Vick says he was just asked a question, and was just being honest


Mike Vick has become the latest athlete to justify potentially inflammatory comments by saying he was just asked a question.  Vick used that time-honored (but ultimately meaningless) crutch on Saturday to explain a series of recent remarks that have created a firestorm in Philly.

Initially, Vick addressed his comments regarding the difficulty of splitting reps with Nick Foles.  While Vick didn’t say he was simply asked a question, he said he was never asked if he thinks he’s getting enough reps.

I didn’t say I wasn’t getting enough reps,” Vick told Howard Eskin of WIP radio.  “I never said that out of my mouth, and I wasn’t even asked that question to give a response in that fashion.  It’s five quarterbacks, and everybody has to get reps.  Everybody has to get better.  I understand that.  I even help the other quarterbacks when I’m not getting reps, because it’s just in me to help and to try to coach them, and to help myself.  We all wish we could get more reps.  I wish I could get more reps during the course of a practice.  I wish I could have got half of the plays that somebody else may have got, but that wasn’t my selection for the day.  It’s difficult at times but at the same time you’ve got to understand the process that we’re all going through, and we’re all in a learning phase.”

As to his comments to regarding a desire that coach Chip Kelly name a starter before camp, Vick placed on the table the “I just was being honest in response to a question” card.

“I was asked, ‘Do you hope that Coach Kelly makes a decision on the quarterback position before training camp?’  I said, ‘Yeah, I would hope so that a decision is made before training camp because I don’t want to continue to get asked the questions about who is having a better practice or who had a better practice that day or who is more equipped to run the offense,” Vick said.

“I mean, the questions are getting repetitive.  It’s every day.  I know as professionals we have to fulfill certain obligations and respect the media.  But at the same time we all have emotions, too.  So sometimes you have to be honest in order to deter questions and make sure that the reporter gets exactly what they want and that you get your point across.  So I was just trying to relay the message that, yeah, if it was up to me, I’d say yeah.  And that’s just me and how I feel and me being honest about it.  So that’s it.”

Eskin then summarized for Vick:  “You just answered the question, and I guess your problem was you answered it honestly?”

“Yeah, and I guarantee you if you ask Chip what he felt about me answering the question honestly, he’ll probably tell you that he was pleased with that, other than me just saying something that I really didn’t believe in my heart,” Vick said.  “Because that’s what he’s instilled in us.  Wake up wanting to be great.  Wake up wanting to be the best you can be.  Don’t think otherwise.  Have the confidence.  And those are the things that he preaches to us in team meetings and those are the things that he wants us to go out and portray in our life, to try to be great every day.  And I think me and my competitive edge want to put myself in a position where I can be great.  And I feel like if that’s get more reps, yeah, that’s what I want.  So just being honest.”

Vick then said that he reached out to Kelly after the fact, and that Kelly explained “he always wants me to be honest in the things I’m being asked and the questions that I’m being asked, and he told me if somebody ever asks me a question again and you want to be honest and tell them the truth, that’s what I’m supposed to do.”

But there’s a big difference between honesty (which is an ironic term given what was coming to a head six years ago) and candor.  There’s a way to answer questions honestly and respectfully without the type of blunt candor that will create a mess for the player and the team.

It’s an art, not a science.  And it requires the ability to think quickly, and to understand how those words are going to be perceived and interpreted within the broader context.

Vick knows that saying he wants Kelly to pick a starter by the time training camp opens would create a stir; Vick’s reference to “emotions” implies that he did indeed yield to the frustrations inherent to not having a starter named.  And he was indeed honest — but he was far too candid, as evidenced by the reaction.

A far better answer would have been something like, “If it’s going to be me, yes.  If it’s someone else, no.”

That would have been honest, but far less inflammatory.  There’s also some charm residing in that answer, since that’s probably how most people would feel in any similar situation.

Another possibility would have been something like, “It doesn’t matter.  He’s not going to name a starter before training camp.  And I respect that.”

Again, that’s an honest response.  And it wouldn’t have created the perception that Vick is getting frustrated.

So, yes, Vick was answering a question.  And, yes, he was being honest.  But in being honest he was much more candid than he should have been, and no amount of explanation after the fact, or blaming the media for asking the same questions over and over again, changes that.

Thus, it doesn’t matter whether someone was answering a question.  And it doesn’t matter whether someone says they were just “being honest.”  A person’s words are their words, and it’s much better to own them than to try to come up with justifications based on ultimately meaningless distinctions.

83 responses to “Vick says he was just asked a question, and was just being honest

  1. Idk the truth is a science not an art a fact is a fact and why do you care what his answer is he wants to know a starter that’s his opinion why does it matter how he says it

  2. Yeah. Too honest.

    But With his current place in Philly it’s ridiculous for others to not find the current staff to be delusional.

