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HC Andy Reid Press Conference

Posted Aug 30, 2011

Andy Reid Opening Remarks: “We appreciate you guys being here. We’d like to start this off by introducing Michael Vick and he just signed a beautiful contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and the city of Philadelphia for the next few years. We can’t be happier as an organization. I attribute [president] Joe Banner for the job that he did and Joel Segal for the great job he did representing Michael. We are very excited with the signing, and with that I’ll turn it over to Michael.”

Michael Vick Opening Remarks: “Thank you. First off, I’d like to thank God for the opportunity that I’ve been presented. I’d like to thank all the people in my life over the last two years who have made a great contribution and sacrifice in trying to steer me in the right direction and helped me out. It has certainly paid dividends. I always lended an open ear and always committed myself to change, especially in the last two years, and I was able to do that. I think it’s led to this point and where I am in my life, being a happy man first as well as a satisfied football player. I’m honored to be in the position that I am now. I want to thank the Philadelphia Eagles organization along with [owner] Jeffrey Lurie, [president] Joe Banner, [general manager] Howie Roseman, [head coach] Andy Reid, everybody who gave me the opportunity to be here. I wanted to say that personally. Roger Goodell, Tony Dungy, my agent Joel Segal, and my family, everybody who has been there for me over the last two years and really believed in me. That lineage that I just named was the group. To this day, they’ve still been an amazing asset in my life and every day thinking. They’ve treated me as a man, not telling me what I want to hear but telling me what I need to hear. They’ve made a great contribution to my way of life and my way of thinking. Like I said, I think that’s the reason I’m here now, the reason I have this opportunity, and the reason I’ll make the most of it. To all those people I just named, or if I left anyone out I’m sorry, but that group right there is the main reason that I’m here. I’m glad to be a part of a great organization and I’m ready to lend all of my support, prepare myself, and make the greatest contribution to this game that I can make. I just go back in time and think about how hard it’s been over the last two years with the sacrifices I had to make and what I had to give up, it’s been all worth it. With that said, I’d like to just thank this organization for the opportunity. The common goal is to bring that ring back to the city of Philadelphia, and that’s what we’re working towards. I want to thank you all and I enjoy every minute that we’ve spent together. I look forward to spending the next six years with you all, so thank you.

MV - On whether he has taken a moment to reflect on how far he’s come the past two years: “It’s always going to be something that’s a part of me and the reason I work so hard every day. It’s the reason I come to work dedicated, and to be the best that I can be. Nothing is going to come easy in life, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons, some the hard way and some with standard procedure. I think the things that I’ve been through have helped mold me into the person that I am and what I can perceive in my future. That is to continue to do the same things that I’ve been doing, enjoy life, and doing things the right way.”

On whether there were times where he thought this moment would never happen: “Absolutely. Like I said, sometimes as a man, you can fear what you can’t see. Nobody can ever predict the future. You don’t know what is going to happen, and tomorrow is not promised. The only thing you can do is just live your life, hope for the best, and continue to have faith and hope for yourself. The thing for me was believing in the people that were there for me in time of need. This organization was there for me, my agent stuck by me, Joel Segal. He was another person who didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear but what I needed to hear. He was there for me when I needed him, and you never know what is going to happen. You expect the worst, hope for the best, and that’s what I did. God was on my side and now I’m here today.”

On whether he plans to donate time and money to charity after signing the deal: “Those are things that I’ve been doing. Dedicating my time, I don’t necessarily think it’s all about the money, but at the time of need that will happen. I’m just thankful for all of the people who gave the opportunity to do work at the humane society, and Wayne Pacelle [chief executive officer] was one of them. There were a lot of people in my life who were very influential and helped me get to where I’m at today.”

On how much Tony Dungy helped him: “Coach Dungy was another guy who I named who was very influential into helping me get back into the NFL. He continues to give me proper advice on a monthly basis and a weekly basis. He’s a guy who I have a lot of respect for. Everybody who I just named, I have a lot of respect for and they’re the reason I strive so hard to become the best, not only on the field, but also off the field. He’s another person who I have the utmost respect for and don’t want to let down.”

On how hard he’s worked to get back everything that he’s lost and if his work ethic will be affected by his new contract: “Absolutely not. I think if anything it will make me want to work harder, and just to continue to show that I’m worthy of everything that I’ve gotten. I think back to when I first got here and the commitment that I made to myself and to Andy that I’m going to change. I’ve always been a guy that’s worked hard, and I see the progress that’s been made in my career and why I’ve stopped. It’s something that drives and motivates you, and I’m motivated now because I play with such great teammates and we have the opportunity to do something special. I could be on this stage right now and say what they’ve done for me and the sacrifices that they have made for me last year. I just have to give those guys credit as well because none of this would be possible. We all know how hard to reach certain levels, but through teamwork you make dream work. That’s what we’ve been able to do.” 

