EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Michael Vick said that he was surprised by Roger Goodell's ruling today that meant the Eagles quarterback would miss the first two games of the regular season. But Vick said that he would have taken a six-game suspension if that's the verdict the NFL commissioner had deemed appropriate for the former Atlanta Falcon's crimes.
"I was surprised, but I'm just blessed to have an opportunity to be standing before you right now," Vick said after tonight's preseason game against the Jets. "I'm blessed to have the opportunity to play the quarterback position. It's still somewhat like a dream when I stepped out on the field coming from where I came from two years ago and where I've been. ... I can't complain about anything. If it was a six-game suspension, if that was the ruling, I would have been happy and would have just said I would have worked on personal development and working on my game."
Vick is eligible to return by Week 3 when the Eagles host Kansas City.
Vick met with Goodell this morning at the team's hotel in Newark, N.J. Eagles coach Andy Reid was also there for the 50-minute meeting. Vick said he left the gathering not knowing the verdict, but that he had a pretty good feel for what the commissioner would hand down.
"I've been trying to show him that I'm moving in the right direction," Vick said. "I'm changing my life for the better. I'm doing all the things that a professional athlete is supposed to be doing on and off the field. I can't get complacent. I just got to stay strong and keep moving forward."
Vick said that Reid informed him of Goodell's decision about three hours later.
"I don't look at is as a suspension and that's what the commissioner indicated to me," Vick said. "It's for me to get myself together and take some time off and do the right things."
Judging from tonight's performance in the Eagles' 38-27 loss to the Jets, Vick has a ways to go before he's 100 percent. Last week in his first game back, Vick said he was 70 percent. Tonight he said he was "about 90 percent and almost there."
He threw for 26 yards on 7 off 11 passing, with one interception. He also ran for 35 yards on seven carries with one score, his first touchdown of the preseason.
"I didn't even know what to do with myself," Vick said after he scored. "I always told myself I was going to keep the ball. I was going to hand it off to a lineman to spike it. I got up and I just lost it. My mind went blank. I just ran off the field like nothing had ever happened."
Vick played the second half under center on successive plays for the first time since Dec. 31, 2006.
"There were a lot of things I could have done better but it was good to get out there and play some quarterback on a consistent basis and shake off the cobwebs," Vick said.
He was sacked four times, mostly due to a porous offensive line.
"It's what I want -- to get hit a little bit and get a feel for the game and get chased around," Vick said.
Vick was in on ten plays in the first half, lining up mostly in the shotgun in the Eagles' Wildcat package with quarterback Kevin Kolb often splitting wide. That's when he ran for a two-yard TD. Last week, he was in for six snaps and the starting quarterback Donovan McNabb said the rhythm wasn't there. Vick said it was better tonight.
"I felt like it was more production," Vick said. "Just a lot of things that we can do. My mindset is to help this team to whatever capacity I can. To do the things that I know that I can do."