“Fly like an eagle to the sea, fly like an eagle let my spirit carry me!” Though the aforementioned words are lyrics to a classic by The Steve Miller Band they could easily be scribbled on Michael Vick’s playbook as his new motto.
On Saturday the would-be secret weapon for the Philadelphia Eagles began his first practice day at the Eagles facility in Bethlehem, Pa. Yahoo Sports reports that Vick is looking pretty good despite not having been to a formal practice in over 2 years after having served 18 months in a federal prison for dogfighting.
After watching Vick throw a few passes cornerback Asante Samuels reportedly yelled “that’s not the same quarterback from the commercial!” Referring to the old digitally-altered commercial in which Vick is seen throwing a football over a stadium. (Nor is Samuels the ‘lockdown corner’ the Eagles thought he was when they signed him. He couldn’t guard a mall parking lot with a Segway … but we digress.) Vick, who did not speak to reporters, did have some extra work.
Vick, spent 20 more minutes on the field after the 110-minute practice ended, throwing passes to Eagles offensive quality coach Doug Pederson. One incompletion was quickly followed by Vick hitting the ground for a series of push-ups.
The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback was reportedly ordered by coach Andy Reid to lose a few pounds, but he still looks like the scarecrow next to Donovan McFlabb (Hey we just work with what they give us).
But the question remains, in a city that was once enamored with Donovan McNabb’s running ability, and that subsequently turned on him when he stopped running, how long will it be before those protesting Michael Vick’s arrival in Illa-delphia turn to screaming for Donovan’s benching in favor the doggy gladiator?
Anyone who knows NFC East football know that it is only a matter of when rather than if the fans turn on the good-natured McNabb again. Michael seems to be gaining fans along the way as Yahoo Sports reports that 2nd year receiver DeShawn Jackson seems to be everywhere Vick is when the two aren’t involved in a drill.
“It’s a lot more than just football,” Jackson said. “We can just get out there and chill a bit.
I can talk to him and get to know him a little bit.”
“You always picked Michael Vick on the video game because he could run around the end,” reciever Jason Avant said. “I was just happy that he was on our team. Someone was going to pick him up. I’m just glad the organization decided he would be needed.”
Reid has been adamant that Vick was signed to play quarterback, but only one quarterback can play at a time. Combine two African-American quarterbacks in a town that is highly critical of its star athletes (ed note: Mike Schmidt, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Pete Rose and many others) this seems like a hot mess waiting to explode or a Super Bowl championship team in the making.
Meanwhile, check out this video of Vick’s first practice as an Eagle:
And if you want to see a great analysis of how Vick and McNabb can be used together in an ideal scenario, check out this vid from the NFL Network.