Vick confident: ‘I’ve got a lot left in my tank’
PHILADELPHIA — Michael Vick went from MVP candidate to scout team quarterback in two years.
Back from a concussion that forced him to miss five games, Vick is finishing out the season with the Philadelphia Eagles (4-10) on the sideline. He may not even be active for Sunday’s game against Washington (8-6).
“I’m a competitor 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 and I know I can,” Vick said Monday. “Saying that, I feel like I want to be out there, I want to play as a competitor, but it’s just not the ideal situation right now, the way things are. So, I have to accept my role, accept it like a man and continue to find positives out of it.”
Coach Andy Reid already named rookie Nick Foles the starter for the rest of the season a few weeks ago. The Eagles have been out of playoff contention for a while, so Reid decided to look toward a future that may not include him.
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But Reid isn’t the only one likely to go. Vick may have played his last game for the Eagles, too. Vick is due to make nearly $16 million in 2013, far too much for a backup. Only $3 million is guaranteed, however, and the Eagles won’t have to pay that if Vick is cut by Feb. 3.
“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’ll have to talk it over with my agent and just see what happens. As of right now, I’ve got to continue to help this football team win these last two games and the future will take care of itself.”
Vick struggled this season, committing 14 turnovers in nine games. He has 2,165 yards passing, 11 TDs and nine interceptions for a passer rating of 79.2. Since leading the Eagles to the 2010 NFC East title and starting in the Pro Bowl, Vick has been downright mediocre.
The Eagles rewarded Vick with a $100 million contract in August 2011. However, only $35.5 million of that deal is guaranteed money and nearly all off it will be paid by the end of this year.
No matter, he hasn’t earned it.
The Eagles are 10-12 in Vick’s starts since the new contract. He has 27 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions in those 22 games.
The team’s struggles can’t be pinned on Vick alone, of course. An offensive line decimated by injuries didn’t help. Neither did a poor defense.
Vick, though, won’t make excuses or complain about his benching.
“Regardless of what the situation was, I understand it,” Vick said of his new role. “I see that certain things have to be done and I sit back and continue to be observant, continue to want to learn, continue to want to just help this football team in whatever way I can.”
Considering where he’s come from, Vick takes everything in stride. He never even imagined he’d get this far when he lost everything and was in federal prison for dogfighting charges.
“I can’t get upset or be disgruntled about anything that happens,” Vick said. “It’s just a blessing to be back and playing football. From where I came from and the opportunities that I’ve had over the last three or four years, I would have never thought (they were possible). I’m just rolling with the punches.
“I’m going to continue to work hard to get better and keep enjoying the game of football because this is what I love.”
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press