BETHLEHEM, Pa. Michael Vick is something of an expert on being a veteran quarterback with a lot of baggage that most teams dont want but got a chance with the Eagles.
His signing worked out fairly well. And Vick is confident the Vince Young signing will also work out just fine for the Eagles.
Youve got to go out and get the best player, no matter what anybody is saying about them or what happened in their past, Vick said. Youve got to give yourself the best chance of winning. So go out and get the best players and give them a chance to compete each and every Sunday.
The Eagles plan to sign Young later Friday, and if all goes well, hell be on the Lehigh University practice fields as early as Saturday.
Young, twice a Pro Bowl quarterback with the Titans, was released by Tennessee on Thursday and will become Vicks backup, with second-year pro Mike Kafka retaining his job as the Eagles No. 3 quarterback.
I think its good for Vince, Vick said after morning training camp practice Friday. Get him in here, let him start to compete and get him back to playing football again.
Young enjoyed some terrific success in Nashville but also some very tough times. He said he considered retiring after his rookie year. He got hurt his second year. He was benched for Kerry Collins his third year. And then after a game against the Redskins last year, he threw his shoulder pads into the crowd after getting booed and got into a shouting match with head coach Jeff Fisher, an incident that led the Titans to announce that they would cut ties with him after the season.
But Young did win 30 of 47 starts in five seasons with the Titans. Statistically, he had his best season ever last year, with a 98.6 passer rating fifth-best in the NFL last year among QBs with at least 150 pass attempts and not much lower than Vicks 100.2 mark.
Vince has done well, hes just had some tough breaks, but you see a lot of guys in this league who have some inconsistencies in their career, but theyre able to change it, Vick said. Throughout the duration of his career, I think hell be great.
The Eagles have become sort of a reclamation center for quarterbacks. Andy Reid, Marty Mornhinweg and James Urban worked wonders with Vick, turning him from a prison inmate into a Pro Bowl starter, and they believe they can work wonders with Young as well.
Its going to be a positive effect, Vick said. I think Vince will mature as a player, and I think hell get better. Being in Philadelphia will help him long-term. So get him in here and make him a better player, and if we ever need him, hes there for us. If you have a roster full of good quarterbacks, then you have a great chance of winning.
Vick said hes known Young since 2005 and that although they havent spent a lot of time together, they have a good relationship.
Looking forward to working with him, Vick said. Well spend a lot of time getting to know one another. Its cool I look forward to having him in here, look forward to makig him a better player.
So is it a good idea for the Eagles to bring in a quarterback who doesnt react well to getting booed?
This is, after all, Philadelphia.
We all have problems with booing, Vick said with a laugh. We all hate getting booed. Its just part of the game. Youve got to take the bad with the good. As much praise as you get, you might get scrutinized and criticized, but I think that only makes you better as a person and as a player, and you just have to keep going.
In Vicks first year here, two years ago, his teammates were Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and A.J. Feeley and briefly Jeff Garcia. All are gone. Now Vick leads a group with Young and Kafka. But he said the one thing that wont change is how much all the quarterbacks push each other and help each other and motivate each other to improve.
Vince and Mike Kafka will compete against one another, well all compete against one another, and well make each other better each and every day, Vick said. As a group, we all have to help him get caught up. Its not easy but at the same time, you put the work in, you try to understand whats going on, and you just work as hard as you can. Film room is going to be important, studying at night is going to be important. Hell get there.
E-mail Reuben Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.