Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: Vick calls last year "an embarrassment."
Michael Vick joined Michael Barkann and Ike Reese on WIP in Philadelphia to discuss his new contract in Philadelphia, his relationship with his teammates after some harsh comments at the end of the season, his talks with Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, the open competition with Nick Foles and the turnovers, distractions and hits that made his 2012 season so difficult. Finally, he touched on the new mentality he's going to have going forward and expressed that he'd like it if both he and Foles made the final roster.
On why he decided to sacrifice a lot of money and restructure his contract to remain with the Eagles:
"Last year was rough and I didn't want to leave on a sour note. I wanted to give it another go, and if I have the opportunity to do that I'll make the most of it. My teammates are excited and they're working very hard right now behind the scenes. We were embarrassed about what happened last year, and sometimes money is not the thing that satisfies you. Sometimes you just want more. And I didn't want money to be the reason I didn't give it another shot, and I'm excited that I got another chance to do it, and I'm going to make the most of it."
On if he's afraid there will be hard feelings after he was critical of teammates for their effort level after the season:
"I talked to maybe 15, 16 guys from the team. … Everybody's excited. I wasn't worried about how they was going to feel. They knew why I said what I said and I know why I said what I said. First thing I said was ‘including myself,' because I take responsibility for a lot of things that happened as well, whether I should or I shouldn't. That's just how I feel as the leader of our football team. And they knew exactly what I was saying when I was saying it, whether it was pertaining to them or somebody else. It was a dismal season, and I know there could have been more output from a lot of players on our team. It was upsetting, it was disheartening to see guys just not put forth the effort. And it wasn't everybody on the roster - maybe a select few guys, and they knew who they were. But in talking to everyone who I have genuine love for and I have relationships with, they're excited about me coming back. They're excited about having another shot to go out and make 2013 different from what we did last year."
On his conversations with Chip Kelly leading up to this and rumors that he was working out at the team's practice facility:
"Chip and I didn't even talk football. We never talked football. … I never worked out at the NovaCare [training complex], I'm working out on my own. But in Chip and I's conversations, we talked about family and what it takes to be the best that you want to be, and how to get the most out of each and every player that's on that roster. It was more about excelling and moving forward than about football, because football is what we know. I think that's the easy part, and we both understand that. Most important is having the right mindset and trying to make sure that you put in the effort to get the most out of yourself. And that's what it was all about. It wasn't about Xs and Os because we can't talk Xs and Os and we can't really talk football. That's gonna come."
On the Eagles saying this will be an open competition between he and Nick Foles:
"I welcome it, because I believe in myself. I have so much confidence in myself and what I can do still after what happened last year. And that'll never change. … It pushes you, it drives you, it motivates you. And open competition? I welcome it. I think every other person on that roster, every one of my teammates should be in an open competition, not just me. It's competition week-in and week-out, every Sunday. I'm always competing with the other 31 quarterbacks around the league, not just the opposition, on Sundays. That's what brings out the best in you. That's what the league is all about."
On being distracted in 2012 by the quarterback controversy and the rumors regarding his future:
"I couldn't focus from the beginning of the year, with so much talk about me being benched, and there was talk about me not being here next year. The comfort level wasn't there, and I had never been through that before. Now, I know what's ahead of me. I can focus. I'm playing for a lot, most importantly for this organization, because that's what means the most to me. And everything else is secondary. Winning is primary."
On the turnover problems he had last year:
"Last year, our personnel was very different. We had a lot of guys hurt, and all in all I did the best I could and I won't look back. I worked on some things. I had to protect the football. The interceptions, they came, but a lot of those was tipped balls if you go back and watch the film. But I'm not making any excuses. And being a football analyst, I think if you understand what football is all about, you understand why certain things happen. It's a new offense. It's going to be different; it's going to be fresh. And that's what I'm looking forward to. I can't play to prove everybody right. … 2012 is in the past. It's over with. Let's move forward."
On how he'll handle the contact that comes with being a quarterback in Kelly's offense:
"We'll see. I don't know what else to tell you. I can't give you no explanation for that. It's probably one of the toughest questions you've asked me since we've been talking. I don't know. I think just to train - train hard and pray to God. That's gonna be my motto. Hopefully I can sustain 16 games. If I'm out there - go out there and put forth your best effort and see what happens, that's it. … We also have to realize, and you guys gotta take into account, that I was hit 170 times last year before I even went down. That's the most I've ever been hit before I got hurt. So I kept getting up. My body was trained and conditioned to go the distance last year. It was just the fact that I got a head injury, and that kind of took me out. … But that was kind of a out-of-the-blue concussion - it just happened - but other than that I got hit a lot and I got up. And I'm going to do the same thing this year. I'll get hit a lot and get up. That's what it's all about. You just gotta train, you gotta prepare yourself, you gotta condition yourself. And the good thing is I know how to do that."
On how his mentality on the field will change in 2013:
"The last two years I was running not to get hurt, playing not to get hurt. And that's usually when things happen, so it was kind of ingrained in my mind to try to stay healthy from friends, family, the media, coaches. And that's out. I'm coming to play football, and if I take off running with the football … I'm going to gain positive yards and protect myself in the moment. It all has to be done in the moment. … I'm playing with a different attitude [this year] and that's the way I wanna go out, that's the way I wanna finish."
On if he thinks he and Nick Foles will both be on the roster in Week 1:
"Hopefully we're both still on the roster. Hopefully we can both complement each other and make Chip proud."
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