

Vick makes his return to Lincoln Financial Field tomorrow night and will get the start but is not expected to play for long.

Update: A source close to Vick said that Vick and Cooper spoke after the ESPN story came out and are "all good."

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  • MagatBrackendale

    Before everybody starts dumping all over Michael Vick, could we take just a moment to pity a little girl in Arizona?

    • jshort

      ?.

      • Bert’s Bells

        The one he dosed with the simplex?

        • bobloblawslawblog

          He’s talking about the girl who accidentally shot her gun instructor with an Uzi. Which brings up the question, in what universe is it appropriate for a 9 year old to handle automatic weapons? Smh at the stupidity…

          • Bert’s Bells

            Why would they discuss that in the sports section?

          • PhillySean

            Same reason someone might go on an Anti US foreign policy rant after someone else wrote “Happy Memorial Day”. Rather unwelcome tangents if you ask me.

          • MediaMike

            On some level wouldn’t that really just boil down to a personal unhappiness rant?

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      Bruce Arians?

      • RIP illa

        Oh Andy…LMAO!

      • Kleptolia

        Andy124, I’m giving this an upvote, but only because this took me COMPLETELY by surprise. And because you didn’t really make light of the situation.
        But still…thin ice, man.
        But funny.

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          Unrelated to appropriate or not:
          There is background to that comment that you may not have been around here for. After the Eagles played the Cardinals last year he acted like a spurned lover crying about the poor officiating and told anyone who would listen that he sent a package of ten plays to the league office for review (something coaches often do, but very rarely announce and make a stink of), There were also several bad calls against the Eagles that game.

          There was quite the reaction around these parts. GEAGLE in particular was irate and still derogatorily refers to Bruce as a girl.

          • Kleptolia

            I had totally forgotten about that flap. Hilarious!

    • EagleDuck

      Ummm, I’m very sorry for that little girl but lets not forget that the instructor is the dead one. I’m far more sorry for him and his family.

    • Age

      Wrong place.

  • aspca?

    So, Coop treated him like a dog?–

    • anon

      I guess you could say he dogged him out. But isn’t that narrative a little old?

  • Token

    My god am I glad this guy is gone.

    • anon

      Why? Who do you think held the team together? Foles? Kelly? Cooper was no one at that point — if Vick, Djax, Shady, Meco came out and said he’s gotta go Eagles’ wouldn’t have had a choice.

      I think Vick is still butt hurt about how things went down given his position now vs. Riley’s. He’s obviously salty about being released considering he tried to do everything to put the team first.

      But if I’m Riley I’m sending Vick a bottle of the nicest stuff I can get my hands on, b/c that situation could have gone completely the other way.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

        wait, hold on.
        1. avant.
        2. released? he wasn’t released. he thought he could leave and be a starter. good for him. he just ended up not beating geno smith. oh well.

        • anon

          According to him he left b/c he didn’t want to be a distraction here. In NY they told him from day one Geno was going to win the competition, but he’s fine being a mentor there.

          Personally, i think Vick had a special feeling for Philly, for everything the organization and the fans did. I think leaving was tough because he had a relationship with certain players here.

          • Token

            Vick puts on a great public persona. But every now and then he lets the real Vick peek out. The guy is still the same self absorbed kid that came into the NFL. Hes never developed 1% as a QB from the day he stepped into the league. He left ONLY because his ego told him he could still be a starter in the NFL. Not only was no teams really interested, but he cant even beat out Geno Smith on a Jets team desperate for a kick in the pants.

          • anon

            I agree it’s petty, but show me a perfect person. I won’t touch development questions he’s not our issue anymore.

          • Kev_H

            What about all the reports from the disappointed Jets staff who hoped he’d come and compete? When he left he expected to start somewhere, but I think he realized he could bank more money by laying low and not being exposed as the broken down has been he is. He certainly wasn’t and wouldn’t have been a distraction. He was an afterthought’ s afterthought last year.

