Reid’s Press Conference Quotes On Vick Starting
By Lance Epstein
After days of speculation, the Eagles made a bold decision to bench the Kevin Kolb in favor of backup Michael Vick.
This move could drastically alter the course of the Eagles franchise. In April, the Eagles traded away one of the best quarterbacks its franchise has ever had in Donovan McNabb. A major reason was due to Kolb’s impressive back-to-back 300-yard performances against the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints in his first two career starts.
Moreover, the Eagles believed that Kolb was a better fit with the young talent on the team then the aging McNabb.
Now a concussion and a bad half of football have changed everything. Vick is going to get the opportunity to claim his spot as the Eagles starting quarterback. Not only does he have the chance to start, but he also has the opportunity to become the face of the franchise for years to come. Still that decision will not be made until after the 2010 season.
On Tuesday night, Eagles head coach Andy Reid discussed his rationale for starting Vick and explained how Kolb is still a big part of the Eagles future at his press conference.
Here are quotes from Reid’s press conference on Tuesday night where he announced Vick as the Eagles’ starting quarterback:
On announcing Vick as the starter:
"Alright, appreciate you guys showing up. I'm obviously here to announce that (QB) Michael Vick will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. I think his play has even exceeded expectations over the last two weeks. This has nothing to do with (QB) Kevin Kolb's injury. Kevin Kolb has done a phenomenal job for us here and the future of Kevin Kolb is not slighted by this one bit. He has an opportunity, obviously, to be, what I would consider, a franchise quarterback and deserving of so. Again, this is more about Michael Vick and his accelerated play. He's sitting there as possibly the hottest quarterback in the National Football League at this time and deserves an opportunity to play. It also allows Kevin to continue as a young quarterback in the National Football League, his maturation process, and, again, to become a franchise quarterback in the future."
On trading QB Donovan McNabb and making Kevin Kolb the starter was a mistake:
"Not at all, not at all. This isn't about Kevin Kolb's play at all, you're talking about Michael Vick as one of the best quarterbacks right now in the National Football League and I think that's the important thing to focus on."
On when he knew he had to make a change from Kolb to Vick:
"At the time, I told you what I believed. Obviously I'm not like – any of us – able to predict the future. I will tell you that Michael went out and, I thought, did an exceptional job the last couple of weeks. I think it's my responsibility as a head coach to evaluate the play of our players."
On the decision being entirely his alone:
"This is my decision."
On when he made the decision:
"Listen, when you deal with a decision like this, you take as much time as you possibly need to take and so I did that. It's not my obligation to tell people my decision. It's my obligation to make the proper decision. That's why I took the time to do that."
On players expressing that they wanted Michael Vick to start:
On who told Kolb about being demoted:
"I told him. I met with Kevin, yes."
On Kolb's reaction to the news:
"Listen, Kevin Kolb is one of the most competitive guys I've ever been around. Kevin Kolb wants to be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and so I wouldn't expect anything less from him. He's also a team player, so he accepted it. I'm not going to tell you that he doesn't want to be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles."
On his conversation with Vick and his reaction:
"Well, he was good. Now listen, he and Kevin are very close, so his first concern obviously is about Kevin. I think, on the other hand, he relishes this opportunity."
On Kolb's health:
"Kevin's fine. This is not an injury-related issue."
On criticism he will face about Kolb getting only one half of football:
"This isn't about judging Kevin. Listen, Kevin is going to be a fine quarterback in the National Football League. A championship-caliber quarterback. The thing that you find with young quarterbacks. This is the way it is with every quarterback that I've studied in the National Football League – you need to be allowed a maturation process; an opportunity to mature. When you have somebody that's sitting in that role or has been given an opportunity to play in the game that is playing at the level that Michael Vick is playing, then Michael Vick deserves the opportunity to continue to do that."
On keeping Kolb or trading him:
"No, I want Kevin Kolb to be a member of the Philadelphia Eagles."
On returning to Kolb if Vick struggles:
"Right now Michael Vick is the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles."
On the affects of this decision on Kolb's maturation process:
"I actually think this kelps Kevin Kolb's maturation process."
On why this scenario helps Kolb’s maturation process:
"This allows him to continue to learn and he'll do that. That's a time factor and, again, this comes back to Michael Vick's play. You're looking at a quarterback, again, with a 105 quarterback rating, which is the fourth-highest in the National Football League and he's playing exceptional football."
On stunting Kolb's due to lack of reps:
"Yeah, he'll be fine, he'll be fine. The future is bright for Kevin Kolb."
