The Philadelphia Eagles were criticized a year ago when Vince Young dubbed the group the Dream Team. The criticism only got worse as the Eagles got off to a miserably slow start, then closed out their season with four consecutive victories just to finish 8-8, missing out on the playoffs. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has now grabbed more headlines as we look to the start of this season after coming out and saying Philadelphia has the potential to become a dynasty. He stands by those comments, but also explains them a little further in this interview. He also says that the timing of his book coming out should allow him to deflect any and all questions about his past now that he’s written about it.
Michael Vick joined WIP in Philadelphia with Michael Barkann and Ike Reese to discuss his confidence entering the season, negative media, his dynasty comment, why he doesn’t think it’s relevant to the Dream Team comment, the timing of his book release, the Eagles’ offense and the importance of leadership for the team.
Does the confidence you seem to have coming into this season stem from having a full offseason?:
“Correct. I think just looking at our team in the offseason and what we’ve been able to accomplish and what our organization has been able to establish for us as players, we all look around and see the talent that we have and understand what we can do. … At the end of the day, we know it’s going to be hard work. It’s not going to be easy. Nothing’s going to be given to us.”
Some of your confidence has been blown into a negative in the media. Do you think about that?:
“Hopefully they’ll take a lot away from that. I don’t know how you can take so much negative out of something so positive, when I’m trying to speak upon something that we have a potential to build. … Go down our roster and look at all the players. Look at the Pro Bowlers that we have. Look at the players who have NFL experience who have played in a substantial amount of games … and tell me we don’t have the opportunity to put a dynasty together. When you think about the dynasties, the great teams in the past, they were all built and they were all put together … but it takes time. … I know this is the best talent I’ve ever been around in my life and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
I think some of the negative comments come from those who want to see you win one championship before you start talking dynasty:
“The thing is, I didn’t say we were going to go win a championship. I said we have the potential to build a dynasty, and building a dynasty entails winning a championship. That’s talking. I understand our fans expect us to come out and speak upon ourselves as being the best. … That’s the media just trying to create a negative vibe. We know that and we understand that. We looked past that. It’s bigger than that.”
On some people seeing it as a spinoff of the Dream Team comment a year ago:
“I don’t believe in that. Anybody who believes in that, has no faith in words. I think it extends further than that. When you have confidence and a great deal of belief, I think that’s all you need at the end of the day. It wouldn’t have come out of my mouth if it wasn’t on my heart, if it wasn’t what I believed we could strive to do and to work for. I think nothing of it. It’s totally opposite of the Dream Team comment. The Dream Team is that’s already put together, a dynasty is something that you’ve got to work for and earn that title. I said we have the potential to work and get there and become that, that’s it.”
On releasing his book before the start of the season:
“I had say so over when the book came out and I chose to release it before the season started because I, over the last three years, have still had the tendency to still get the same questions over and over again, late into the season. … I released the book in September because I’m never answering these questions again. If I’m in the locker room and somebody asks me about my past, I’m just going to say, ‘I wrote about it.’ I never have to speak upon it again, ever, because I don’t want any distractions this year. I want this team to have a clear mindset.”
What’s one thing that you think needs to be improved by your offense?:
“I think just as far as personnel, we’re good. Strategy-wise, just improving and not turning the ball over as much. … I was just in the meeting room a second ago and thinking about two games that we had an opportunity to win — San Francisco and Buffalo in two weeks back-to-back when we’re driving down the field and fumbled the football in the red zone.”
How important is leadership for this group and other guys maybe stepping up and joining you on that front?:
“Very important. I think about the days when I was younger and in Atlanta. No offense to any of the guys there because I love them all to death, but I was always the guy who was vocal. I think you have to have multiple guys who are willing to step up, who aren’t afraid to get in another guy’s face and tell them what he expects or what the team expects. … We need guys like that on offense, defense and special teams. I want these guys to know that they have the liberty to do that.”