Eagles quarterback Michael Vick sat down with an interview with David Teel of the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia, where he had just visited Hampton University to promote his upcoming football camp.
Philly.com originally reported the story. Here is a large portion of the interview:
Q: Coach Mornhinweg came to Williamsburg last summer for a camp with his son. He said then, ‘I think Michael Vick is back.’ Not only physically, but also mentally. So in essence he kind of saw last season coming. Did you?
A: No. Coaches, they can always see it coming. We’ve got the type of coaches who challenge you but at the same time encourage you. They praise you when you’re doing good and let you know when you’re doing bad. All I heard was praise throughout the mini-camps and OTAs, training camp. So I felt I was on the right track, and I just used that as confidence. … I had an opportunity to put it all to work, and it all came to fruition at the end of the day.
Q: Last year was your fourth Pro Bowl season. Any doubt it was the most rewarding?
A: The most rewarding by far. I’m so grateful. Just felt a sense of accomplishment. But at the same time, wanted more. I’m blessed, I thank God for the opportunities I’ve been given and the situation He created for me.
Q: It strikes me you wouldn’t have been able to assume the leadership role you did without a whole lot of support in that locker room.
A: Without the support of the city of Philadelphia, without the support of the Philadelphia Eagles organization, the guys in that locker room, I would have been a wreck. From Day One, I felt a sense of comfort. You can’t ask for much more. … It’s very gratifying at the end of the day when you go through so much and you’re accepted back into the fraternity that you left and a great city. … I appreciate the hard work, I appreciate everything that was given to me, the opportunity, all the sense of hope I got from the fans.
Q: Do you feel a sense of obligation to (Eagles owner) Jeffrey Lurie and to Andy? Because they took a chance on you.
A: I owe a lot to Andy, I owe a lot to Mr. Lurie, I owe a lot to (team president) Joe Banner, my family, the city of Philadelphia, (NFL commissioner) Roger Goodell, Coach Reamon (Tommy Reamon, his high school coach), all the people who believed in me, who gave me the proper advice. … I’m on the right track now, thanks to that group of people.
Q: They all believed in you. Did you always believe?
A: I always believed I could get back to this point. I just needed a chance, and you never know when that chance is going to come. My theory is, Man fears what he can’t see. I couldn’t see it happening or when it was going to happen or where it was going to happen. The only thing I could do was wait, and being incarcerated taught me patience.