Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid addressed the media on Thursday following the unconventional move on Wednesday of issuing a statement in support of quarterback Mike Vick.
Reid tried to clear the air about his initial comments about Vick following Sunday’s failure against the Falcons, which were widely construed as a wavering support for Vick.
I know a lot’s been said in regards to [QB] Michael [Vick]. I learned a long time ago from your guys that there’s a time and a place when you’re upset and I was upset after the game. Not at Michael Vick; I was upset, starting with myself and not getting my team ready to play and then working from there. But I’ve learned to step back and evaluate, so that was my point to you. My point wasn’t that I was going to bench Michael Vick; it was that I needed to step back and evaluate before I came to you with something.”
In fact, Reid went on to say that he felt Sunday was one of the quarterback’s “better games” this season. The coach typically addresses the media on Monday but was unable to do so this week because of the threat posed to the region by Hurricane Sandy. But like the superstorm, he saw the winds of gossip about Vick swirling out of control and wanted to end the fury.
Regardless of what he says, Reid’s remarks will continue to be dissected and second guessed because, frankly, soft support by the coach one day quite frequently turns into job loss down the line under his regime. Just ask Kevin Kolb or Juan Castillo.
When asked pointedly if Reid considered making a change at the quarterback position, his response was simple and to the point.
“That wasn’t my intent. No, not at all.”
Would Reid commit to saying that Vick would be the team’s starter for the remainder of the season?
“Michael’s the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.”
The rumors have been put to rest–for now. It’s really more like they’ve gone below the surface and will hover, waiting to re-emerge should Monday Night’s game against the Saints go sour.
Vick’s own comments on the controversy were intriguing, with the quarterback admitting that his confidence was impacted by the rumors and that he has to get his “swag” back. Vick also revealed that the team finally had a closed door, player’s only meeting on Wednesday to try to pull itself together. It’s a small but needed step.
Who knows, perhaps it can help to stop–or at least slow–the steady unraveling of this Eagles team. Not much else has worked and with Reid’s inability to motivate his team, it’s time for players to be accountable for themselves and to each other both on and off the field.