A day after restructuring his contract to remain with the Eagles, quarterback
"Initially, I weighed my options," Vick said. "The city of Philadelphia has been great to me. The organization has been great, I've enjoyed it, my ride there, my experience. It was pretty much all up in the air. It my decision. It was at my discretion. It was also at their discretion, but overall you have to look at what really works and what makes you comfortable. I thought coming back made me comfortable."
Upon the Eagles' hiring of Chip Kelly as head coach, Vick's skillset was often highlighted as a reason why the two might work well together. Although Kelly has run many different types of offenses during his time in college, his successful offenses at Oregon often utilized athletic quarterbacks. Though Vick is unsure exactly what the Eagles offense will look like this season, he believes some recent league-wide trends favor some of the things he's able to do on the field.
"I've watched (Kelly's offenses) for a long time and I've watched Oregon have success," he said. "That doesn't mean it's going to correlate directly over into the NFL, but change is good and I'll take my chances. When I was in the league for five or six years, things started to transition and the wildcat became relevant. I ran for, not necessarily being a wildcat, but the type of offenses being run now and guys are having success, I ran in 2006 and ran for (over 1,000) yards doing it and it wasn't hard. The only thing you have to do is train. I think I can still do that. To what level? I don't know, but the way I feel I feel like I can do it at a high level."
Of course, if Vick is to return to that level of play, there are a few aspects of his recent play that must be overcome. First, there's simply remaining on the field. Vick has missed at least three games in each of the last three seasons. But that doesn't mean Vick's not capable of staying on the field. After all, he missed only two games from 2004-2006.
"I know it's possible, I've done it before," Vick said. "The thing is you have to be very cautious and meticulous about what you're doing on the field, but not to a point where it takes away from your game because once you start trying not to get hurt, that's when you get hurt. I think what I have to do is go out and play lights-out football and not worry about getting hurt. I think over the last two years I was trying to protect myself and trying to make sure that I was out on the football field with my teammates, just putting too much effort into not being injured. When you do that, it slows you down just a half a second."
Then, there are the turnovers that have characterized the last two seasons for Vick. Since 2011, Vick has thrown 24 interceptions to 30 touchdowns and has fumbled the ball 21 times (losing nine), which ranks third in the NFL over that period. When Vick and the Eagles were rolling in 2010, he protected the ball better than at any point in his career. So what changed?
"I wish I could tell you," he said. "I have to go back and watch all the film. But I'm not looking in the past, I'm living in the present and the future. There are a lot of things that happened that you really don't have any control over, obviously we had a lot of injuries, we had a lot of changes. But that's not the reason for us not excelling out on the football field. It's up to us to go out there and get it done, I believe, with any group of players that you have out there. I use no excuses; I use it all as motivation. I'm motivated now to get back up to tip-top shape, to be one of the elite quarterbacks in the league again. That doesn't happen overnight. It won't happen with myself trying to do it all by myself. It's going to take a collective effort from myself and my teammates, and I understand that and that's what this game is all about -- the best teams win football games in this league."
Finally, the 32-year-old Vick, whose new deal reportedly is likely to expire following the upcoming season, was asked how long he expects to continue playing football.
"I think the way my body feels and based on what a lot of my coaches have told me, and based on my body style and my physique, I feel like I can play four or five years," he said. "Who knows, that's all in God's hands. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts and I'm going to take advantage of it and I'm going to put forth all the effort to try to be successful in 2013. I'm not focusing on next year, I'm not focusing on what happened in the past, I'm focusing on the next down, and that's going to be my mindset going into 2013: what can I do on the next down?"
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