Vick receives award

"I've come a long way," Michael Vick said Saturday. "I don't want to live in the past. I always want to move forward."
"I've come a long way," Michael Vick said Saturday. "I don't want to live in the past. I always want to move forward."

The Eagles' QB was voted comeback player of the year.

Posted: February 06, 2011

DALLAS - The NFL threw Michael Vick a party Saturday night as the Eagles quarterback was named comeback player of the year, capping off an improbable season.

The announcement was made live on the NFL Network and was part of Super Bowl XLV festivities at the Convention Center. The Associated Press tallied votes by 50 media members.

"I thank my coaches and my teammates," said Vick, who was on hand to accept his award. "They got me better as an NFL player, as a quarterback, and took advantage of my talents."

Vick received 291/2 of the 50 votes and beat out Seahawks receiver Mike Williams (8 votes), Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson (31/2), Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (2), Patriots receiver Wes Welker (2), and Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (2).

Henderson, Welker, and Urlacher were coming back from injuries and Williams and Cassel had breakout seasons.

Vick's comeback came under different circumstances. The quarterback missed two seasons while he served a prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation. He returned in 2009 but played sparingly.

However, this past season when, Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion in the opener, Vick jumped from his backup role and never lost the starting job. He put up career-high numbers in completion percentage (62.6), passing yards (3,018), passing touchdowns (21), and passer rating (100.3).

He also rushed for 676 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns in leading the Eagles to an NFC East title. Vick finished runner-up to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in voting for the most valuable player award.

"I've come a long way," Vick said. "I don't want to live in the past. I always want to move forward. Everything happens for a reason."

Vick arrived here on Thursday, and the next day spoke to the Boys and Girls Club of Collin County in suburban Dallas. The event was just one that was to benefit the club. A party that night at the Deux Lounge in the city was billed as being hosted by Vick, but he did not attend, he said.

His affiliation with the party, however, caused a stir in light of the shooting that occurred at a party celebrating his 30th birthday last summer. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in on the issue Friday and said that Vick told him that promoters were using his name to publicize the party.

Damien Butler, who was one of the organizers, told The Inquirer that Vick knew about the party and just wanted to help raise money for the Boys and Girls Club.

"I was honest with my coaches. I was honest with Roger," Vick said. "I told them about the events that I knew about. Early on I tried to put a stop to it. I just couldn't do it. The good thing is that I did not attend."

Vick's two-year contract is up in March, but the Eagles are committed to bringing him back for next season. Because of the expiring collective bargaining agreement, however, the team can't extend his deal until there is an agreement. The league has said there will be a franchise tag that teams can start using around Feb. 11.

If the tag is available the Eagles will use it on Vick to retain his rights for at least next season, team sources have said.

"I'm happy with it," Vick said of the tag. "I'm blessed. I'm just thankful to have the opportunity to play in this league again."

After the segment, Vick said that he was heading home tomorrow and would not attend the Super Bowl.

"It's too hard to watch," he said.


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Jeff_McLane.

 

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