NFL: Vick could be better next year
PHILADELPHIA ó Hereís a scary thought for Michael Vickís opponents: He could play even better next year.
Vick had the best season of his career and led the Philadelphia Eagles to an NFC East title without the benefit of practicing as the starting quarterback until Week 2 of the season.
Thereís no telling how well he wouldíve played had he spent the entire offseason, all the organized team activities, minicamps and training camp preparing with the rest of the first-team offense and working with coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
ěI think going through a whole training camp and just being here, being with Andy, he knows a lot of things that I need to work on, thatíll make me a lot better as a quarterback,î Vick said. ěItíll pay huge dividends for me, so Iíll be excited about that. Iíll follow the same routine I had last year, keep the same attitude and the same work ethic.î
Vick began the season as the backup to Kevin Kolb. He got his chance when Kolb sustained a concussion in the opener, and forced Reid to make him the permanent starter with one dynamic performance after another.
Vick was selected to start the Pro Bowl, his fourth trip to Hawaii in eight seasons. He set career highs in yards passing (3,018), touchdowns passing (21), touchdowns rushing (9), completion percentage (62.6) and passer rating (100.2). The Eagles (10-7) were 8-3 in games he started and finished.
But his last pass will haunt him for a while.
Vick threw an interception in the end zone with 33 seconds left to seal Philadelphiaís 21-16 loss to Green Bay in a wild-card game Sunday.
ěI try to do everything I can to possibly protect the ball, keep the ball away from the opposing team and make positive plays, and I failed to do that in that situation,î Vick said. ěItís something Iíll really have to work on.î
The 30-year-old Vick has overcome plenty of adversity in his life. He went from a megastar with the Atlanta Falcons to bankrupt and reviled. Vick missed two seasons because he served 18 months in federal prison for his role in a dogfighting operation. He returned to the league when the Eagles gave him a chance last year and worked his way up from a situational role to an MVP candidate.
His remarkable comeback story wonít be complete unless he one day hoists the Lombardi Trophy.
ěIt was a great season, but the ultimate goal is winning the Super Bowl,î Vick said. ěIt was a great season, but thatís not enough.î