After issuing a statement Wednesday morning to announce that Michael Vick will start at quarterback on Monday against the Saints, head coach Andy Reid said on Thursday that he never had any intent on benching him.
"Michael, in regards to that, was the quarterback, is the quarterback and will continue to be the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles," Reid said. "I can't make it any clearer than that.
"My point wasn't that I was going to bench Michael Vick. It was that I needed to step back and evaluate before I came to you with something."
In fact, Reid said that Vick played "one of his better games" of the season against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. Vick was 21-of-35 for 191 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers for an 84.3 rating. Vick was efficient in leading the Eagles on three scoring drives that lasted at least nine plays.
"He eliminated any turnovers that he'd had whether it was fumbles or interceptions," Reid said. "He gave the receivers an opportunity to catch the football. He just needs to continue to lead this football team. He is the leader of the team. He understands that."
Despite Vick's performance, the Eagles fell 30-17 and now sit at 3-4 for the season. After the game, Vick thought that Reid was "obviously" considering a change at the quarterback position.
"I was upset after the game and not at Michael Vick," Reid said. "Michael is the most competitive kid I've ever been around. There's nobody who wants to win more than Michael. He was disappointed after the game and he always takes full responsibility. You hope everybody does that. That's the idea and I think I have a locker room that does that."
Reid declared that his affirmation of Vick is not going to be a week-to-week issue.
"Michael is the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. Michael is the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles," Reid said.
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