Eagles quarterback Michael Vick plans to be less cautious, wants to play 'lights-out football' for another four to five years

Posted: February 13, 2013

Michael Vick said this morning his recent injury problems came from "trying to protect myself," so he plans to be less cautious as a quarterback.

"I think what I have to do is just go out and play lights-out football and not worry about getting hurt," he said on ESPN radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning, aired locally on 97.5 The Fanatic.

He also said he hopes to play for another four or five years.

The Eagles announced Monday that Vick had agreed to a new deal, allowing him to compete for the starting quarterback job and potentially earn as much as $10 million over the next year.

Vick's troubles staying healthy have been cited repeatedly by critics, who contend he needs to learn to avoid hits by sliding more or running out of bounds. (See " Jaworski, unlike others, praises Vick deal" for more views.)

Although Vick give a little lip service to being careful, his is a different mindset.

"I know it's possible," he said of staying healthy for a full season. "I've done it before. The thing is you have, you know, to be very cautious and meticulous on the field, but not to a point where it takes away from your game, because once you try not to get hurt, that's when you get hurt."

Then he told the Mikes - Golic and Greenberg - that being too careful contributed to his missing games.

"I think over the last two years, I was trying to protect myself, trying to make sure that I was out on the football field with my teammates, and just putting too much effort into not being injured. When you do that, it just slows you down just a half a second. And I think when you're able to say, 'Today, I'm going to give it everything I got, and leave it all out on the field,' that's when you have the most success."

"You have to have a positive approach," he said. "You have to be upbeat. You have to be a believer, and not worry about things you can't control. Go out and take control of yourself."

He thanked the Eagles organization for giving him another chance, said "a whole array of things" brought him back, and thought new head coach Chip Kelly's fast-paced, innovative offense might well work in the NFL.

"You never know till you give it a shot," he said. ". . . It's not just about lining up week in and week out," Vick said. ". . . You have to be able to change up from week to week, and I feel like Chip will do that."

Asked to explain why the team's offensive production fell off after the 2010 season, Vick said, "I wish I could tell you" and mentioned "a lot of injuries," but otherwise resisted giving what he called "excuses."

"I'm not living in the past," he said. "I'm living in the present, I'm living in the future."

As for that future, he said, "I think the way my body feels, and based on what a lot of my coaches have told me, and my body style and physique, I can play another four or five years.

"For me personally ... I would like to play another four years, another four or five years. Who knows? That's all in God's hands. But I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts."

He said he was motivated to "get into tip top shape, and come back and try to be one of the elite quarterbacks in the league again," but said it would take time and help from coaches and other players.

"It just doesn't happen overnight. It just doesn't happen all by myself," he said. "It's going to take a collective effort from myself and my teammates."


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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