Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Patriots: Head Coach Andy Reid

On injuries sustained during the game: "(TE Brent) Celek came out of the game with an AC joint partial separation. (LT) Jason Peters restrained his quad."

On the loss: "We came within a field goal there of solidifying the game. We need to make those obviously. There are things we need to work on. We had way too many penalties in the first half, and really throughout the game. Those penalties took us out of good situations, and put (New England) into good situations. You can't do that, so we have to work through that and get that taken care of. It was great to get some of the young players in there. If there was a positive to our injury list, it was that the young players got plenty of time to play and an opportunity to evaluate them."

On the signing of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick: "I think that everyone has heard the news now that we have signed Michael Vick. I'm a believer that as long as people go through the right process, they deserve a second chance. Michael has done that. I've done a tremendous amount of homework on this, and I've followed his progress. He has some great people in his corner that he's proven to that he's on the right track in the commissioner (Roger Goodell) and (former NFL head coach) Tony Dungy who has spent a lot of time with Michael. Tony is a good friend of mine, and I've had a chance to visit with him and talk through some things.

"I've also had a chance to talk to Michael a few times here just to make sure that I know exactly where he's at, and he's at a good place. I've seen people close to me who have had second chances and taken advantage of those. It's very important that people give them opportunities to prove that they can change, so we're doing that with Michael. I'm very excited on the other side of that to have also a good football player. You're talking about one of the top quarterbacks in the league when he was playing. He's familiar with our offense having done it the last few years in Atlanta before he was incarcerated. I was able to talk to him a little bit about that, and he recalls some of things such as the terminology and so on. It's a very exciting thing going on right now, and we feel very good about it.

"There won't be a quarterback controversy. That's not how it is going to go down here. We have to make sure he gets back into football shape. He's been out of this thing for a couple of years now, so it's important that he gets himself into football shape. He is suspended for this (preseason) game and the next game, so he won't play in either of those. He'll be back for the last two preseason games, and then we'll see what goes on with his situation in the regular season. He comes into a good stable unit here. Donovan is a huge factor in that. Donovan and Michael are very close, and Donovan actually hosted Michael on his recruiting trip to Syracuse, and they've stayed friends since that time. Donovan will play a big part in that, as will the support of our football team and our coaches."

On Vick's physical condition: "I'm going to bring him in to let him kind of get back into the swing of things and see how he's doing physically. I didn't work him out. He looks like he's in good shape, but I also know that when you're away from football for a while there's a difference between being in shape, and being in football shape. We'll just get him back in the swing, and I'll think of something for him."

On what he would say to fans who disagree with the team's decision to sign Vick: "I would say that this is America. We do make mistakes, and in this situation, he has a chance to prove that he's doing the right things. I think the fans will be excited for him as long as he continues to do what he's doing. He's been very proactive in this by speaking all over the country and working with the humane society and so on. I think people will see tomorrow when we have a press conference tomorrow and (the media) will have a chance to speak with Michael. With the football part of it, the fans will love him as a football player and they'll be very excited once we get him out on the football field doing a few things. I think they'll be excited."

On what position Vick will play: "Michael Vick is a quarterback. That's what he is. He's a versatile quarterback, so there are some things that you can do. I haven't put all of that together yet, but I have some pretty good ideas."

On whether he expects protests to take place: "I don't know about the protests. I know that he's been so proactive with the humane society and (representatives of the humane society) will speak (to the media) tomorrow too along with Tony Dungy. (The media) will get a chance to talk to some people who have been around him, and I think you'll get a pretty good feel for him. I think our fans will understand, and I also think that when you really look in-depth at the work that he's done and the things that he's trying to prove, and the changes that he's made in his life, the people who are involved in animal rights will see the positive that this man is trying to do."

On whether team owner Jeffrey Lurie and other members of the organization signed-off on the signing: "Obviously I check everything with Jeffery, so I would never make a move like this without the consent of Jeffrey. Jeffrey has had a chance to meet with Michael personally and talk to him, and I thought that was very important. I thought that meeting was very important before we did anything. They spent a lot of time together, and it was a positive. Jeffrey came out feeling very good. Then I had support of (team President) Joe Banner and obviously (general manager) Tom Heckert and our personnel department. Donovan was involved in this too. I had a chance to share that with Donovan. This wasn't a secret to Donovan."

On the timeline of the process and whether he had followed the Vick case closely: "I'll be very honest with you. I've followed Michael's situation very close with the things that my boys went through. They were right around the same time. I've had a chance to kind of follow that, and I know the things that Michael has gone through. On the other side of that, I know the changes that can be made. There were a couple of things that I thought were very important. First off, the commissioner, who is a tough guy, it started with him. Michael had to do the right things to prove to the commissioner that he had changed. Number two was the part with Tony Dungy. There isn't a finer person around than Tony Dungy, and I thought Tony Dungy had to be convinced of that, and he's not an easy one to convince."

On whether the decision to sign Vick was one that he contemplated for a while: "I thought about it a little bit."

On the possibility of using Vick in the wildcat formation: "He can do some of that. I can't give all of that away. We have to have a little element of surprise."

On the past usage of wide receiver DeSean Jackson in the wildcat formation: "We've added a few things with DeSean in that area. Those are all things that Michael can do, but you have to remember that Michael is familiar with this offense. Donovan is still our quarterback, but there are some things you can do with spreading people out and using different personnel groups. That can make it pretty exciting, because he is a pretty good athlete."

