When Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick lines up under center against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, Vick plans to go all out to help the Eagles snap a three-game losing streak.
Moreover, Vick plans to return to the days where he made big plays with his arms and legs. He wants to get back to his days of playing with reckless abandon.
“I have to get my swag back,” Vick said Thursday. “I’ve got to get back to playing football the way I love to play it and not worry about what’s going to happen because that’s out of my control. All I can do is control how I play and how aggressive I can be.”
That sounds like the old Michael Vick. The Michael Vick who played for Virginia Tech, where he continually kept defensive coordinators guessing. That also sounds like the Michael Vick who used his explosiveness during his early years with the Atlanta Falcons, making them of the NFL’s most dangerous offenses.
Of course, most fans would settle for the Michael Vick who made the 2010 Pro Bowl and led the Eagles to an NFC Eastern Division title as well as a playoff appearance against the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
Vick has really struggled this year. He has completed 157-of-266 passes for 1,823 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. Vick’s job status came into question after the Eagles 30-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Eagles coach Andy Reid didn’t exactly endorse Vick following the game, saying he was going to evaluate all of his starters. Vick said he would support whatever decision Reid makes. There was plenty of speculation that a quarterback change could be made to rookie Nick Foles. It turned into a national story. Reid made an announcement Wednesday that Vick will remain the starting quarterback. He spoke publicly yesterday reiterating the same.
“Michael was the quarterback, is the quarterback and will continue to be the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles,” Reid said. “I can’t make it any more clear than that.”
The Eagles (3-4) will face the Saints (2-5) in the Superdome in New Orleans on national television. This week Vick called a players-only meeting where he and about 10 players attended. The Eagles know they have to make a big push in order to get back in the hunt for a playoff spot.
But getting back a more aggressive Vick is the key. In the loss to the Falcons, he was 21-of-35 for 191 yards and one touchdown pass. He was able to move the team at times. But drives lacked a lot of big plays. Vick, a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, has made a career of making big plays. For now, he’s not thinking about losing his starting job.
“Honestly, not really worried about job security because when I’m out there on the field I’m giving it all I got,” Vick said. “More so I’m trying to protect the football. I’m trying not to make a mistake, and that’s not me. I’ll be honest with you. I have to go play lights out. I have to go play the game and leave it all on the field and play aggressive and shoot it and run the ball as I feel I need to. If I get a seam, get a crack (then) take it. Just do what I’ve been born (and) blessed to do and take advantage of my god-given abilities in conjunction with playing with everybody else. I can’t do it by myself. I rely on these guys just like they rely on me to be successful. I’m ready to go. I put the shield back on my helmet. It’s time to play ball.”
-The Associated Press contributed to this column