On spending an entire offseason to lay out the groundwork for Kolb:
"I didn't expect, obviously, the accelerated play of Michael. I mean, he's playing exceptional football right now. I think that's obvious to everybody."
On questioning his decision to trade McNabb in April and go with Kolb as the starting quarterback:
"Listen, I'm a huge Kevin Kolb fan. No. This is has to do with Michael Vick's accelerated play."
On Kolb saying he had only had one half of football to showcase his talents:
"Listen, I'm not going to get into all of the things that I talked to Kevin Kolb about. I will tell you, though, Kevin Kolb would like to be the starting quarterback of this football team and I wouldn't expect anything less. This is one of the most competitive kids I've been around. He wants to be out there and he wants to play and his day will come here."
On Kolb asking to be traded or will ask:
On team not being able to grow with Kolb at quarterback:
"Well, the team had seen, obviously, the great play by Michael Vick, just like you saw it, and I saw it. And so that's part of this decision."
On Kolb playing snaps occasionally:
"Yeah, there's a chance he's in there, yeah."
On whether process of meeting with Kolb was two days:
"Two-day process. Yes."
On the offensive line playing into the decision:
"This had nothing to do with the offensive line."
On Vick's play and what stood out:
"I think very few quarterbacks can go out and play the way he played the last couple of weeks, and some of the things that he did. One of the questions we had about Michael Vick was, and has been a question throughout his career, 'is can he be a pocket passer?' I think you saw Michael Vick, under duress, was able to move, maintain his eyes down the field, and make throws down the field. He's one of the top third-down throwers in the National Football League right now, and help this football team, obviously, win games."
On extending Vick's contract:
"Listen, we're taking it for right now. I haven't even gotten that far with that. I'm talking about right now."
On Vick's pocket presence and how that distinguishing him from the player he was in Atlanta and what he is now:
"Here's what I know: Michael Vick has worked so hard at the smaller parts of his game, that being one of them. And he is so diligent with everything that he's done, and it's been a neat thing to watch. And both he and Kevin are so close. They do everything together. They study together, they work together. I think Michael's experience has been tremendous for Kevin. But, yes, that's one of the things that I think he's worked at hard, becoming a pocket passer, he's done a nice job with it. Now that's not saying we don't tell him not run the football, we tell him go play the game, and if you're going to run, though, keep your eyes down the field. He's done a phenomenal job of that."
On consulting the upper management, coaches and players:
"Listen, I think I had to make this decision. I've had the full support of the front office. I counseled with (GM) Howie Roseman today and bounced some things off of him, but the first person I met with on this decision was Kevin Kolb. That's the first person I talked to. And I met with him the last two days, and we shared thoughts. He's a young quarterback that I think the sky's the limit for. He's just in a situation where he's got an ex-superstar that now has regained his abilities, and it's really that simple. Michael Vick is playing out of his mind right now, and that's a beautiful thing. What a lucky franchise and a lucky head coach I am to have two quarterbacks that I feel that way about. I mean it's unbelievable."
On can the Eagles win a Super Bowl with Vick at quarterback:
"Absolutely, yeah. Absolutely."
On Vick's performance surprised him and how much it surprised him:
"I've watched this whole picture evolve here. I've watched him come in 20 pounds overweight and work his tail off to get himself back this offseason. He started the day after the season ended, and he concentrated on getting himself in phenomenal shape. He came back and he had some rough goes in training camp. It wasn't a pretty picture, but he worked through it. He worked and attacked the issues that he was having problems with and then when he had an opportunity, he came in the game, he played very well. I will tell you he's playing at a high level, one of the higher levels that I've seen him play at. When I say that's a beautiful thing, that's what I mean by this. I'm sitting here and I'm telling you I've got two quarterbacks that I feel I can go win football games with and compete for a championship in the National Football League. There are some coaches that can't sit here and tell you that."
On balancing winning for today and for the future when making the decision to start Vick:
"I think that's unfair. When you have a young quarterback, the young quarterback is going to take time to grow, that's what happens. And along with that, your team grows with them. Now, this was an odd situation, where Michael Vick just had this accelerated play that was brilliant, and so that's where this whole decision process came in. It was my decision. I thought about it. I took plenty of time to evaluate it, and this is what I think is right and that's kind of the bottom line."
On being comfortable with Vick as the potential face of the franchise:
"One of the great things about America is you're given a second chance if you handle it the proper way. And I've mentioned this before, I think he's handled this the proper way. I think his teammates would all stand up for him, just as they would Kevin Kolb, but they would stand up for Michael for what he's tried to do in changing his life around, and I know I sit here and do the same."
On riding the hot hand: