By Zach Berman
Mike Vick was at a charity event when Andy Reid called him two years ago to tell him he was the starting quarterback, and he was preparing for a charity event again on Monday when Reid called to tell Vick he would start again. Vick is expected to start this week's game against the New York Giants.
"I'm elated to be back out there on the football field," Vick said in a telephone interview from Newport News, Va., where he distributed toys on Christmas Eve to children in his hometown as part of the Team Vick Foundation. "It's a situation where I want to go out there and seize the moment. It's the end of the season, we need to win. We haven't won consistently in a long time, so we want to finish the season with a win."
This is Vick's 10th season. He's 32-years old. He's been a Pro Bowler. He's had a long career. Yet after his latest concussion and with the possibility that he could be released at the end of the season, it would seem Vick still has something to prove. He doesn't see it that way.
"I don't think I need to prove anything on Sunday," Vick said. "The most important thing is to go out there and try to help this football team win. I'm the ultimate team player. I love playing with my teammates."
Vick did not think he'd play again this season. He thought it would "be up in the air" that he'd be active. But Vick says he's feeling healthy in what's become a lost season.
"Health-wise, I'm feeling good," Vick said. "I put in a lot of hard work. But at the same time, it was just different circumstances. We didn't come together as a team, we didn't perform well together. And when you don't do that, you don't win football games."
Vick said it's crossed his mind that this could be his final time playing for the Eagles and for Reid.
"That's more of the reason why I think I should go out there and try to finish with a win," Vick said. "Go out with a bang, go out there give it everything I got. I've been out for the last [seven] weeks. It's a good opportunity for me to go out there and grow as a player. You never know what could come out of this game. You never know what I could learn. You never know what I could accomplish. I could go out there and break a record. There's tremendous upside."
But before Vick practices on Wednesday, he's helping his hometown. There were 200 families that attended his event, with many of the families having two or three children. Every child received a toy on Christmas Eve.
"I'm in a situation where I feel I've been blessed throughout my entire life," Vick said. "I've struggled through hardships, but with those struggles and tough times, it's times like this where I find gratitude. I always told myself I'd be the best ambassador in my community I could be, if given the opportunity."