Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening remarks: "Alright, appreciate you guys showing up. I'm obviously here to announce that (QB) Michael Vick will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. I think his play has even exceeded expectations over the last two weeks. This has nothing to do with (QB) Kevin Kolb's injury. Kevin Kolb has done a phenomenal job for us here and the future of Kevin Kolb is not slighted by this one bit. He has an opportunity, obviously, to be, what I would consider, a franchise quarterback and deserving of so. Again, this is more about Michael Vick and his accelerated play. He's sitting there as possibly the hottest quarterback in the National Football League at this time and deserves an opportunity to play. It also allows Kevin to continue as a young quarterback in the National Football League, his maturation process, and, again, to become a franchise quarterback in the future."

On whether his decision to trade QB Donovan McNabb and go with Kolb was incorrect: "Not at all, not at all. This isn't about Kevin Kolb's play at all, you're talking about Michael Vick as one of the best quarterbacks right now in the National Football League and I think that's the important thing to focus on."

On when his decision to stick with Kolb changed: "At the time, I told you what I believed. Obviously I'm not like – any of us – able to predict the future. I will tell you that Michael went out and, I thought, did an exceptional job the last couple of weeks. I think it's my responsibility as a head coach to evaluate the play of our players."

On whether this was his decision entirely: "This is my decision."

On when he made the decision: "Listen, when you deal with a decision like this, you take as much time as you possibly need to take and so I did that. It's not my obligation to tell people my decision. It's my obligation to make the proper decision. That's why I took the time to do that."

On whether any of the players expressed to him that they wanted Vick to start: "No."

On who told Kolb the decision: "I told him. I met with Kevin, yes."

On what Kolb's reaction was: "Listen, Kevin Kolb is one of the most competitive guys I've ever been around. Kevin Kolb wants to be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and so I wouldn't expect anything less from him. He's also a team player, so he accepted it. I'm not going to tell you that he doesn't want to be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles."

On the conversation with Vick and what his reaction was:"Well, he was good. Now listen, he and Kevin are very close, so his first concern obviously is about Kevin. I think, on the other hand, he relishes this opportunity."

On the status of Kolb's health: "Kevin's fine. This is not an injury-related issue."

On what he says to any criticism about Kolb only getting one half to play: "This isn't about judging Kevin. Listen, Kevin is going to be a fine quarterback in the National Football League; a championship-caliber quarterback. The thing that you find with young quarterbacks. This is the way it is with every quarterback that I've studied in the National Football League – you need to be allowed a maturation process; an opportunity to mature. When you have somebody that's sitting in that role or has been given an opportunity to play in the game that is playing at the level that Michael Vick is playing, then Michael Vick deserves the opportunity to continue to do that."

On how much the offensive line played into this decision: "This had nothing to do with the offensive line."

On whether he plans on keeping Kolb or allowing him to be a starter elsewhere: "No, I want Kevin Kolb to be a member of the Philadelphia Eagles."

On whether he will go back to Kolb if Vick struggles: "Right now Michael Vick is the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles."

On how this affects Kolb's maturation process: "I actually think this kelps Kevin Kolb's maturation process."

On his explanation as to why this helps Kolb's maturation process: "This allows him to continue to learn and he'll do that. That's a time factor and, again, this comes back to Michael Vick's play. You're looking at a quarterback, again, with a 105 quarterback rating, which is the fourth-highest in the National Football League and he's playing exceptional football."

On whether this decision stunts Kolb's growth because of the lack of reps in live game action: "Yeah, he'll be fine, he'll be fine. The future is bright for Kevin Kolb."

On all of the time spent laying the groundwork for Kolb to be the team's starting quarterback: "I didn't expect, obviously, the accelerated play of Michael. I mean, he's playing exceptional football right now. I think that's obvious to everybody."

On whether this move calls into question the original decision in April to go with Kolb as the starting quarterback: "Listen, I'm a huge Kevin Kolb fan. No. This is has to do with Michael Vick's accelerated play."

On what stood out about Vick's play: "I think very few quarterbacks can go out and play the way he played the last couple of weeks, and some of the things that he did. One of the questions we had about Michael Vick was, and has been a question throughout his career, 'is can he be a pocket passer?' I think you saw Michael Vick, under duress, was able to move, maintain his eyes down the field, and make throws down the field. He's one of the top third-down throwers in the National Football League right now, and help this football team, obviously, win games."

