Michael Vick built deep Andy Reid bond over NFL second chance: ‘Believes in people’

Whether Andy Reid defeats his former team and wins his second Super Bowl with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs is all about Canton, and not just because only four coaches in NFL history have won more games. .

For two NFL franchises, first the Eagles and now the Chiefs, he’s more than a coach, more than a jovial, rotund, mustachioed figure who makes fun of his love for cheeseburgers, the courage to hide his pain. More than I profile. One son died of an accidental heroin overdose at age 29 and the other is currently in prison for a DUI that seriously injured a 5-year-old girl.

You can ask any of his players, past and present, why Andy Reid is more than a coach, but just make sure you ask Fox Sports analyst Michael Vick.

“When I met Andy,” Vic told The Post, “I had nothing. I wouldn’t say anything, just my family. I had my family and a sense of hope that I could do it all over again. I am, and I only told two people after the prison – I told two people that I just needed one more chance, another chance. I told my wife and I told Andy. When he put me in I told him that I only need one pill on it, and he gave me that pill.

Andy Reid hugs Eagles quarterback Michael Vick after a game in 2018.

Vick had been less than three months out of federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., after serving 19 months for a dogfighting conspiracy in May 2009 when Reed gave him a second chance at an NFL career that has largely — including the Falcons, for whom he played six seasons — didn’t feel he deserved … and a second chance at life.

“Coach knew everything that was going on in my life: from the bankruptcy, who my lawyers were, who I was dealing with,” Vick recalled. “He always left no stone unturned with me. He always wanted me to talk to him, and tell him where I was in life, and just wanted to guide me in the right direction.

Reid’s quarterbacks, Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb, hugged Vick. The city of brotherly love embraced Vic.

The eagle
Andy Reid and Michael Vick with the Eagles in 2009.
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“He exceeded all parameters, all expectations, my responsibility,” Vick said. “Not just as a player, but as a leader in the locker room. It was more, ‘We’ve got a young locker room and young guys that are going to be looking up to you and watching your every move. Just be aware of it all the time.’ I didn’t understand the role or the concept when I was in Atlanta. It made me one of the guys immediately, and it made me comfortable.

More than a coach.

“He believes in people, and he gives you a chance no matter where you come from, what you look like,” Vick said. “He’s always been that way. He’s just a guy who was always open, always open, took care of us as players, took care of us as men. And as long as you give him the proper respect, He will give you the respect you deserve and that’s all you can ask for in a man. I fell in love with him the first time I met him.”

And so Vick, signed to a one-year deal with an option, came back from the canvas to rehabilitate his image and prove he was more than a Wildcat quarterback at age 29. .

“I think he brought me in to play at some point,” Vick said. “Or, if not playing, then competing with the guys that were in the quarterback room, with respect, and that’s what I wanted to bring. He gave me an opportunity, gave me good money — money that I thought would be good.” I won’t get it.

And after Reid traded McNabb to the Redskins in April 2010, Kolb suffered a concussion in the regular-season opener and Reid named Vick his Week 2 starter.

“He called me into his office once a week, even when I wasn’t playing,” Vick said. “One thing about him, you want to be around Andy because he’s constantly making you laugh.”

Andy Reid watches Michael Vick throw during their time together in Philadelphia.

Just before the 2011 season, Vick was awarded a six-year, $100 million contract, with $40 million guaranteed.

“We all have struggles in life,” Vick said, “and having someone there to help you get through it, that’s the most important thing. I’ve been there for a coach from time to time. And in that short time together, Coach was always there for me. Coach always tells me he wishes he had me when I was younger. I wish he did too. I love watching him and [Mahomes]”

Vick was there on August 5, 2012 when Andy Reid received the devastating news on Sunday morning that Garrett Reid, the Eagles’ assistant strength coach, had tragically been found in his Lehigh University dorm room.

“We tried to get the coach to handle it the best way we could,” Vick said. “I just wanted Coach to be okay with everything he’s been through. It’s been a tough year for me, I’ve lost two family members that year, so we’re all the same. were going through. Andy knew what I was going through and then it happened to him. I saw him as a strong man, and continued to try to do the best we could as men.

The Eagles went 4-12 in 2012 and Reid’s 14-year Eagles career was over. Vick was 20-20 with the Eagles and lost to Aaron Rodgers in the 2010 NFC Wild Card Game. By 2014, he was a Jet.

Andy Reid hugs Michael Vick.

“My career with the Eagles should have been better,” Vick said. “I could have been a little more focused and definitely worked a little harder, especially when we were going through our tough years. It was a great run, it was a great ride, and when Andy left I Just sad. I was different when Coach left. I was a little bitter. I hated the way Coach was treated a little bit.

When Reed finally won that thrilling first Super Bowl championship with the 49ers, before losing to Tom Brady and the Bucs the following year, Vick remembers him saying: “Nobody can ever say you’re not a champion.” No one should be. “To get that second ring, it’s going to be even better than the first one,” Vick said.

Mahomes gives Reed that opportunity. And vice versa.

“I used to get excited on Tuesday nights when my game plan was faxed home,” Vick said. “And just watching him, I know what he was thinking, I know why this play is here. … I could look at the game plan and see three touchdowns.

Michael Vick in the 2023 Pro Bowl
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Every text he sends his old coach will read “I love you” and he’ll tell her on every call, too. Bert Reed was sentenced to three years in prison on November 1. He was training camp coordinator interns for the summer his father gave Vic a new lease on football … and life.

“Yeah, my heart always bleeds for Andy,” Vic said. “I know it’s a tough situation to go through as a parent. Coach puts in the people around him, he puts in Patrick, he puts in. [Travis] Kelce, he puts in every single man on this list, every single person in this building. … He leans on them for support as they lean on him. He’s in the Super Bowl, and so he’s putting his kids on the field, and his players, they’re his. You will ask him, he will tell you – ‘These are my people.’ “

And he is theirs.

“If you have a son or daughter, and you’re looking for a role model, you’re looking for a great mentor, read Andy’s bio and if you want a coach like Andy, check out Andy Reid’s background. ” said Vic.

“He’s not just a coach. He’s a coach in life. In the game and in life. And we couldn’t ask for more from him.

More than a coach.

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