    Quite frankly, Michael has been talking too much since his “dynasty” comment and isn’t worth the roster spot that Chip Kelly gave back to him.

    Kelly is better off scapegoating him so that an example can be set with the players.

    Plus, won’t the players play better with him gone? Would you want to play with someone who accused you of quitting on Andy Reid in Week 17?

  3. I’m adding Vick to the category of athletes who should speak very little.
    Even when he tries to sound like he’s got it figured out, he sounds like an idiot.
    Quit talking it and start walking it.

  4. Classic case of someone that’s been coddled and babied their whole life actually being put to task and made to earn something. Nick Foles and Matt Barkley were both asked the same question and didn’t bellyache like Vick has.

  5. when did i start reading profootball-here’s-what-the-players-said-BUT-here’s-what-they-should-have-said-talk? please, stick to rumors and facts….not your own conjecture and projection.

  6. Geez, Mike … I’m sure everyone would love to take the words right out of your mouth when answering questions, but there are just too many variations in phraseology to correctly guess how you would answer every question every time.

    We can all agree that Mike Vick sucks at answering questions, but probably not as much as most sports writers suck at playing qb in the NFL, and they don’t hound you to death because you throw like a girl, do they?

  7. The wisest thing to do is the way politicians answer tough questions: Answer the question you wish you where asked.

  8. This article also demonstrates that making something out of nothing is also an art.

  9. Philly fans are the most miserable creatures on the face of the earth. Nothing makes these people happy. They want something to complain about.

  10. At least he’s not getting asked hows his knee and if he’ll be ready for the opener about 100 different times?

  11. He didn’t say anything wrong. What the heck is your problem with this? He answered the question the way any starting NFL QB would. Sheesh!

  12. All the vick haters lol.

    Anyway what was he supposed to say to a question like that..?

    “No, I hope Chip Kelly doesn’t pick the starter until Week 1 of the season.”

    Maybe you people are just reading into things too hard. Reporters ask questions designed for certain answers… and Haters hate on anyone they do not like because they are bored and unhappy with their own life and lack of accomplishments.

  13. Media asks question – player answers question – Media tries to sensationalize answer – story doesn’t take off like media hopes – media complains to player how he answered question – player answers question about question – media tries to sensationalize the answer again.

    Same pattern as usual… another non-story…

  14. Patriot answer = “I’m just here to work hard and help the team get better, and Coach will make those decisions when he feels the time is right”.

    Not rocket science.

  15. Don’t make it sound like you are just wired to tell the truth whenever you are asked a question. The answer you gave was self serving. When you were posed a question about killing dogs, I don’t recall you being very forthcoming. This trait to be truthful whenever you are asked a question must be something you developed recently, huh?

  16. I’m an Eagle fan since 1954 and I have no problem waiting to see who the coaching staff picks to be #1 so why don’t you media types stop ASKING THE QUESTION ?

  17. kind of like:

    reporter…”hey Cam, do you want to be a captain?”

    cam…”why yes, I want to be a captain of the team.”

    media…”Cam is an egotistical jerk”

    These guys are just answering the questions. Leave it alone; quit making a mountain out of an ant hill.

  18. I sense that this situation is similar to the Percy Harvin one. You know, where he said that he didn’t want to be traded…but he actually wanted to be. I honestly think he said it he’s just trying to cover his a$5.

  19. Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually first in line to hate on Vick. I don’t like what he did to those dogs, though I do believe he did his time and paid his debt to society and should be allowed second chances.

    But in this particular case, I’d have to say people are making much out of nothing. He’s a vet. He wants to play. He wants to learn a new system. And he’s splitting time with 5 QB’s.

  20. Vick is, once again, showing how the issues of a being a spoiled athlete spill over onto normal reporters Q & A.
    His own words trip him up.
    His response shows him to be the expectant, spoiled athlete, that cannot be satisfied being part of a team and with normal competition.
    He feels, by his answers/attitude, that his grasp on the starting QB job is slipping away. So his anger spills out.
    Pity Michael Vick as he adjusts to reality.

  21. I love you Vick! You give writers a chance to earn their money and give them something to pick at and be negative about. Some of the most judgmental people are the media and the writers! We can do their jobs by talking about others thats easy but they can never do yours. Do what you do V!

  22. Wait, now there is a “I just was being honest in response to a question” card? Cmon, man! This story is a major reach. Must be the Steelers fan in you

  23. I think he made the right comment and should proudly say he wants to be the starter. Chip said in one of his early press conferences that he wants people that want to be the starter and the best. He doesn’t want a bunch of people who are just content being a backup.

