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It Is Just The Beginning For Vick and Eagles

Vick Surprised To Be The Starter

By Lance Epstein

Once again the Michael Vick experience is back in business after a three-year hiatus. On Wednesday, Vick discussed how gratifying it was to be named the starter, his future and Kevin Kolb being supportive of his opportunity.

Also, Vick admitted to being surprised by the decision of the Eagles and head coach Andy Reid. When asked about whether he wants to stay in Philadelphia after this season, Vick admitted that the situation is a bit of an unknown. He said all he can focus on is getting victories and getting the team to the Super Bowl.

Certainly, Vick has the talent to be an elite quarterback in the NFL, but he will not be a Super Bowl champion unless he can find consistency. For the first time in Vick’s career, he understands that and is working diligently to be the best teammate and quarterback for the Eagles.

Here are Michael Vick’s press conference quotes:

On his performance in the first two weeks has exceeded his own expectation:

"Kind of, sort of. I know what I can do, but until you get out there and you actually do it, you really don't know if you're going to make the plays that you know you're capable of making. I just try to stay in tune with the game plan and understand exactly what the primary focus is, each and every play, each and every concept, and try to make sure I give this team the best opportunity to win, whether I'm out there as a starter or if I'm coming off the bench."

On seeing the field and reading defenses better this year than year’s past:

"Well, I always felt like I had good vision, the ability to see the field and see things developing, and anticipate. And I think that's what you have to have as a quarterback. I think all the great ones have that, and the Lord's blessed me with that ability of great vision and ability to see the field, and understand things. That's what it takes to be a great quarterback."

On Reid assuring him that he is the team’s starter for the rest of the 2010 season:

"We just talked about starting this week. So, we'll see how it goes, and I'm just humbled and excited about the opportunity, and very grateful."

On reflecting about how far he has come over the past two years personally and as a player:

"I mean, I always reflect on things that happened in the past and what's transpired, and I also know at the same time, a lot of those situations could have been avoided, and I put myself in those situations. My problems have been off the field. I don't think they've been on the field. You just sit back and reflect on things that happened, and you know how you can go on moving forward doing things the right way and not to turn back to the old person you were, and I don't think that happened."

On growing up and changes to his lifestyle helped him as a quarterback:

"I think everything that I've been through just made me a stronger individual. Just being able to deal with everything. I've been to the bottom, and I'm just trying to rise like the phoenix. If I can do that, if I can persevere throughout all of the bad things that I've been through and all of the bad places I've been to, then I think things will be okay."

On this unusual circumstances:

"It's very different. It's very unusual to have to go through a situation like this. So, like I said, it was very surprising in the beginning, I didn't expect it, but I won't question the blessing from God. I just have to go out and give it a 110% effort, and we all as professionals, and as grown men, have to work through it and figure out what's the most rational way to make this work."

On ever doubting he start in the NFL again:

"There were plenty of times when I doubted about if I would ever have the opportunity to play again in this league. Just over the summer, with everything that transpired, I kind of questioned myself and questioned if I would even have an opportunity, and I would never forget the lonely feeling that I had. It's very gratifying right now, that I've worked myself back into a position to where I can help this football team win games and show signs of good faith."

On the gratification of being named the starter:

"It's very gratifying to have this opportunity, like I said. Again, to reiterate it one more time, I'm very humble, very grateful for the opportunity. At the end of the day, it's all about winning football games, and that's what I want to do. That's my primary focus, and that's what I'm going to work hard to do."

On how far the team can go with him at QB:

"It all remains to be seen. I will tell you one thing. I'm very confident in my abilities. I'm very confident in what I can learn moving forward. I'm very confident in our system, our coaches, and my teammates, and the guys around me, collectively, as an offensive unit and as a defense. Defense, I feel like they're going to get stops and they're going to get turnovers and create opportunities. Collectively, as a team, as an organization, I feel like we can move forward in a positive manner."

On the Eagles winning a Super Bowl with him at quarterback:

"I think this team can win a Super Bowl with all three of our quarterbacks, honestly. It's all about being consistent and staying humble and going out there and understanding what the task is at hand, and that's winning football games. You put it all together and it has to be done in all three phases of the game, that's offense, defense and special teams."

On speaking to QB Kevin Kolb and his feelings for Kolb and what has to go through:

"Yeah, me and Kevin spoke, we actually spoke last night, and we just agreed to both continue to push each other, and try to get better. We both know our futures are bright, and we're just going to stick together and push through."

On the importance that Kolb supports him:

"I think it's very important. I was very supportive of him, and in return, he also told me he was going to be the same way, so vice-versa. Me and Kevin have a good relationship, a good friendship, and we're going to be there to push one another and, ultimately, win games at the end of the day."

On Kolb spelling him on certain play, like he did as Kolb's backup:

"I don't know. I don't know what Kevin's role is going to be. One thing I do know is Kevin is going to be a big supporter and he's going to help us in the offensive meeting room and we're going to figure out ways to attack defenses and score points. That's just our mindset."

On the decision being is fair to Kolb:

"Honestly, I won't get into that. I know it's a tough situation for Kev, and I kind of feel for him in that regard. Kevin's a fighter. He's a strong guy, a strong dude, a strong individual, and a great personality. He's going to have success in this league and I can promise you that. Like I said before, and I'll reiterate it again, I've seen how hard he worked throughout the preseason and mini camp and training camp. He's got all the physical attributes to be successful in this league and the mental capabilities."

On being emotionally connected and attached to head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg:

"I'm very emotionally attached to Andy and Marty. We're all very close. We're all on the same page. We understand what the task is at hand. We all try to stay on one accord, and I feel like I'm obligated to this organization to win football games and to the coaches to go out and show them that I'm capable of handling a game plan and playing within a system and making good decisions. That's what I strive off of."

On envisioning becoming the starter during the preseason:

"No, I didn't envision this at all. I only envisioned myself going out and making positive plays, and preparing myself to be the best quarterback that I can be when the opportunity was given to me, whether it was coming off the bench or as the starter, and I just wanted to make the most of my opportunity."

On staying in Philadelphia past this season:

"Honestly, when you have great group of coaches, offensive-minded, that know the game of football, that have coached a lot of great, successful players, of course you'd want to stay with those coaches long term and be a part of the organization for long term, but I think that all remains to be seen. I think the most important thing now is to go out and win games, and put ourselves in a position where we can be in playoff contention."

On Reid praising his pocket presence/awareness and how did that component of his game develop and come from:

"That's great, coming from Andy, a guy that knows the game, knows the quarterback position in and out. The only thing I try to do is impress those guys. I guess that's what it's all about. I like to put smiles on their faces, just like I like to keep a smile on my face, so I'm going to continue to do it."

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