Michael Vick said he wants to be a role model for Plaxico Burress, whether he turns out to be his quarterback or not.
The Eagles passer who spent 18 months slammer himself said today that he has not communicated with Burress since the former Giants receiver was released from prison on Monday, having served 20-plus months. But he did share what advice he would give to Burress.
“Just take your time coming back and getting acclimated. Think family first and football second and it’ll all work out," Vick said Wednesday according to the Associated Press. "It’s great that he’ll get a second chance. We’ll pray for him, we’re going to support him 100 percent and we’re in his corner and we just want him to excel.”
Burress probably won’t face the same public outcry that Vick received when he returned to the NFL. But the Comeback Player of the Year said Burress will face different challenges.
“Hopefully he’ll use my situation as an example and go out and try and emulate what I’ve done in his own way," Vick said. "That’s what it’s about. It’s about growth and it’s about learning. Things in life happen in stages and those are some things you have to go through as an individual."
While the Eagles are one of the teams reportedly interested in signing Burress, who will be a free agent when the lockout is lifted, Eagles coach Andy Reid said the topic has not been discussed.
"We haven’t even gone there," Reid said. "There is nothing you can do there."
Of course Vick is free to talk all he wants to about Burress. He has in the past endorsed the idea of him coming to Philadelphia.
"He definitely brings a lot to the game, his passion, enthusiasm and the way he plays," Vick said. He and several other Eagles have said they’d welcome Burress to Philadelphia, even though he’ll be a 34-year-old receiver when the NFL season begins who hasn’t played in two and a half seasons.
"It’s actually easier being a receiver and coming back and playing the game," Vick said. "You have to get your legs back up under you. I was a guy that had to live that. It’s tough. You think you can do it, but you have to take that time out and make sure you’re ready to go."