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Eagles' Michael Vick sidesteps backup role

jeff mclane inquirer

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:36 AM

McLane

Eagles' Michael Vick sidesteps backup role

Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 2:49 AM


In the who-is-more-likely-to be-back-next-season derby, Michael Vick leads Andy Reid by a nose, although both probably will finish out of the running.

Vick spoke publicly Monday for the first time since he suffered a concussion on Nov. 11. He was asked whether he wanted to return to the Eagles next season, possibly in a backup role. Vick was noncommittal.

"I just feel like I've got a lot of football to play," Vick said. "I feel like I've got a lot left in my tank. I'm enjoying the game, I feel fresh. I don't know. I'll have to talk it over with my agent [Joel Segal] and just see what happens."

The Eagles are unlikely to bring Vick back considering his age (32), injuries (he has missed 11 games in the last three seasons), and 2013 contract ($16.5 million). His future here could depend on who replaces Reid as coach, but all signs suggest that Vick's four-year run with the Birds is over.

Even before Vick was cleared last week by an independent neurologist, Reid had said that Nick Foles would remain the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

There could have been several reasons for the Dec. 3 announcement, but Reid was probably obliging the organization and allowing it to see what it had in the rookie. Vick, meanwhile, may not even dress for the last two games. Reid said that he had not yet made a decision on whether Vick would be the No. 2 or 3 quarterback.

"I talked to [Vick] when I made Nick the starter and I'm going to leave Nick the starter for these two games," Reid said on his radio show on WIP-AM. "I think it's important for Nick's development that that takes place. And then we go from there."

There had been indications from various team sources that Vick would be listed behind Foles and Trent Edwards on the depth chart - not because of performance but because it was mutually agreed upon. The Eagles don't need Vick jumping back in for an injured Foles and upstaging him and Vick doesn't need another injury.

For Vick, he just wanted to make it clear - to other teams, presumably - that he was "healthy" and "strong."

"I'm a competitor," Vick said when asked if he agreed with Reid's decision to go with Foles, "and I've always felt like and will continue to feel like I'm one of the best and I can play at a high level."

There had been a report earlier this month, citing a source close to Vick, that claimed he believed that politics played a part in the handling of his concussion. Vick was asked if he was on board with how the team dealt with his injury.

"I just rolled with punches," Vick said. "Whatever the doctor tells me, I go with it. I don't question that."

Vick missed five games. He suffered his first concussion with the Eagles last September in Atlanta but did not miss the next game the following week.

The latest head injury occurred in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys. It was unclear on which play he suffered his concussion, but Vick said Monday that it happened when Dallas nose tackle Jay Ratliff tackled him from behind during a scramble.

Vick stayed in the game but was hit by Cowboys linebacker Ernie Sims on the next play. The back of his head hit the ground. The Eagles were forced to punt and Vick did not return.

He was asked if regretted not leaving the game after the first collision.

"When I'm out there, I'm going for the kill. If I'm not laying there and can't get up, then I'm going to get up that next play and give it everything I've got," Vick said. "That's just me and maybe sometimes that can be sort of selfish. I only know one way. When I got hit the second time, I was like I've got to come out. I couldn't see."

Vick's teammates - and many fans - admired his toughness. But some believed he was too reckless. Many of the hits he endured this season came from playing behind a battered offensive line. Vick, though, received much of the blame for the Eagles' 3-5 start.

"Being the quarterback, you're going to get the blame," Vick said, "and I accept it even though it was tough."


Contact Jeff McLane at jmclane@phillynews.com or on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.


Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer