Vick planning workouts with Eagles teammates

Michael Vick says lockout won't hinder his development.
Michael Vick says lockout won't hinder his development.
Posted: April 07, 2011

The NFL lockout won't interfere with Michael Vick's career rejuvenation, the Eagles' quarterback said last night.

Vick spoke to a crowd of about 300 people at Hunting Park Recreation Center, many of them players from the North Philadelphia Aztecs youth football program. Vick urged the youngsters to learn from his mistakes, which netted him a prison term for dogfighting. Vick told the crowd he was introduced to dogfighting in 2001 and pursued it "week-in and week-out" through 2006, shortly before his legal troubles began.

After the appearance, Vick said he plans to gather his receivers, including running backs, for workouts next week, probably in South Jersey. NFL players are barred from team facilities during the lockout.

"We've had a nice offseason, a little too long," Vick said. "I wish we were in the offseason conditioning [program], but hey, we've still got each other, we can do it together."

Vick said he has no more insight than the rest of us as far as resolving the labor impasse, which yesterday shifted to U.S. Judge Susan Richard Nelson's courtroom in St. Paul, Minn. "Hopefully, compromises can be made and we'll be playing football," Vick said.

Vick said it's important for Eagles players to not let their focus waver just because of the lockout.

"We all hold ourselves accountable, for being responsible for the success of this organization," Vick said. "We're all taking responsibility to step up as leaders and do what's right for us and the football team."

Media speculation holds that Vick, in particular, is missing out on a chance to build on his unexpected 2010 success, to work on problems that developed during the second half of a season that ended in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Vick said he doesn't feel that is the case.

"I don't think it's hindering my development; I have almost every game plan from last year," Vick said. "I can look at all the things we did as an offense. It's all still instilled in my memory - it's in the memory banks. The only thing I miss is being able to learn the new things, the new wrinkles we want to put in the offense. But that only takes me 45 minutes, anyway. I'm definitely going to improve. I play the game of football in my mind each and every day. I watch a lot of film. I replay plays in my mind, mistakes that I made."

Vick said he hopes to visit with former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress when Burress, a fellow native of the Virginia Beach, Va., area, is released from prison in June. Burress has served more than a year and a half for criminal possession of a weapon after accidentally shooting himself in a New York nightclub.

"I hope I can pay him a visit," said Vick, who said he has been thinking about Burress, 33, since Vick's journey to speak with Florida inmates last month. "I just want to reach out to him, talk to him. We have a good relationship . . . just congratulate him on getting through such a tough time, even though it's not the ideal situation, let him know there's plenty of optimism out there for him. I don't think his career's over by far. You look at Terrell Owens, he's 37, and playing like he's in his late 20s."

Vick's prison visit was his first since his release from Leavenworth 2 years ago.

"It was a great experience, great to have an opportunity to interact with a fairly young group of guys who really don't have any belief in themselves, or what they can do coming out, moving forward," he said. "Just trying to instill that confidence in them, to go out and take the right approach when they're free, it was paramount for me, and I think it was for them, too."

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