On whether he feels he has to win a Super Bowl in the next six years to validate this contract: “Absolutely, I mean, you play this game to better your craft, to better yourself as a football player. Like I said, that one common goal is to win the Super Bowl, and that’s why we play. As a competitor, I don’t feel like my career would be complete without that. That’s the reason I’ve worked so hard. I have to give a lot of credit to Andy because everyday he’s coached me up. There’s always something new. I know I’ll never get to a point where I know it all, but he can certainly help me get there 90-percent of the way. That’s why I’m appreciative of where I’m at, sitting right here before you, and having the chance to be with this team for another six years.”

AR – On what point during the timeline Vick changed from a great story to one where you wanted to hand the keys to him for the next six years: “Listen, this is a great story all the way through, and this is really what America is all about. Second chance, you know, and Mike took full advantage of that. Then when he was given a second chance at having an opportunity to start in the National Football League, he took again an opportunity there and turned it into this. I would tell you at that time, when he got himself back physically ready to play; I think everybody on the football field and in the stadium knew that he was back. I don’t think it was too hard to see.”

MV – On how this feels different from when he signed his contract here, and how he is different: “Well, it doesn’t really feel any different. Last time I was sitting here doing a press conference I was signing with the Eagles. Like I said, I didn’t know what direction my future was going in. All I know is I was happy be on the football team, and having the chance to play football again, and two years later I’m sitting before you having the opportunity to be a Philadelphia Eagle long-term. It’s totally different subject matter, but at the same time it’s a blessing. I was ecstatic at that point two years ago, to be sitting next to Andy and even happier now under different circumstances. Like I said, it was all in God’s plan. I kept the faith, I thank Him, and I couldn’t have done it without Him.”

On the difference between the first big contract he signed with the Atlanta Falcons and this one: “It’s no difference, in the contracts. I mean, it’s a lot of money however you look at it. Obviously, it’s going to create, you know, a lot of demands. I know what comes along with it and I know how to handle it, but I think aside from the money it’s not even about that. It’s about the changes that have been made in my life. Kids have the opportunity to see you should never count yourself out, but at the same time don’t put yourself in a position where you have to make your miraculous comeback. That’s not what it’s about. I did it through the grace of God, and because I had the will to do it. Everybody may not have that, but I say that to say just be appreciative of what you have, you know, the opportunities you’ve been given in your life. Don’t take anything for granted. I did that at one point when I had the big contract in Atlanta. I think that will definitely help me now in understanding what’s most important, and how to move forward in my life to not make those mistakes, and use the advice that I’m given correctly, so it’s all a lesson.”

On whether he ever thought that this day wouldn’t come: “Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, you never know what’s going to happen. You just live in the moment and take advantage of the opportunities you’ve been given. You know what type of talent you have, you know what you can do, you’ve just got to be patient, and that’s something that I learned over the years unfortunately when I was away, but everything in life happens for a reason. That taught me patience, and I think that’s part of the reason why I’m here today, being patient.”

On how do you keep pushing the brakes in terms of people asking for money, time, or autographs: “I think you just have to create a balance, you know, within your life. Things have to be structured a certain way within your life so that, you know, you’re not making too many commitments, you’re not giving people too much, or saying no when you have to. It’s a balance that has to be created. I’ve changed so many facets of my life to the point where that doesn’t even matter anymore. I spend so much time preparing to be the best quarterback that I can be. With my kids, I don’t even see that area in my life anymore. With age comes change. I think that things happen in your life in phases and stages, and I had to live through that. I did, and it all happened for the best of me.”

On whether he gets a sense if people have changed their opinion about him and his thoughts on the people who will never change their opinions: “I’m just trying to be the best person that I can be. You know, I can’t control what people think, their opinions, or their perception. I think that’s personal and that’s for them. But the only thing that I can control is what I can control, and that’s trying to be the best person I can be, the best citizen I can be, best father that I can be, and I think that speaks for itself. You know, that’s not by force, it’s by choice. Some things may never change, I may never change in certain facets of my life, but it is what it is.”

