Published: August 27th, 2009 | Tags: DeSean Jackson, Donovan McNabb, Harold Carmichael, Herman Edwards, Jeffrey Lurie, Jeremy Maclin, Kevin Curtis, Michael Vick, Mike Quick, Philadelphia Eagles, Vick's debut
PHILADELPHIA — Not only is Michael Vick in the house, he is on the field.
I was standing about 50 feet from Vick near the center of the field as he tossed passes to Eagles receivers. Vick stood with QB Donovan McNabb and former Eagles WR Harold Carmichael.
- Vick traveled to Virginia for bankruptcy proceedings and had his $20 million plan to creditors approved. He returned to Philadelphia and arrived at Lincoln Financial Field more than three hours before kickoff.
- The Eagles say Vick will play in the first half. The question is how much of it will be from the traditional quarterback role, how much from the Wildcat formation and if there will be any plays where he and McNabb are on the field at the same time.
- Former Eagles receiving great Mike Quick (1982-1991) will provide color commentary on the team’s radio broadcast. We watched on the field as Vick threw a quick slant pass to WR Kevin Curtis. Said Quick: “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a quarterback throw a football any easier. Look at that flick of the wrist. Just a flick and he can throw it 60 yards. I’ve seen that a lot in practice. Now, what I want to see tonight is if he still has that fifth gear. That’s what we don’t know. And until he gets chased in an NFL game, even preseason like tonight, we won’t find out. We should find that out very soon.”
- Caught up with former NFL coach Herman Edwards on the field before kickoff. This is what he is looking for from Vick tonight: “I expect to see a guy who wants to play a lot. A guy with great passion. This is his playground. We know he has been an electric player before. Does he still have it? You know he wants to show it. For him, it’s like the kid on the playground out of the classroom. It’s recess.”
- With that, Edwards walked toward Vick and McNabb, who were coming off the field, and stood between them, an arm draped over each quarterback’s shoulder, their backs to onlookers. Their own huddle.
- Afterward, I asked Edwards what was said. His answer: “I just told them how proud I was of both of them, how they have handled this situation together and set an example for young kids, young quarterbacks everywhere on how to embrace each other and go out and win together. And then I told Vick, ‘It’s recess.'”
- I see Eagles WR DeSean Jackson rocking to music from huge headphones over his ears as he runs his patterns. Quick jokes: “In my day, we didn’t have those. I would have had put a boom box on my shoulders and run patterns.”
- Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles’ rookie wideout, is running his routes and catching passes. He hasn’t done a thing tonight ,and already, he looks like a very good football player. Way above average, in my opinion, as a receiver in shorts running patterns. Smooth. Crafty. Skilled. Keep an eye on Maclin tonight.
- Just visited with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie on the sideline about 15 minutes before kickoff. Lurie was dressed in a black short-sleeved shirt and casual slacks and looked comfortable and eager. Said Lurie: “This is a great night for Michael and for the Eagles. All of my visits with him have been good. I see a young man who so far wants to do something good with his life and for others. I have been amazed as I travel the country since we made this decision about what it means to much of the African-American community. I have had an overwhelming response of thanks from leaders of various such groups who thank our organization for offering such a chance to Michael. I was really surprised by how strong and moving that sentiment was in that community on this issue. I have really grown to appreciate that. I think this will be an exciting night of football for the Eagles and all of our fans.”
– Thomas George