On he will consider extending Vick's contract: "Listen, we're taking it for right now. I haven't even gotten that far with that. I'm talking about right now."

On Vick's pocket presence and whether it is the difference between the player he was in Atlanta and the player he is now: "Here's what I know: Michael Vick has worked so hard at the smaller parts of his game, that being one of them. And he is so diligent with everything that he's done, and it's been a neat thing to watch. And both he and Kevin are so close. They do everything together. They study together, they work together. I think Michael's experience has been tremendous for Kevin. But, yes, that's one of the things that I think he's worked at hard, becoming a pocket passer, he's done a nice job with it. Now that's not saying we don't tell him not run the football, we tell him go play the game, and if you're going to run, though, keep your eyes down the field. He's done a phenomenal job of that."

On whether Kolb has asked to be traded and whether he expects that to happen sometime of the season: "No."

On how much he takes in the consultation of upper management, coaches and players: "Listen, I think I had to make this decision. I've had the full support of the front office. I counseled with (GM) Howie Roseman today and bounced some things off of him, but the first person I met with on this decision was Kevin Kolb. That's the first person I talked to. And I met with him the last two days, and we shared thoughts. He's a young quarterback that I think the sky's the limit for. He's just in a situation where he's got an ex-superstar that now has regained his abilities, and it's really that simple. Michael Vick is playing out of his mind right now, and that's a beautiful thing. What a lucky franchise and a lucky head coach I am to have two quarterbacks that I feel that way about. I mean it's unbelievable."

On whether Kolb expressed that he only had one half of football to show his talents:"Listen, I'm not going to get into all of the things that I talked to Kevin Kolb about. I will tell you, though, Kevin Kolb would like to be the starting quarterback of this football team and I wouldn't expect anything less. This is one of the most competitive kids I've been around. He wants to be out there and he wants to play and his day will come here."

On whether it was a two-day process of meeting with Kolb: "Two-day process. Yes."

On whether he thinks he is capable of winning a Super Bowl this season with Vick at quarterback: "Absolutely, yeah. Absolutely."

On how much Vick's performance surprised him: "I've watched this whole picture evolve here. I've watched him come in 20 pounds overweight and work his tail off to get himself back this offseason. He started the day after the season ended, and he concentrated on getting himself in phenomenal shape. He came back and he had some rough goes in training camp. It wasn't a pretty picture, but he worked through it. He worked and attacked the issues that he was having problems with and then when he had an opportunity, he came in the game, he played very well. I will tell you he's playing at a high level, one of the higher levels that I've seen him play at. When I say that's a beautiful thing, that's what I mean by this. I'm sitting here and I'm telling you I've got two quarterbacks that I feel I can go win football games with and compete for a championship in the National Football League. There are some coaches that can't sit here and tell you that."

On whether he had to balance winning now against winning in the future when making the decision: "I think that's unfair. When you have a young quarterback, the young quarterback is going to take time to grow, that's what happens. And along with that, your team grows with them. Now, this was an odd situation, where Michael Vick just had this accelerated play that was brilliant, and so that's where this whole decision process came in. It was my decision. I thought about it. I took plenty of time to evaluate it, and this is what I think is right and that's kind of the bottom line."

On whether he felt the team would not have been able to grow with Kolb at quarterback: "Well, the team had seen, obviously, the great play by Michael Vick, just like you saw it, and I saw it. And so that's part of this decision."

On whether Kolb will play any snaps occasionally: "Yeah, there's a chance he's in there, yeah."

On whether he is comfortable with Vick becoming the face of the franchise: "One of the great things about America is you're given a second chance if you handle it the proper way. And I've mentioned this before, I think he's handled this the proper way. I think his teammates would all stand up for him, just as they would Kevin Kolb, but they would stand up for Michael for what he's tried to do in changing his life around, and I know I sit here and do the same."

On whether he is riding the hot hand: "I will tell you, I think it's a great thing how he's playing. I think we all sat there on Sunday and went 'wow, this guy is back, and maybe even a little bit better,' and that's a beautiful deal. I think that's a beautiful deal."

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