On whether he’s determined to prove to people that his performance last year wasn’t a fluke: “I think my track record speaks for itself. I think I’ve been pretty consistent in this league for a long time. I don’t see why anything would change. I feel like the players that I’ve been surrounded with, the coaches that I have, you know, Andy is by far one of the best in this league, and that just gives me confidence in itself on top of my abilities and what I can do, will take full advantage of that. So I don’t worry about that and I feel like that’s going to happen. How it happens and when it happens, that all remains to be seen. But I’m just confident in what we can do as a team. I’m confident in what I can do to a certain extent, but what we can accomplish as a team, that’s what’s most important. So it’s not about me duplicating my performance, it is to a certain extent, but what we can do [as a team]. You know I’m just happy that I’m on a team that has been well put together by great management and we’re taking off, so we’ll see.”

On his thoughts about what the contract says about him as a player and as a person: “I think the contract was put together because the people who wanted me to be here made an obligation to make me the quarterback of this team for the next couple of years and like I said, I’m appreciative of that. And I don’t think it was done to teach any lessons or anything as far as standing behind it, it was done for a reason, and that was to make me quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles for the next six years and try to win the Super Bowl.”

On whether he feels like he took teams by surprise last year with his performance and whether he thinks there will be more of a bullseye on him this year: “Well that’s something that Andy and I talk about all the time. I’m always going to have a bullseye on my back, teams are always going to game plan to figure out a way to stop me, but it’s my goal, it’s my job to not let that happen. And I think it’s all about preparation, my dedication, and my commitment to this sport and to my position not to let that happen. So that’s never going to change, but like I said I’m confident in what we can do as a team.”

On his thoughts about the feeling of knowing he could be an Eagle for the rest of his career: “That’s an outstanding feeling for me to know that I’m going to be here, possibly for the duration of my career. And I know I can’t play this game forever and I know the clock is ticking and that’s more motivation for me to try and get it done as early as I can. And you know, it’s just another opportunity that’s been created in my life to press forward and shoot for the stars. I look at it as a challenge and as a competitor you love challenges, you want to be in this position and nothing would make you happier then to put a ring on [Andy Reid’s] finger and mine as well. So that’s my goal, that’s what I’m setting out to do and that’s what I’m going to rile this team up to do.”

On whether this contract is a relief financially because of his financial situation: “I mean, absolutely. A lot of things happened in my life. Whether things were done right or wrong it doesn’t matter anymore. I have an opportunity to move on with my life and that’s all I prayed for and that opportunity has come. But it wasn’t easy, it wasn’t easy, it was all in the unknown and I didn’t know what was going to happen, but it happened. So that was a breath of fresh air. And like I said, I can just focus on football, but it was never something that bothered me or that I was concerned about or worried about. Because I just felt like the situation was in God’s hands whether things had been done right or wrong or it was my fault or somebody elses, it doesn’t even matter. I can focus on football, like I said and focus on being the best person and best Dad that I can be and that means more to me than anything.”

On whether he ever thought a day like this would happen when he was sitting in prison: “No, to be honest I never thought this day would come. Again, in my career I just, like I said I wanted to play a game just to prove myself; to this magnitude I didn’t think it would happen this way, but that goes to show how much I know. You know, just keep pressing forward and keep believing. I think faith is something that we all have to have at the end of the day. And I’m living proof that if you believe in yourself and commit yourself to doing certain things, you can do them. And it’s all mental, it’s all mental. Everything I’ve been through over the last three or four years of my life has just been a challenge mentally to see how I was going to respond to it, that’s how I feel. And I responded in the right way with the help of a lot of people because I couldn’t have done it by myself.”

AR - On where signing Vick ranks in terms of his accomplishments as a coach: “Well, I think the one thing that probably isn’t being mentioned here is Michael is obviously very gifted as an athlete and as a person. But the hard work that went into doing this, and this was Michael, and he’s had [offensive coordinator] Marty Mornhinweg and [former quarterbacks coach] James Urban and [quarterbacks coach] Doug Pederson now to work with, but if it wasn’t his attitude and his want to and his work ethic then none of this was possible. So I think it’s really a tribute to him more than us and how he’s come back and the effort that he’s put forth. And for kids, and the story to this, I think is just that, that through hard work and keeping your nose clean and doing the right things [then] good things happen. And then also, there can be opportunity for a second chance, and how do you handle that second chance? I think that’s really the story here and none of this was possible without Michael being in the right frame of mind and then working his tail off on and off the field, and that’s what he did. Bottom line, that’s what he did. Again, he mentioned all of the people that supported him, but it really came down to his attitude on change and the attitude to work hard.”

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