The travails of Michael Vick might seem minor compared to what Andy Reid has encountered during his USO tour, but the Eagles coach has been able to monitor the Virginia Beach shooting that has swept his quarterback into a maelstrom from Germany and Afghanistan.
"I have spoken to Michael and I've looked into the situation," Reid said Friday by telephone. "I'm aware of the things that are happening and I'll continue to be kept abreast about any recent developments."
So has he made a decision, in light of media and public calls for the Eagles to cut ties with Vick, about his backup quarterback's future?
"Nothing has been decided," Reid said. "I'm standing by the statement the team released last week."
Last Friday, the Eagles said that they were "in the process of gathering all the facts" on the shooting that occurred outside a nightclub that was hosting Vick's 30th birthday party, and that they would "not have any comment" until they had completed their investigation.
The NFL, too, is conducting its own investigation. Virginia Beach police do not have any suspects and have not made any arrests. Vick issued a denial Thursday in a statement released by his lawyers, saying that he was not involved in the shooting that maimed a codefendant in his dogfighting case.
Eagles sources said Thursday that the team was standing by Vick at this juncture unless further details emerge. Reid declined to say if the Eagles were waiting to make a decision until he returns from his tour. He expects to be back in the United States sometime early next week.
The Eagles coach is on the USO tour with Vikings coach Brad Childress, Panthers coach John Fox and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. They arrived in Fankfurt, Germany earlier this week and were then escorted by the military to Ramstein Air Base. The coaches then visited wounded members of the military at the Base's hospital.
The group departed that evening for Afghanistan in a C17 military cargo plane, but a bird hit the plane and the pilot had to circle back to Ramstein. Reid was seated up front in the cockpit and was teasingly blamed for the incident because of his affiliation with birds of a different sort. The other coaches were calling Reid, "Captain Eagle."
"I've been getting killed about the bird," Reid said.
After an extra day at Ramstein, the coaches finally left for Afghanistan. Fox replaced Reid in the cockpit.
"I got voted off that island," Reid said.
They arrived this morning and spent most of the day touring Bagram Air Base in the Parwan province. Reid, of course, encountered his share of Eagles fans. After visiting the prison on the base, Reid heard a familiar cheer.
"Coming out of the prison three soldiers were chanting E-A-G-L-E-S," Reid said. "They brought out their jerseys, hats and flags. You can tell they live for football and when the season comes."
Reid had dinner with three soldiers from Philadelphia.
"We talked about cheesesteaks and back home," Reid said. "They asked about the [Donovan McNabb] trade. But they were upbeat about the coming season."
Reid wasn't sure how much longer he would be in Afghanistan. He wasn't trying to be coy -- like his withholding information on his players' injuries.
"We really don't know," Reid said. "I'm not trying to be secretive. They don't tell us much. I didn't know we were going to be in Germany that long. It's why you have to be flexible."