        • Reef215

          Avant wasn’t the leader of the team Vick was. Vick HAD the locker room. Chip was BRAND NEW and people were still weary of him. And if VICK said I dont agree with Riley and he has to go, the rest of the team would of followed suit.
          Couple that with very VOCAL people like Djack, McCoy, and C. Williams who’ve already expressed their dissatisfaction with Cooper. It was VICK who stood up and said “I stand behind him”

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            CAPS don’t make a stronger argument

          • knighn

            CAPS ALWAYS MAKE A STRONGER ARGUMENT.

            You know what makes an even stronger argument?

            CAPS IN BOLD + EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            I was prepared to disagree with you, but your point was made in caps with bold and exclamation points, making it clear to me that you are in the right.

          • joeblow

            yes, but the truth does.

          • Mike Oneill

            and where did it get us? Vick is gone. Cooper is a starter. they lost in the first round. and have an awful defense. So seriously, please don’t overstate leadership in this case. if Chip can’t manage the clock better, a la Andy, he will turn out just like Andy. If Chip doesn’t demand more talent on D and a better D-coach, they’ll take a giant step back this year. The NFL is a cruel, unforgiving meat grinder of a league.

      • Jason

        Because Token has no understanding of what is Good leadership. That is why he is here constantly complaining about Eagles Management.

        My only problem is that we, the public are hearing about the story. Unfortunate for them this couldn’t stay between them.

        • anon

          That i agree with.

        • Token

          Vick is such a good leader that hes never been a winner in his life. Please, enough.

          I just noticed you defended Eagles management there too lol. Jeesh. How dare anyone question the Eagles right? Its Super Bowl after Super Bowl around here. Brainwashed….

          • Jason

            Ever? He has his flaws, no doubt. But either you are a blind hater or just love hyperbole

          • Token

            what has he won?

          • Jason

            Apparently the respect of the majority of players in the NFL. No small feat. Plus define winning? Championships? Fine. But he took a average team to the title game in college, won a playoff game in the NFL.

          • Token

            So nothing then?

          • Jason

            I’m not sure, he probably won a game of checkers at some point

          • Brian

            He won his release. More than once.

          • Mike Oneill

            because players respect raw talent. and may of them root for the underdog because they’ve had such a hard road. they grew up watching the old man on video games. however…they’re champions. he’s not. none of them would trade spots, trust me.

          • Jason

            Question, absolutely. They should be, but you take it to a whole new level. There is a reason that when you say something coherent, everyone that agrees, can’t believe they are agreeing with you.

          • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

            “Vick is such a good leader that hes never been a winner in his life. Please, enough.”

            As you can see, flying above us, there is the red herring. An interesting avian indeed. It’s quite prevalent around message boards, discussions and arguments. Fly on, red herring. Fly on.

            Vick led the team through the Riley Cooper fiasco. At the time the team was young, Chip Kelly was still a college coach whose system we all, ESPECIALLY you, doubted. We had no Andy to quiet stuff. No Dawk. Completely new team. Vick led the team through the debacle by absolving Coop of any blame on behalf of the team. Coop could have destroyed us. That’s what Vick has led.

            To address the winning part, Vick’s actions won the locker room. Without that win, who knows if season happens. Vick’s actions helped win a division title in Chip’s first year, which has led to our current, albeit scoffed at (ahem) optimism. I’d say he’s won quite a bit.

          • southy

            I was totally with you until I remembered a herring is a fish.

          • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

            BRO IT IS! MY CHILDHOOD WAS A LIE

          • poetx99

            lol. yeah. i let that slide. the rest was great, though. if it can be red, i guess it can fly, too.

      • Kev_H

        I was kind of puzzled about all the Vick locker room presence nonsense while the team piled up loss after loss and had one underachieving disappointment on top of another. I appreciate his stance then but the issue started and ended with Kelly.

  • kstagg

    I think Vick was a model player while he was here and all but – hey Michael? Slide head first. I dare you.

  • ztom6

    nothing mike vick says here in unreasonable at all in any way. He’s just being honest, god forbid.

