PHILADELPHIA - Not only is Michael Vick going to be the Eagles' starting quarterback Monday in New Orleans, he will remain in that position for the foreseeable future.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said Thursday that he never had any inclination to bench Vick in favor of rookie Nick Foles, despite Vick's claim to the contrary after Sunday's 30-17 loss to Atlanta.
"Michael was the quarterback, is the quarterback and will continue to be the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles," Reid said. "I can't make it any more clear than that. I never even thought about making a change. That wasn't my intent. And this is not going to be a weekly assessment. Michael's the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles."
Reid's support seemed to provide Vick with some relief Thursday.
Although he refused to use it as an excuse for his inconsistent play this season, he admitted that the constant scrutiny and uncertainty about his status had been bothering him.
"I'm human," Vick said Thursday. "That kind of stuff does tend to bother me because I have emotions just like everybody else. It's not like you can just block things out. Sometimes you want to have that comfort level. You want to know everything is going to be what it's going to be at the end of the day.
"When you have that type of support, it's easier to go out and try to make it all work. I kind of let it bother me, to be honest. I've always been that way. But now it's just a totally different feel for me and I'm ready to go. "
Vick delivered a decent performance against the Falcons last Sunday.
After struggling with turnovers for much of the season, he played error-free football. Vick completed 21-of-35 passes for 191 yards with one touchdown pass and also rushed for 42 yards on seven carries.
Yet, the offense as a whole continued to struggle. Running back LeSean McCoy scored the team's only two touchdowns. The Eagles were held to under 20 points for the fifth time in seven games while suffering their third straight loss.
Vick's frustration was evident after the game. While Reid was mute about the subject, Vick indicated that Reid was contemplating making a change at quarterback and that he would "support whatever decision was made."
Reid announced on Wednesday that Vick would start against the Saints.
"It wasn't news to me that I was the (starting quarterback) of this football team," Vick said Thursday. "Honestly, I never knew, never heard about me not being the starter. At the end of the day, I'm still a competitor. I still feel like I'm one of the best players in this league and I'm going to continue to display that."
He hinted that he has been playing too cautiously this season. That has enabled him to stay healthy so far, but hasn't done much for the offense. The Eagles are supposed to have a high-powered offense featuring playmakers like Vick, wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, tight end Brent Celek and running back LeSean McCoy, but have yet to break loose.
Most of the big plays have been short passes that Maclin or Jackson turned into longer gains.
Vick has been inconsistent. He has thrown eight interceptions and lost five fumbles to go with nine touchdown passes.
He vowed to return to his aggressive playing style in hopes of helping the Eagles end their losing streak and make a playoff run.
"I'm trying not to make mistakes and that's not me," Vick said. "I'll be honest with you. I have to go play lights-out now. I have to go play the game and leave it all on the field, play aggressive, (throw) it and run the ball as I feel I need to.
"If I get a seam, get a crack, then take it. Just do what I've been born and blessed to do and take advantage of my God-given abilities in conjunction with playing with everybody else. I can't do it by myself and I rely on these guys just like they rely on me to be successful. I put my (face) shield back on my helmet. It's time to play ball."
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