On the same day the Andy Reid Era expectedly came to an end, Michael Vick went to bat for his now-former coach.
The only caveat: he knocked his peers out of the park.
Speaking candidly to reporters Monday, the Eagles quarterback blasted his teammates for a “lack of effort” that was “very evident” during the club’s dismal 4-12 season.
“It’s all about focus, dedication and commitment,” Vick said, via CSNPhilly.com. “Until you get guys who are willing to better themselves week in and week out and want to win, you’re not going to win. And I haven’t played with guys like that. It’s unfortunate for coach thing turned out the way they are. It could have been a lot better. This locker room could have dictated that.”
Vick insisted he gave his all, which is more than he could say about many of his mates.
“I give 110 percent effort,” Vick said. “My body is scarred up all year. I’m hurt, I’m bruised, get up after every hit and still try and fight and push. I do that for my coaches. I do that for my teammates. And I would expect the same thing in return.”
But he didn’t get it. As echoed by running back LeSean McCoy and receiver Jeremy Maclin, some of the “new faces” failed to “buy in” to Reid’s philosophy. That angers Vick, whom Reid developed a close bond with over the years.
“Guys have to start to understand: You can’t do it your way,” Vick continued. “You have to follow the leader. If you don’t then we end up in the situation we are in now, losing the head coach, a man that we love and have a great deal of respect for. A man that I played hard for. I gave him 100 percent. At least I can feel good about that. And there are guys in here that gave it their all. But you need consistent effort from every guy in this locker room.”
Vick added that he regrets not speaking up sooner, instead letting the season — and ultimately Reid’s job — spiral down the drain.
“I should have done it,” Vick said. “But I tried to take the modest approach, I tried to lead by example. I held a team meeting and tried to help guys recommit. It was still the same thing over and over again.”