    • southy

      I had to think about it for a minute, but totally agree. In all seriousness it probably is the best thing he’s done as a pro. Kept a team together, made everyone stop and think about the mistakes they’ve made in their own lives (think Vick himself or even Avant, it doesn’t compare) and the chances they’ve had to redeem themselves. To borrow a word from Dawk, that was a righteous move.

      • dnabrice

        I’m glad Vick was able to redeem his career here, and he owes that to McNabb, Reid, and ultimately Lurie…

    • Mike Oneill

      Yeah, fine. But he doesn’t need to pat himself on the back in public about it. All pro athletes are filled with competitive ego…not sure why Vick felt the need to go public with it. To help redeem himself? Doesn’t really matter at this point. Vick rehabbed his career, his life, paid his dues, and was wanted by the Jets. He’s sitting pretty after the Eagles basically helped him pay all of his debts, legal fees, etc. with a huge contract.

  • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

    thanks for Coop, MV— but it’s only the 3rd best thing you’ve ever done for us.

    3) save Coop from angry black men
    2) cause BBaaS and #7 to leave our boards by taking your talents to NY
    1) vacate the #2 position, allowing Sanchez to step in and outplay you in every respect

    • Jason

      Where does getting Kevin Kolb out of here rank?

      • anon

        Miracle in the Meadowlands II.

        • southy

          I smell a “Top Ten MV7 Eagles moments” thread coming on.

          • anon

            that’d be great on a slow day. Comments would go wild.

          • Eagles4Life

            NJ.com actually did one already.

        • Always Hopeful

          I wish there were exponential up votes for this!

    • Token

      #2 is a pretty great thing too. Remember those two? “We will still be around. We are Eagles fans”. I think the last time we heard from them was the day after the Vick era ended.

      • anon

        nah, sheil and tim get paid per click, that’s probably $10k in revenue.

    • Nicholas Disilvestro

      I don’t comment often but i’m pretty sure “The toy goddess” is bbaas.

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        Can’t say I’ve seen her on here. I won’t re-type the name for fear of Beetlejuice/Candyman effect. I pray to God I didn’t just jinx this.

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          Yeah, they’re the same person. It’s even the same account if you check the post history.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I’ll take your word for it. I’d like to leave the past in the past.

          • OldDuckMcDoc

            Ha, understandable. Besides, play boykin on the outside and Free Vinny are the new Vick v Foles discussions these days.

            Although thankfully neither of these seem to attract the same level of zealotry that Vick v Foles did….

          • knighn

            She changed her name?! Bel Biv Devoe was right all along.

    • Eagles4Life

      Come on, man. You’re better than this smh lol.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

        just having a laugh. best wishes to 7. but he’s pulled a mcnabb with this

    • MediaMike

      on #2)
      Those two might have been the absolute dumbest human beings when it came to analyze QB play that we’ve ever seen. They needed to be sent to Greg Cosell and Pat Kirwan boot camp.

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        No, Dutch was absolutely worse than those two.

    • knighn

      Where does “Getting Dutch to leave by letting Foles outplay you” rank?

  • Amar, CB who bought in

    Coop’s been an A**hole all his life. What’s new ?
    I would say Mike Vick owed it to Philly and Football in general after the opportunity he got post Federal prison term.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    What am I? Chopped liver?

    -J. Avant.

    • Mike Oneill

      Classic. I heard Fred Ex is looking to be a personal gopher these days.

  • eaglespur

    Looks like a reporter snookered Mike by catching him off-guard with a question about Cooper, and Mike spoke without thinking it through. I doubt he wanted to sound as if he’s hurt because he didn’t get a return text… but that’s what it sounds like. oooops.

  • Engwrite

    I don’t care. In essence this is about a grown man complaining that another grown man didn’t reply to his text.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    Is there some kind of context to this that would make it come off less stupid? I mean, it’s one thing to feel good about yourself for helping out a friend, but it’s just weird to go bragging about it in an interview. And then to whine about an unreturned text is very 13-year-old-girl.

    • Will, Always Shady in CA

      Im thinking the same thing. This all cant be from a single unreturned text messaged. I ignore texts daily, for no reason at all. (Ill be waiting for the Boondocks episode of this)

      • SoCalEaglesFan

        Me too. It was such a weird thing for Vick to say. Although a thx return from Cooper would have been effortless.