    Vick might not be the best person all around, but he’s displaying the attitude that Chip wants THE TEAM to put forward.

    And lets be honest, does anyone not expect Vick to be the starter until he gets injured again?

  24. I’m certainly no Eagles fan, but absolutely feel Vick is right on this one. First, he didn’t say anything inflammatory. Who wants a quarterback that’s comfortable riding the pine? He’s a competitor, good for him. Second, There’s a huge difference between a player complaining without provocation and the same player expressing his opinion about wanting to play.

    The media unfairly portrayed Vick as a whiner because of his statements. It was more than reasonable for him to point out he wasn’t complaining about his reps or current role. Rather, that the topic of reps and the depth chart was brought by the media, not him.

    As someone stated above, Vick is far better at handling the media than any member of the media is at playing football.

    Very few writers would hold themselves to the standards they expect of their subjects.

  25. Vick is clearly better than the others in camp. Perfectly understandable that he would get peeved stuffed in a pack of noobs. Chip Kelly is a fat sloppy idiot.

  26. Mike Vick of all people should know that the modern media don’t want your honesty. They want you to say something stupid or inflamatory.

  27. I do not see any problem with his original statements or his explanation. I am sure he does want more reps….and I am sure he would prefer that their be a starter named as early as possible….I have not seen or heard of him questioning or disagreeing with any of his coaches actions or policies or strategy….nor any lack of understanding as to why there may be a delay in naming in starter….saying you do not agree or like the “what” is not the same thing as disagreeing with the “why”….

  28. I’m still not sure why pointing out that he was answering a question upsets you so much. It’s entirely relevant to the context.

    Sometimes you make it hard to use your free website.

  29. Vick is the same punk he always was. The only lesson he learned was to say and do the right things to try to make some of his money back. Every once in a while the real Vick slips out

  30. Is there a class in “media” school called How To Make A Mountain Out Of A Mole Hill? This is a story? It would be nice if the Media had the Media asking them questions Everyday about there job! Give it a rest.

  31. Wow must be a lot of Eagles fans in the comments section here. At the risk of getting swarmed myself I must say I thought this was a rich article and a fantastic read and I think a lot of people can learn something from thinking about these types of questions. Just because you are asked a question doesn’t mean you have to lie or hold back the truth, there’s a time and place where answering questions candidly is appropriate, and there are other times when using those questions as a leash to launch a podium speech for a campaign are not appropriate.

    I don’t think Vick was just trying to be polite and answer a simple question, it sounds like he was using the question as a free pass to spew out passionate feelings about his own agenda. It’s almost like he’s saying, this is how it should go down in my favor if the team doesn’t want to have a problem. He could have just directly threatened the coach and the Eagles, but of course this “roundabout” way makes him think like as if he is shielded from feeling responsibility for stoking the fires.

    Well written article and even if you don’t agree, the sentiment could be a life lesson for all, for there may be a situation you are in some day where the lesson learned from this exercise could be your best and most appropriate move. Just recall this logic only for those times if and when they come up and then you can walk away as a wise winner.

  32. “Vick told Howard Eskin of WIP radio.”

    That’s Vick’s real problem, he’s talking to Eskin.

  33. Maybe the problem isn’t with the person answering the question, but with the person asking the question.

  34. Mr. Vick you are an ignorant, dog killing, piece of trash. Your family is nothing but low life scum and if you couldn’t play football you would be in jail right now for one crime or another

    Just being honest.

  35. 90% of athlete interviews are just platitudes and cliches, and therefor totally boring and meaningless. This makes the interviews useless because they contain no real information or convey they athletes true thoughts and feelings. However, when someone does answer a question honestly, people freak out.

    I am no Vick or Eagles fan, but I don’t think his comments were that outrageous regardless of the context. Did he give the most generic and political savvy answer he could have? Absolutely not, but I prefer hearing his real thoughts on the matter rather than some manufactured hog wash. What’s better, hearing an interview that’s mostly false, but sounds good, or one that is truthful but may upset some over sensitive people.

  36. Have some advice free on the house Vick, just because you’re the best QB on the roster right now, it doesn’t give you the right to demand the first team reps, if you want it, EARN IT!

  37. This is the second stupid article you’ve made on the same subject.

    If the media (including YOU) don’t want players to answer questions honestly, STOP ASKING QUESTIONS.

    It’s that stupid. Why ask for someone’s opinion if you’re going to crush him for answering?

    Seriously Mike, get off your soap box. These guys aren’t lawyers like you so they’re not going to weasel out of every question without answering. They’re regular people. If you ask them a question, they’re going to try to give a real answer.

