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Lurie: Vick's mistake one of judgment, not wrongdoing

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said quarterback Michael Vick's mistake in judgment shouldn't be confused with any wrongdoing.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told Vick on Tuesday that he will not face disciplinary action after a shooting at the quarterback's birthday party in late June.

Lurie spoke to reporters Wednesday for the first time since that incident. Questions about Vick dominated the owner's annual state of the team address.

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"Nothing he did was factually creating any wrongdoing," Lurie said. "He shouldn't have been there, but he was trying to appease some people from his old neighborhood and family."

The NFL and the Eagles looked into a shooting at a nightclub in Virginia Beach, Va., where Vick held his 30th birthday party on June 25. Police said no charges will be filed because of a lack of cooperation by witnesses and the victim, whom Vick attorney Larry Woodward identified as Quanis Phillips -- a co-defendant in the quarterback's federal dogfighting case.

"If there was wrongdoing, there was no way we were to continue with Michael in his career," Lurie said. "There's no question on that. It was just waiting for the facts to come in."

Vick called his conversation with Goodell "great" and said he is relieved that he now can focus on football.

"I understand everything that I'm supposed to be doing and that I'm out here to do," Vick said.

When the Eagles signed Vick to a two-year contract in August 2009 after he finished an 18-month sentence in federal prison, he was told he had no margin for error. Vick was a model citizen off the field and in the locker room during his first season with the Eagles. He was popular among his teammates, who voted him winner of the Ed Block Courage Award.

"He's been a great teammate, he's been the single best player in the first year of employment by this organization in the community," Lurie said. "I have to deal with the facts. When Michael had his birthday party, which was a mistake for him to be at, there were four independent investigations. If any of those four investigations turned up any wrongdoing, there would've been no tolerance to that."

Vick is comfortable knowing all of his actions will be closely scrutinized and that he can't afford any mistakes.

"It's not difficult living a zero-tolerance life," he said. "You've got guys walking around doing it every day. You've got the other 52 guys on the team doing the same thing, living a life that they are supposed to lead, enjoying themselves and doing the right thing, and that's what it's all about. It's not hard to live a zero-tolerance life. You just put yourself in the right positions at all times and think through situations thoroughly."

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Vick is trying to rejuvenate his career in Philadelphia after going to three Pro Bowls in six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He hasn't started since the final game of the 2006 season, but he is an injury away from taking the snaps as the Eagles' backup behind Kevin Kolb.

Former starter Donovan McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins during the offseason.

Vick was expected to play a major role in Philadelphia's offense last season, but he wasn't much of a factor. Vick completed 6 of 13 passes for 86 yards and one touchdown, and he ran for 95 yards and two scores, seeing most of his action in a variation of the Wildcat formation. He tossed a 76-yard TD pass during a 34-14 playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

"If you look at my life over the last year, I've been trying to do all of the right things, whether it's in the community or on the field or with my family," Vick said. "And I think that's what it's all about. I'm having fun. I had the most fun in the last year than I've had in the last eight years I've been playing football. I'm just happy to be in the situation I'm in, I'm blessed, and I just have to keep moving forward."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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