Despite saying that he had confidence in himself, Michael Vick entertained the idea of losing out in the Eagles quarterback competition, and said that he would support the team and, of course, the starter if he were in a backup role.
“I would continue to support this team. I’m here for one reason – to help this team win football games,” Vick said after the Eagles’ first training camp practice at the NovaCare Complex. “And like I said just a second ago, by any means necessary. Whatever it takes -- if I have to watch film with all of the quarterbacks or if I have to coach the quarterbacks one day, then that’s what I’ll do.”
Vick struck a different tone Tuesday than he did last month at the end of minicamp when he admitted that splitting first-team repetitions with Nick Foles was difficult and when he told a CSNPhilly.com reporter that he wanted coach Chip Kelly to name a starter by camp.
He was the dutiful soldier.
His comments last month, though, suggested that he either believed he would naturally win the job by the end of camp or that he didn’t believe Kelly when he re-signed with the Eagles in February and the coach said that there would be an open competition.
Vick signed a one-year contract worth $7 million if he makes the roster and a total of $10 million with incentives.
“I came back to play for Coach Kelly, that was it,” Kelly said. “I heard a lot about him. I’ve watched Oregon throughout the years and I just felt like this was the best opportunity for me. I chose it regardless of what the fate may be. I’m still going to compete.”
Kelly ran an offense at Oregon that often involved a running quarterback. Vick has more career yards rushing than other quarterback that has played in the NFL. He said he added four pounds of muscle in the offseason to combat the hits he could take running Kelly’s up-tempo offense.
“Can’t you tell? I’ve been doing a lot of curls, lot of bench presses in the offseason, just trying to put my body in the best position possible to withstand the hits,” Vick said. “You know, everybody says I’m injury-prone so I’m trying to fight that.”
Vick missed 12 games because of injury in the last three seasons.
Following his first NFL training camp practice, Kelly revealed that he would name a starter at least before the Eagles began preparing for the Redskins in the season opener. So it is likely that Vick, Foles and Matt Barkley – the primary candidates for the job – will know where they stand by the Tuesday before the Sept. 8 opener.
Kelly said that the quarterbacks will ultimately decide who wins. Many have weighed in, however, including some players. Asked by ESPN last week, a reluctant DeSean Jackson picked Vick. Foles said that he had no problem with Jackson’s prediction.
Vick said that having players such as Jackson apparently in his corner gave him “no advantage.”
“We have to come out here every day and prove in practice that we’re worthy of lining up behind that center, and that still doesn’t tell the tale,” Vick said. “None of the talk is going to determine who is going to be the quarterback.”
As humble as he was, Vick -- like Foles and Barkley – said he believed that he would ultimately prevail.
“I’m confident in myself. I’ve very confident,” Vick said. “Like I said, that’s the only reason why I’m standing here. I believe in me. I know what I can do. I know I got a lot of years left to play this game.”