By now, it has been written over and over: the Eagles don't have a chance this year unless Mike Vick stays healthy and protects the football. But no matter how much the issue has already been discussed, questions keep coming and Vick today sounded frustrated by the subject.
"I really don't think I need to discuss what type of game I'm going to play. It's going to be what it's going to be. It seems like the questions are becoming repetitive and I'm tired of answering it because the only thing we can do is wait and see if I’m going to play a more disciplined game," Vick said after practice. "There's not too much more to say or to talk about."
The questions arose today after Vick was asked about protecting himself in a recent WIP interview, sparking a new round of radio talk about the issue.
"The goal is to protect myself. I put my faith in God to keep me on the field with my team and with the guys and that's about it. There's no reason to keep digging and to (be) talking about it and saying 'change your style, are you holding the ball too long?' I’m over that. That’s not the reasons and I think sometimes people make assumptions not really knowing what needs to be done," Vick said. "I think the correction to all of this is simple, protect yourself as best as I can, put my faith in the lord and myself and keep pushing."
The quarterback, who missed three games due to injury last year and left two others early, veered between defiance and acknowleding the need to stay healthy, as is often the case when he talks about his own safety -- and which perhaps contributes to the persistent questions about how he will play this year. One moment he'll say he knows he needs to be more careful, and the next he vows to not change his aggressive style. In the past, Vick has said he would change only to continue playing the same way, frustrating even some coaches. As Vick himself said, the only real way to gauge if he has altered his style is to see him in a real game.
A reporter asked Vick if he was irritated by having to discuss the topic again.
"Yeah, because at some point I start to feel like it’s personal like shots are being directed towards me for holding the ball too long, certain things, when that’s not the case," he said.
Vick missed three games due to injuries last year and left two others early. His biggest injuries -- broken ribs and a concussion -- both came from hits while he was in the pocket, but some have suggested he would be hit less if he made quicker reads and unloaded the ball sooner.
The franchise quarterback, though, acknowledged that scrutiny comes with his job, and that his health is crucial for the team's success.
"I accept responsibility for everything. I feel that my sole responsibility is this team, we’re going to go as I go. If I’m not on the field, I’m not helping the team in any shape, form or fashion. The turnovers, that’s my responsibility. It’s my responsibility to orchestrate the offense and make sure the team is well put together and suited and ready to play on Sundays," he said. "I understand the responsibility and the role that comes along with being a quarterback, and I accept it. Sometimes I just don’t accept people saying things and really not knowing what they’re talking about."
(Though he quickly added that he wasn't saying that his radio hosts fell into that category).