Eagles quarterback Michael Vick traveled to Simon Gratz High Friday to unveil a new Humane Society Public Service Announcement, along with Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle.
Of course, when Vick met with reporters after his speech and question-and-answer session with students, the questions eventually veered toward the Eagles.
Vick was asked about the fact that the Eagles apparently looked into the availability of Peyton Manning, before Manning signed with the Broncos.
"I don't know how true it is, and I don't care," Vick said. "I feel no threat within my position. You can bring in the best quarterback around, and I'm going to play my best. I'm one of the best."
Eagles coach Andy Reid's remarks this week at the NFL Meetings in Florida underscored how, regardless of what the team does this offseason, Reid and many others believe the key to success in 2012 will be a healthy Vick, who does not miss three games, and who does not try to do too much, throwing 14 interceptions, as he did in 2011.
"I took responsibility for my turnovers and what I need to do, but it's everybody. it's football, man. we've got to be in the moment," Vick said. He seems weary of the topic, but he also seems to view it less critically than Reid or offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, which is one reason Vick keeps being asked about it.
Vick left Gratz just before news broke about left tackle Jason Peters' torn Achilles' tendon.
Though reporters were mainly interested in talking about the Eagles, it is hard to cover a Vick appearance, particularly to a North Philly audience, and avoid discussing the central topic. Vick took the stage to a shrieking, boisterous ovation. He talked, as he usually does, about making wrong choices and about the need to take responsbility for those choices, and to try to make amends. He said he had been told that Gratz was a place where people were trying to come back from adversity, just as he did.
Though the students who came to the microphone to ask questions were supportive, they also asked tough, fairly blunt questions about the specifics of how Vick ended up in prison for dogfighting.
One student asked Vick why he ever got involved, why anyone would do such a thing.
Vick said that growing up, he saw older guys doing it and "it looked cool."
"They did a great job," Vick said afterward. "This might have been the best crowd ever. I'm very proud of them, that I got to do something special for 'em."