Looking back at December 30, 2012 after the Giants game to end the 2012 season, can put in perspective how you felt then versus how you feel now?
Michael Vick: "I'm just very thankful. ... I really thought that my career here in Philly was over. I thought I was moving on. I thought there was no possible way that I would be coming back. I'm thankful that this organization gave me an opportunity. I think it was great that they went out and found the best coach possible to replace the great Andy Reid, and this coach just happened to want to give me a shot, but in giving me a shot he wanted me to work for everything, and it shouldn't have been any other way. Who knows, if I would have had the job in the spring than maybe I wouldn't have worked out as hard over the summer, or maybe I wouldn't have come back to Training Camp with the approach that I had or the ambition that I have now to be successful moving forward after this point. It's a credit to Coach (Chip) Kelly."
Is it the system? Is it your acceptance of the system? Is it Coach Kelly working within the system to your strengths?
MV: "Like I tell everybody, it's everything. First and foremost it's God, giving me the spirit and the emotion to carry out what's been asked of me by my coaches, and then it's Chip. Chip challenging us everyday to be the best that we can be, to come out and be consistent and wanting the best out of us and nothing is going to be given to you and everything is going to be earned. Even after this point, you're still under a watchful eye. That right there keeps you on your toes. There's no margin for error, even though he understands that not everything is going to be right. We still want to please our coaches. They coach us so hard and they spend all of this time at work putting in the extra effort and late hours to make sure that we are successful, and we've got to grant that same type of gratitude in return."
This is only part of the journey, though, isn't it? You've got a lot of work to do.
MV: "Oh there's so much work to do. I can't even fathom how much we have to get done. How hard I still have to work each and every day and not take a second, one second off, be the best that I can be in all situations, and make sure that I'm just prepared. If I can do that then come Sundays, I think it will be easy."
Is this as energized as you've felt playing the game of football?
MV: "I'm so energized and so grateful for the position that I'm in. I'm so grateful that I had to work hard for everything, and I told somebody earlier that I found myself, you know, I was able to find myself again, and doing that, there's really nothing that you can compare to that. It's a beautiful feeling, but it also shows you how hard work pays off, and now I know that if I continue to work hard, it will all continue to pay off. You just can't take off. You can't slack up. You can never feel like you've got it or you know it all, and those were my mistakes the last couple of years."
Complete Timeline Of Vick's Career With The Eagles
August 14, 2009 - Signed a two-year contract with the Eagles
September 27, 2009 - Played in his first game as an Eagle vs. Kansas City
December 6, 2009 - Returned to Atlanta and scored his first touchdown as an Eagle
December 23, 2009 - Eagles players unanimously named Vick the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award
January 9, 2010 - Threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin at Dallas, the longest pass play in Eagles playoff history
September 12, 2010 - Replaced an injured Kevin Kolb in the season opener and threw for 175 yards and a touchdown while adding 103 yards rushing in a comeback attempt vs. Green Bay
September 19, 2010 - Made his first start at quarterback since 2006 and completed 62 percent of his passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns in a win at Detroit
September 21, 2010 - Andy Reid named Michael Vick the starting quarterback
September 29, 2010 - Vick was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month
November 15, 2010 - In one of the all-time great performances on Monday Night Football, Vick became the first player in NFL history to pass for 300 yards, rush for 50 yards, throw four touchdown passes and rush for two more in a single game. Vick was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row and his jersey from that game is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame
December 19, 2010 - Engineered one of the most miraculous comebacks in NFL history as the Eagles rallied from a 31-10 fourth quarter deficit to win 38-31 in regulation. Vick earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors and the win helped secure the NFC East division title for the Eagles
February 5, 2011 - Vick was named the Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year
August 29, 2011 - The Eagles and Vick agreed to a six-year contract
October 9, 2011 - Surpassed former Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham for first place on the all-time list of most rushing yards by an NFL quarterback
January 1, 2012 - Lead Eagles to win over Redskins as team ended season with four-game win streak. For first time in career, Vick posted three straight games as a starter with a QB rating of 100-or-more
September 30, 2012 - Became the fourth quarterback since 1960 to lead a team to three fourth-quarter comebacks in first four weeks of a season in the win over the Giants
February 11, 2013 - Agreed to terms on a restructured one-year contract with the Eagles
August 20, 2013 - Named by head coach Chip Kelly the starting quarterback for the 2013 season