On the possibility that the Eagles will carry four quarterbacks on the roster: "There is a chance."

On what Vick said to him in their meeting that made him feel like the signing was worthwhile: "I felt like he had learned some valuable life lessons. He seems very focused, and he wants to get his career back on track. He wants to prove to people on the other side of that, the human side of that, the outside of football side of that, that he's chosen the right, and he's going to do the right things. He's been doing that."

On whether he would have been open to a signing like this one if he had not been through a similar family situation: "That's a good question. I don't know that. I would hope that I would be, just like I hope that the fans will be - the people of Philadelphia and the fans. Again, my hat goes off to Tony Dungy, the commissioner, and the Humane Society for stepping up like they have, but most of all for Michael. I kind of lived that process here, and I've seen change."

On what Vick said or did to convince him that he had changed:"I went through more of the process of watching what went on with Michael and then talking to the commissioner, and talking to Tony Dungy. They had spent obviously more time than I had with Michael – an extreme amount of time with Michael which was even more what I initially had thought they would. It's been a phenomenal process that he's gone through. He's got a great support crew, and he's learned some life lessons there. The things that he has told me are things that he is doing and supporting with action. That to me is probably the most important thing."

On the fact that some fans will not be convinced that Vick has changed:"I understand that. I understand how that works. But there are enough of them that will, and then it's up to Michael to prove that that change has taken place. I think he's there, and that's what he wants to do. He knows that not everybody is going to have that trust in him or belief in him. But I think he'll go out there and prove that to people."

On what he currently knows about Vick's suspension: "I understand the first part in the preseason with the two-game (suspension) there. We've heard the 1-6 number there or none. It's whatever the commissioner decides to do. I think most of all it depends on how Michael handles himself and how he goes about business. The commissioner really hasn't disclosed what he's going to do. I've head the same things on that as (the media) has heard. I think it's important, number one, that Michael does his thing, and the commissioner will determine that when he determines it."

On his past statements to the media regarding Vick: "I worded those very carefully. I made sure that I said that I was happy with my quarterback situation, and I am happy with my quarterback situation. I also feel that he does deserve a second chance. I had to make sure that part was taken care of, and I did have a little homework to do to make sure that this was right. I'm at that point today that I feel very good about it."

On whether the team is prepared for the media attention that the signing will garner: "The team knows about that, and they're ready for (the media). (The media) can go ahead and talk to them. I'm not hiding anything here."

On whether the team needed Vick to compete for the Super Bowl: "No, but I think he helps you as a football player. But again, I had to make sure because I'm bringing him into the team. It's not that I'm bringing him in for Andy. That's not what I'm doing. I'm bringing him in for this football team, and it's important that I did my homework on him the best I could. I talked to Donovan, Jeffrey, Joe, and so on and went through that process. That took a little bit of time, but I wanted to make sure I went through that."

On whether Vick's signing process was expedited due to some of the team's recent injuries: "No."

On whether the signing will change the outside perception of the organization: "I think that as Michael gets involved and he does what I presume that he's going to do, and does what I expect him to do, and the Commissioner expects him to do, and Tony Dungy expects him to do, and most of all, Michael himself expects him to do, that part changes. Again, that's what I can tell you, and the rest of it is going to take time. We'll look into the future here, and he has to go thought that process, but I think he's in the right frame of mind to do that. He understands the wrong, and he's out trying to change that and right the wrong. I think once people have a chance to talk to him, they will appreciate the challenges that he has taken on in trying to prove to people that he's okay."

On whether Vick's signing was a difficult decision for him personally: "It took time. I thought time was important. Why now and not before? Because I wanted to make sure I covered as much as I could from my end and also gave him the time to reach out and do the parts that he needed to do and the parts that he wanted to do. He's done a good job with that."

On whether there were other teams that were interested in signing Vick: "There were a few other teams involved. I think those were publicized out there. Did we have competition? Absolutely we had competition. But is that why we did it now? No, I wanted to make sure, like the other teams, that we did our homework. Michael had to make that choice. He talked that over with Tony (Dungy). Tony has a lot of friends in this league, so Tony wasn't picking teams for him. But Michael had someone in Tony to bounce the decision off of and talk through it. That was an important, important thing."

On what it was like to play against Vick in the past: "He's an unbelievable athlete, both running and throwing the ball. He loves to play the game. Those are the things we know, and he's a difference-maker in a lot of areas. He can do a lot of things for you. That's why he was a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback."

On whether he had seen recent tapes of Vick workouts: "I didn't look at any film. I don't believe that he had any film, not that I was able to locate. He has a couple of weeks here where he can get himself into football shape. He's in good shape now, but he has to get that other part done and get back into the swing of the football part of it."

On when Vick will practice with the team: "He will be out there Saturday, and then we'll see. (The media) will be out there Saturday and you'll see. I am just going to ease him in and make sure that he doesn't pull a hamstring or a quad. I've got good quarterbacks here, so we'll just start introducing him back into the football side, and he'll have a couple of weeks to work on it."

On whether he is prepared for the effect that Vick's signing could have on his personal privacy: "I understand that, because I've had my space invaded. I've had people in the trees taking pictures of me around my house and so on, so I understand how that works. I've gotten pretty good at it the last couple of years."

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