As the NFL lockout continues to drag into late May, fans and the media have been forced to purely speculate on the respective futures of NFL free agents. One of the most intriguing story lines of the upcoming season (if the lockout were to be lifted) is what the future holds for Plaxico Burress. It has been reported that Burress will be released from prison on June 6th, three months early due to good behavior. He has been incarcerated since September of 2009 and would give anything for one more chance at the professional life that he once had. If there is one NFL player that knows the embarrassment, pain, and long road back to stardom it is No. 7 of the Philadelphia Eagles, Michael Vick.
Vick paid his debt to society after being convicted of taking part in a dog fighting conspiracy, and in the process became the symbol of a superstar athlete that had it before seeing it all taken away as a result of serious errors in judgement and violations of the law. If you believe recent reports, the Eagles may be interested in taking a chance on another inmate released from prison looking for another shot. The Vick experience has been a huge success in Philadelphia and could give Howie Roseman the confidence to grant Burress one more opportunity.Michael Vick joined WIP in Philadelphia with Anthony Gargano and Ike Reese to discuss how he’s taken it upon himself to set up the Eagles off-season player-only workouts, how he’s approached this offseason mentall, Plaxico Burress possibly becoming an Eagle if he is granted an early release from jail in June and the lockout is lifted, the Eagles downfall at the end of last season and losing the Madden 2012 cover contest to Peyton Hillis.
Are you in charge of setting up the workouts during the lockout for the Eagles?
“Well I’m in charge. We also have some other guys like Brent Celek, who has played a tremendous part and Jeremy Maclin and some other guys in getting all of the guys in. I got some more guys coming in this weekend. We should have some more good sessions.”
What has this off-season been like for you personally?
“I think obviously for everybody it was different going into last season I just feel like there was a lot I could accomplish, but at the same time everything is so fresh in my memory bank in regards to what we did last year. I have every game plan and pretty much good insight on what needs to be done in order to move forward, so I’m just trying to become a better player. I have all my film work and I just gotta study that whenever I can and glance through some of the game plans from last year and just try to duplicate some of the workouts that I did coming into last season. In a situation like this the last thing you want to do is become complacent and feel like you know it all and you got everything under wraps when you’re really always learning, so I’m just trying to absorb all the information, the amount I learned last year, take it, and apply to my game this year. We know we got some new people in place, coaches coming in, so they are going to be some things to learn. That’s just football anyway in itself, so there’s always going to be a challenge, but you also have to do your job off the field as well.
There’s a story in the NY Post (editor’s note: it was actually Gary Myers of the NY Daily News) that claims the Eagles are interested in Plaxico Burress. We know how close you guys are. Is that something that you would embrace?
“Absolutely it would be a great addition for our team. I think with the guys we have now I think we can fit him in and make it work. Obviously the ultimate goal at the end of the day is to put that ring on your finger at the end of the year. I think certainly Plaxico is going to come out with a chip on his shoulder the same way I did and he’ll go out and help this football team to whatever capacity he can. I think the guys would be willing to embrace him and bring him in. If that happens? Who knows? We talking about “what ifs” now? It would certainly be a good thing.”
When you look back on at the end of last season what exactly happened that lead to the downfall?
“I can’t really exactly tell you what happened other then we lost to the team that won the Super Bowl [Green Bay Packers]. That was a very good football team. They were well put together and just exceptional play starting at the quarterback position. We just didn’t get it done and that happens to good teams. I think that the great part about it is that you have next year to try to go out there and give it another run, but I think by the way the season ended abruptly it really was frustrating and it aggravated a lot of guys. I know myself I was very upset, but I guess sometimes you can’t have everything all at once. I think when it’s time for us to put that ring on it’ll happen, so this year we have a chance and we have to approach each and every day, week, month, every practice like this is our time and this is what we are here for. We are here to make a run and that’s how it’s has to be over the next couple of years.”
What are your thoughts on losing the Madden cover contest to Peyton Hillis? Did the “Madden Curse” come to mind? Is that a good thing for you? Did you want to lose?
“I think it would have been cool to be on the front cover, but at the same time like I said sometimes god doesn’t give you everything all at once. Maybe that would have been too much, but I was just thankful to be in the position that I was in. In the meantime I developed a great relationship with Peyton Hillis and got to know him as an individual and I’m very excited about his opportunity to be on the cover, but it wasn’t meant to be. Everything happens for a reason. I’Zll end it on that.”