Eagles coach Andy Reid just met with the media following the team’s preseason opener against the Patriots (I was watching on NFL Network) and addressed the signing of Mike Vick at length. It became obvious that Reid’s experiences with his children’s legal issues, as well as some of the unique wrinkles that Vick could provide in Wildcat-type formations, were at the core of the decision.
Reid said Donovan McNabb is unquestionably the Eagles’ starter — “There won’t be a quarterback controversy. That’s not how it’s going to go down here.” — and that the Eagles’ longtime QB was involved in the decision to sign Vick. “This wasn’t a secret to Donovan,” Reid said. Reid thoroughly investigated the situation and said Vick’s extensive meeting with Eagles owner Jeff Lurie was imperative. “They spent a lot of time together, and it was a positive,” Reid said. “Jeffrey came out feeling good.”
The positive vibes sent out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Colts coach Tony Dungy, now Vick’s mentor, also were influential in the decision, Reid said. Reid had multiple conversations with Vick as well. “I know exactly where he’s at, and he’s in good place,” the coach said.
Reid was unequivocal about what position Vick will play.
“Michael Vick is a quarterback, that’s what he is,” Reid said. “He’s a versatile quarterback, and there are some things you can do. I haven’t put all of that together yet, but I’ve got some pretty good ideas.”
Reid said he understood if some Eagles fans can’t embrace Vick and admitted he is unsure what kind of public reaction or protests might come. Reid pointed to Vick’s work with the Humane Society of the United States at several points, however, and said representatives from that group will be present at Friday’s press conference, along with Vick and Dungy.
Reid said he followed Vick’s saga from the onset of his arrest for his actions in a dogfighting operation, as his troubles dovetailed at a time when the coach’s boys faced legal issues. Seeing the changes his children made clearly impacted Reid as he mulled this signing.
“This is America, and we do make mistakes,” Reid said, “and this situation is a chance to prove that he’s doing the right things.”
Reid said he hasn’t worked out Vick but knows the QB isn’t game-ready yet. Reid hinted that Vick could take part in the Eagles’ final two preseason games, which he is allowed to perform in per Goodell’s ruling, and you could see the coach’s mind churning with the formations and possibilities.
“We’ll get him back in the swing, and I’ll think of something,” Reid said with that sly smile of his.