It has been a long time coming, but for the first time in his career, Michael Vick is actually acknowledging the fact that he can’t put himself into situations where he is going to get hurt. He is also finally beginning to understand the importance of his health and the direct correlation to the team’s long-term success. This is the same tune that Andy Reid has been singing since the Donovan McNabb-era, and I suppose after all those blow-ups on the sideline for not sliding, something finally sunk in.
During an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic, Vick explained his personal game plan going into next season:
I want to make a promise to all my fans that I’m going to make a conscious effort, a cognitive effort, to make sure that I protect myself. And you know my motto has been this for the last six months, and I repeatedly said to myself: Get the next yard on the next play. You know, whether I’m running the football or scrambling or trying to do something improvising. Get the next yard on the next play. That’s why you have second down and third down, and possibly fourth down. So you can give yourself opportunity.
Yes! Vick is starting to see the light! Then, possibly the best part is when he concluded and really brought his sudden enlightenment to full-circle:
If you’re not on the field, then you don’t have that chance. So I just want to give myself ample opportunity. Praying to God that I can play 16 games. I know that’s the key to the season. I know deep down in my heart. And even though I believe in the players behind me, the players around me, I know what I can do, and I know what I can bring to the table each and every Sunday, so I know it’s paramount that I’m out on the field.
Those words are of someone who is clearly frustrated by past injuries, something that has been lingering for Vick’s entire career. His reckless style of play has especially caught up to him the past two seasons in Philadelphia, and the Eagles’ record has reflected that.
There’s no question — it’s a huge step in the right direction. However, words are easy. When Vick makes that conscious effort on the field that he is talking about, then we’ll be in business.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
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