Quarterback Michael Vick addressed the media Tuesday afternoon and answered questions that ranged from his on-field rapport with DeSean Jackson, to the upcoming game against the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night and his relationship with both Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb.
Vick and Jackson have connected an amazing seven times on pass plays of 60 yards or more during their four-plus years together with the Eagles. They are, without question, the league's most dangerous, explosive quarterback-wide receiver combination.
"I think the key is just being on the same page and understanding what the defense is giving us," Vick said. "We practice extremely hard and we watch a lot of film, trying to make sure that when we have opportunities to go down the field, we can capitalize on it. It's hard to do that in this league. We've been doing a good job of it and we want to continue to do that."
Vick also credited the offense's design and play-calling for enabling those big-play opportunities.
"Every concept that we have has some form of deep shot (down the field)," Vick said. "We just try to make sure that if there's an opportunity, we don't miss it."
The most popular question this week has been, naturally, what the mood and atmosphere will be like at Lincoln Financial Field with Reid returning to Philadelphia, and how the players feel about it. Vick is the most unique case of all, given that Reid reached out to him following his incarceration, brought him back into the league when few teams would and played a major part facilitating his reintegration to society and in his development as a man.
"He's a great man. He's a great friend," Vick said of Reid. "I'm definitely going to stay in touch with him, probably for the rest of my life. He's a great a guy. … Andy Reid will go down in history in my book as one of the greatest coaches of all time and one of the greatest men I've ever met."
Much like the rest of the players have done, however, Vick also emphasized that the game on Thursday is more than just Reid coming back to Philadelphia. He is not getting caught up in the nostalgia and peripheral storylines that would only serve to distract him from preparing to the best of his abilities.
"I'll definitely find some time to shake his hand and say a couple words to him (before the game)," Vick said. "But in the interim, we have to play a football game. I don't think on his side or our side we can get caught up in the emotional aspect of it. We have to understand that we have football to play.
"I'll never forget the opportunities that have been given to me by this organization, by Andy Reid. That'll never change. … But it's not me against Andy Reid, it's not us against Andy Reid, it's the Philadelphia Eagles against the Kansas City Chiefs. They got guys over there who are coming to play good football."
Vick just finished one of the best two-game stretches in his career, completing 38-of-61 attempts (62.3 percent) for 631 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating of 119.0 ranks third in the NFL, and his 10.34 yards-per-attempt ranks first. Vick has also added 77 rushing yards (on 15 carries) and two touchdowns on the ground, bringing his total touchdown tally up to six. Even so, he feels he has left plays out on the field and that there are still aspects he can improve upon to elevate his performance more.
"I think you can always get better in the decision-making aspect of the game," Vick said. "Everything is not going to be perfect, I'm not going to always do everything right. I may make some mistakes this week that I may not make next week, or some last week that I don't want to make this week. There's always room to grow and things to improve on."
At the end of the press conference, Vick touched on his relationship with McNabb, who advocated bringing him to Philadelphia in 2009, and how he thinks the fans will receive him during his jersey retirement ceremony Thursday night.
"I have a good relationship with Donovan," Vick said. "We see each other, we talk. He had an influence on me coming here, and I'm thankful for everyone who had an influence on me coming here. I'm just glad I'm here right now.
"I think it's going to be a warm reception (for McNabb). I think this city appreciates everything that (McNabb) did. … He gave this city a great thrill, good football."
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