      • Mike Oneill

        It reminds me of seeing T.O. on ESPN talking about how he felt disrespected by McNabb. Sounded like a jealous lover. Or scorned 13 year old boy.

    • southy

      Vick’s problem in interviews has always been his willingness to give you a straight answer. If it’s in his heart, he’ll let you know if you ask him. Remember when he said something about not liking getting limited snaps in the open QB competition in camp last year and ESPN took it around the world for a week VICK DISAGREES WITH KELLY’S HANDLING OF THE QBs!!!!!

      I think this is more of that – Vick feels a little slighted by the unrequited text and is telling you what he honestly thinks. He’s not trying to make a statement.

  • Dave S

    Many people saved your career Michael, I hope you thanked every single one of them. And instead of announcing the slight, why not pick up the phone and say, did you get my text?

    • anon

      Have you heard him talk about Andy and Jeff? I think his point is given the situation he shouldn’t have to. I’m not sure why he had to take it to the media but whatever.

      • Amar, CB who bought in

        Great point !

    • Tony

      Honestly, I think he did thank every single one of those and appreciated their help.

  • hokieduck

    I think Vick did, in fact, save Cooper’s career. If Cooper did “ignore” Vick’s text, as opposed to simply overlooking responding which we have all done, then shame on him. In any even, he needs to reach out to Vick IMO.

  • Rick H

    Why does “Anonymous” make so many comments on here??? Why don’t you identify yourself with a name?

    • anon

      Do you mean me? My name is as revealing as 90% of other names on here.

      • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

        I’d say mine is pretty revealing lol. My name is Joe, and I’m from Easton.

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          My name’s Andy, and I was born in the year 124 AD

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      While we’re at it, maybe the hacker group “Anonymous” can reveal their true identies, too…

  • DrFeelgood

    vick is so full of hot air….he lives in never-never land…..remember he said the eagles were on the verge of a dynasty 2 years ago….funny that he couldn’t beat out a guy that will turn out to be a journeyman….Geno Smith.

  • NickS, Combine Warrior
    • Jerry Pomroy

      I’m ok with the midnight green. I’m ok with Kelly green. Heck, I’d be good with an old army green. I just want a fresh and bold redesign without being boring or gaudy. Something cool. I don’t even care if it’s a modernized redesign of an old uni. I just want something new.

      BTW…I have to agree with the author. Tampa’s number font is fugly! IMO the Seahawks have the coolest uniforms in the league.

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        I would probably agree with that.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    In all honesty, Mike isn’t the most eloquent speaker. But he is a guy that will forget the filter from time to time and speak his mind. I just read this as he’s a bit upset and feels somewhat disrespected by a guy that he stuck his neck out for.

  • Dominik

    http://cdn.meme.li/instances/500x/53838392.jpg

    Also, I’d be interested in how Avant thinks about this all-me attitude Vick shows here?

    I’m no Vick hater, but I hate this response.

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      “There are rules, Smokey! This is not ‘Nam!”

  • Bullwinkle

    Mike misses the Eagles.

  • 370HSSV 0773H

    Typical Vick. He wants full credit for single-handedly saving the Eagle’s season and organization. And he he wants full credit for saving Cooper’s career. Typical arrogant, selfish Vick. Instead of doing what’s right, and knowing what you did was right, he wants everyone to know what a great guy he is and wants ALL the credit and accolades.

  • The Pickle Man

    good guy

  • tomw

    Thin Skinned.

  • Ray

    “I’m not the type of guy who holds grudges.” yeah mike, clearly.

  • http://www.idonthaveawebsite.com theedevilsadvocate

    cooper should be more appreciative vick and avant period if not to me it makes him look bad as in maybe he really does hate black people so much it pisses him off two black dudes saved his career… though im not into the racial aspect of things and its annoying to me thats how i would see it. if they stood up for you in the locker room and helped keep your career on track for your racial slur ooops then you should be forever grateful.