  38. Vick is black and Foles is white. Hmmmm…what could possibly account for Vick being bashed all day and Foles being made out to be 20 times better than he is?

  39. I dislike Vick as much as anyone, but I admire his honesty here. And there IS a difference between being honest and complaining or being inflammatory.

  40. Another day, another episode of Miss Vicky getting her panties in a bunch over normal media routine. When he goes down in flames he will utter something like this “its not me blaming the media and the fans, but its hard getting the same questions all the time. I mean, me personally, its emotions, I am a human being, I feel too, so when its like the whole world wanna hate you, I mean, I am not saying it gets to you, but its like my family and making me feel like this, you know, it can affect your performance some. So, while I am not saying it is other people fault, I am saying like for other QBs who don’t have the media on them all the time, it might be easier. I mean, I am just trying to put bread on the table for my family, and its like yall are trying to take that food outta my kids mouth, and I will always react and fight back to that.” –all I will say is: what a wonderful contribution to society he is.

  41. Yeah right mike Vick goes hand in hand with good judgement and honesty. The whole thing is laughable. waste of reporting and bandwidth (not to mention my time reading and commenting–my fault!).

  42. Florio do you really think “if it’s me, yes, if it isn’t then no” is a less inflammatory answer?

  43. I’ve never liked Vick, and I hate the Eagles. But the media will harass him no matter what. What is he supposed to say? He’s screwed no matter what. Same with the RG3 circus here.

  44. Vick tries to help? Tries to coach? Now there is some advice I would try to forget as soon as I heard it.

    Vick has got to be the most over rated QB of all time. I can’t think of another sub par QB to get such attention for his “greatness” since I have started watching football. I have seen some guys that got fluffed up by the media a bit, but those cats never lasted. Vick has started for how many years, even though he is no better than a 3rd string guy or maybe a practice squad guy? Good QBs are statistically good. Vicks stats make a person wonder how he stayed in the league so long.

  45. Florio, like most reporters, go into an interview with the same perspective that a lot of wives who ask that time honored question, “Does this dress make my butt look bigger?” Reporters intentionally ask questions where the athletes are darned if they do and darned if they don’t in regard to answering honestly. Reporters with integrity should avoid asking questions in which the responses can be twisted into something controversial.

  46. Couldn’t of said this better myself. Geeez, let this asking/answering questions crap. It really just seems like you are making something out of nothing over and over again when you keep bringing this up.

  47. “Media asks question – player answers question – Media tries to sensationalize answer – story doesn’t take off like media hopes – media complains to player how he answered question – player answers question about question – media tries to sensationalize the answer again.

    Same pattern as usual… another non-story…”

    Couldn’t of said this better myself. Geeez, let this asking/answering questions crap go. It really just seems like you are making something out of nothing over and over again when you keep bringing this up.

  48. Maybe Vick could have phrased his answer better, but I don’t believe that ANYONE in his position would feel any differently.

  49. There used to be a time where the NFL just happened, and we all loved it.

    Today we need to spin a story line up and have it happen to be simply happy with the product.

    The debate behind this “I answered a question” topic is madness. Is there ANY other profession out there where you give daily interviews to different people, where you are propped up and beaten with questions while the words out of your mouth dissected instantly?!

    Even the president would start saying “I just answered a question” if his words where examined, dissected and spun every second.

    Unfortunately, these players are not lawyers who can create PR answers on the fly. I don’t disagree with your take Mike on “what should have been said” but it’s utter madness to expect him to.

    We are talking about a guy who didn’t understand what the big deal about dog fighting was. Why are you still berating him about the way he answers a question? The more this news from a couple days ago gets pushed and spun , the more I am inclined to feel like Vick is in the right. Reading it gets annoying, I can’t imagine living it.

  50. If you ask a question “Do you want more reps?” and its answered “Yes, I would” then what is the problem? Ask Jim Sorgi, Osweiler, Painter, Hoyer. and Mallett how many reps they got

  51. Anybody who is a Vick fan is a moron. Why? Because he runs really fast. Look at his passing stats in his career. Look at his playoff record. He sucked at the end of his run in Atlanta and of course their is the mandatory prison intermission for someone of his intellect. Jeff George had a better career. And he sucks.

  52. Vick said nothing wrong. He isn’t media-savvy like Brady, Rodgers or the Mannings, but his comments were blown out of proportion. The lesson here is Vick should be neither candid nor honest in his dealings with the media, contrary to Florio’s ramblings. Polite & politically correct is the best strategy since they aim to make a mountain from a mole hill with anything more.

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