Motivated. Excited. Focused.
Those were the words that quarterback Michael Vick used to describe the mindset of the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles on the precipice of this year's Training Camp.
Vick was in Aurora, Ohio to speak at the NFL's Rookie Symposium on Monday and he stopped by the NFL Network studio set on location afterwards to explain why he is so confident in this year's squad.
"Because the team that I'm on now, we feel like we're one of the best teams in the league," said Vick, who turned 32 on Tuesday. "We feel like we can play with any team in this league on any given Sunday."
The story of the 2011 Eagles has been well documented. Buoyed with expectations following a division title in 2010 and the addition of numerous Pro Bowl players last offseason, the Eagles struggled to start the season and had to rally with four straight wins to end the season with a .500 record.
Vick's personal season mirrored the team's campaign. He threw seven interceptions and lost three fumbles in the first five games of the season. The Eagles went 1-4 in those games. By comparison, Vick had only nine turnovers in the entire 2010 season. Vick improved his performance in the final four games of the year, which were all wins for the Eagles. Vick had seven touchdown passes, one touchdown run and just four total turnovers in those wins. He also had a quarterback rating of 100-or-more in the final three games, a first for Vick in his entire career as a starter.
The Eagles had a strong offseason once again in 2012 as they re-signed key players to long-term extensions, added more premier talent with the trade for Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans and had a draft that was universally hailed a success. Vick understands that the Eagles must be better in 2012 as he enters his 11th NFL season. He also fully understands that there is no need to talk about the pressure of needing to improve from 2011.
"The only time we talk about it is when we talk to the media so it's like it doesn't even exist to us because we're so motivated on the season and excited about the season," Vick said. "We're really excited about going into this year as far as football and being able to go out and have fun and play good football. Not to prove anything to the world or to the critics, but to ourselves that we can play with the best."
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider