Michael Vick, secure as the Eagles’ starting quarterback this week after receiving a public endorsement from coach Andy Reid, called a players-only meeting Wednesday, with the team on a three-game losing streak.
About 10 players, including Vick, spoke at the meeting. The message: There was still time for the Eagles (3-4) to salvage the season.
“We just needed to come together after that loss (to Atlanta on Sunday) and hash it out,” defensive tackle Mike Patterson said of the meeting.
“I think things just need to get cleared up. Nothing major; I’m not going to really get into specifics about what we talked about, but quite a few things needed to get cleared up, and it happened, and it was good for our team,” he told the newspaper.
Reid, meanwhile, said Thursday that he never considered benching Vick, that he just wanted to step back and evaluate the beleaguered quarterback.
“Michael was the quarterback, is the quarterback and will continue to be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles,” Reid said. “I can’t make it any more clear than that.”
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After Thursday’s practice, Reid said he thought Vick played one of his best games of the season against the Falcons. Vick was a pedestrian 21-of-35 for 191 yards and a touchdown. He had a rare turnover-free performance, though, after throwing eight interceptions and losing five fumbles in the first six games.
In another sign of support, Reid called Vick the leader of the Eagles.
Earlier Thursday, Vick sent a text to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio to give his thoughts on his status.
“Ready to make a playoff run. One play at a time. One game at a time,” he wrote in the text.
Vick, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, has struggled this season. Reid didn’t endorse Vick after the 30-17 loss to Atlanta, saying he was going to evaluate all of his starters. Vick said then that he would support whatever decision Reid makes.
Ready to make a playoff run. One play at a time. One game at a time.
– Michael Vick, in text to Sal Paolantonio
That led to speculation Vick’s days as the starter were numbered, but for now, Reid is sticking with Vick over unproven rookie Nick Foles.
Vick said Thursday “it wasn’t news” that he remained the starter because Reid never told him his job was in jeopardy. Vick said he believes he’s still one of the best players in the NFL.
Vick said he needed to get his “swag” back.
When asked about a comment made by receiver DeSean Jackson, who said Vick didn’t look comfortable, the quarterback said, “I’m only human, just like everybody else,” according to the Daily News.
“I’ve got to get my swag back,” Vick said. “I got to get back to playing football the way I love to play it and not worry about what’s going to happen. That’s out of my control. All I can control is how I play and how aggressive I can be.”
Vick and the Eagles face the Saints Monday night in New Orleans.