Michael Vick's seemingly tenuous grip on the Eagles starting quarterback spot was not so tenuous in his eyes. The $10 million franchise player has more turnovers than touchdowns this season, and last week's tepid endorsement from coach Andy Reid invited speculation that Vick could lose his job.
"It was never a time when I didn't know whether I was going to be the starter or not," Vick said. "Quite frankly, I know what I can do when I'm out there, and I know what has to happen when I'm out there on the football field. That's just my approach now, to go out there and get the job done. We'll see what happens."
For all the discussion about what the Eagles must do to improve on their 3-3 record after the bye week, there is no player whose performance will be scrutinized more than Vick. It's the reality for any quarterback, but especially one with Vick's struggles and the stakes of the Eagles' season.
Vick took the bye week "to get away." He said he cannot worry about Reid's evaluations, instead focusing on how to play better on Sundays. Vick spoke with Reid on Monday morning before the Eagles' first practice of the week. He did not divulge the details of the conversation but said it was "about his feelings and his thoughts and my feelings and my thoughts about certain things."
Part of Reid's evaluation included looking at the offense's difficulties scoring. This could affect the plays designed for Vick, although Reid and Vick already meet on the Saturdays before games to discuss what should stay in the playbook and what should be left out. Reid did not speak with reporters on Monday.
One constant with Vick has been his teammates' confidence in him, and that remains despite the quarterback's struggles. Neither wide receiver Jeremy Maclin nor running back LeSean McCoy anticipated a quarterback change. Maclin was not taken aback by Reid's ambiguous endorsement of Vick last week, responding that Vick's standing as the starter is the only endorsement needed.
"I'm not sure anybody in the locker room was wondering that," McCoy said. "We all pretty much knew that Mike was the quarterback. He's our guy and he's our leader."
Vick said it's not the first time in his career that he has endured criticism. Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb dealt with similar questions late in his tenure in Philadelphia, and he offered Vick advice last Thursday during his weekly appearance on Comcast SportsNet: "Play [ticked] off."
Vick does not expect that to be a problem.
"I always play [ticked] off," Vick said. "More so now than anything."