It’s June, the season of non-controversies in the NFL.
Earlier in the week it was Cary Williams over his seeming failure to demonstrate a team-first attitude because he missed a few voluntary practices while tending to family obligations. Now it’s Michael Vick, who made the mistake of admitting he’s not exactly thrilled about competing with Nick Foles for the Eagles' starting quarterback job.
Daily News scribe Les Bowen more or less presented Vick’s comments at face value for his Eagletarian blog on Thursday. We'll leave it to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio to sensationalize the otherwise innocuous comments, although his opinion did resonate with many fans and others in the media.
“It’s tough,” Vick said Thursday regarding splitting reps with Foles. “I have to continue to be a professional and put my feelings and emotions to the side, and just continue to compete. But it’s hard. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t, but that’s just what I have to deal with, and I’m going to keep dealing with it until I see otherwise.”
Vick has yet to broach the topic with coach Chip Kelly.
“We haven’t talked about it yet,” Vick said. “Coach knows exactly what he’s doing. We don’t question him, he don’t question us. We just listen.”
Of course, now that Vick has shared his complaints with the media, there’s no need to tell Kelly directly.
Vick’s comments come on the heels of an acknowledgement that he doesn’t know where he stands in the quarterback competition. If he can’t handle the realities of a quarterback competition, it could mean that he’ll end up sitting.
At the end of the day Vick feels the Eagles are still his team, that he already is the starter, which is the kind of confidence we usually expect from athletes – apparently we just don't like them to talk about it. Meanwhile, he respects the head coach’s decision, and will continue to work hard to win the job.
I guess Vick, a four-time Pro Bowler, should just be content to share reps with a kid gunning for his spot – and it was his spot, for the better part of three seasons. The mindset on display here is that of a franchise quarterback fighting for his livelihood, nothing more, nothing less.
Shortly after those comments went to press however, we heard more from Vick on the state of the QB competition from Geoff Mosher. It's unclear what specifically Mosh was pressing him about, but it prompted Vick to finally express his desire for Chip Kelly to end the speculation before training camp opens in July.
“Hopefully, Chip [Kelly] makes a decision before training camp and we won’t have to answer that question, so we can go out there as quarterbacks and just focus on this season and not answer questions about competition every day,” Vick said.
Vick acknowledged that, if the competition lingers into camp, tension could rise between Vick and Foles.
“Yeah, but hopefully we’ll have an answer by then, so I’m not going to answer that,” Vick said, not realizing that he already answered that.
He added that he eventually won’t answer any questions about the competition. Told that he’ll be criticized if that happens, Vick was pragmatic: “Why not? Who cares? Y’all [in the media] kill me anyway, whether it’s right or wrong.”
It’s clear that the pressure is getting under Vick’s skin. Given Kelly’s unconventional methods, there’s a chance that he opted to defer naming a starter to see how Vick would respond.
The funny thing is Mosher later acknowledged the obvious on SportsNite, that a major source of Vick's frustration has come directly from dealing with the media.
Reporters have been putting Vick, along with Kelly and Foles, through the same line of questioning at every opportunity since the words "open competition" were spoken. And all of the questions are a variation of the same underlying inquiry: who was in the lead? Which is dumb, because true QB competitions aren't won or lost until the pads go on.
The real hypocrisy of scrutinizing Vick for wishing the media circus would end is Kelly and Foles reacted similarly to these interrogations as recently as Wednesday, one day earlier. According to the Inquirer's Zach Berman, Chip instructed reporters not to ask about the depth chart, while Foles offered a similar response.
Here's what we learned: Vick doesn't actually want to split reps with Foles, but will – astonishing – and he's tired of answering the same questions about it over and over – equally astonishing. That, and when nobody's talking, the first person to say anything is the bad guy.