He stumbled, threw sideways, got sacked four times and drilled to the turf a half-dozen more. He had moments — a 2-yard touchdown burst in the first half, a couple of nifty scrambles in the second half — but it was very clear Vick has a long way to go before he’s the weapon the Eagles hope he’ll be in 2009.
Clear unless your name happens to be Michael Vick.
“I’m about 90 percent,” Vick said after going 7 for 11 for 26 yards with an interception and four sacks (for 40 yards in losses). Vick also ran seven times for 35 yards, 16 of those coming on a mad dash from the pocket against the New York Jets’ scrubs.
Booed throughout the night in a 38-27 road loss, Vick took a pounding. But when it was over, he maintained the tone of gratitude that he’s struck since the Eagles signed him.
“I’m just blessed to have an opportunity,” said Vick, who learned before the game that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would fully reinstate him after Week 2 of the regular season. “I’m blessed to be standing here in front of you today. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to play the quarterback position today and it’s still somewhat like a dream when I step out there on the field. Coming from where I came from two years ago and knowing where I’ve been, I just try to enjoy the moment."
Eagles coach Andy Reid, who made it clear that Kevin Kolb will remain the Eagles' No. 2 quarterback for the “long haul” said, “I thought it was great to get him the work. He hasn’t played in a long time and hasn’t had that many snaps back-to-back. It was good to get him in there. I’m sure he’ll be a little sore tomorrow, but that’s OK. He has a couple of weeks to recover from it."
Vick’s drives in the second half went like this:
Despite last week’s hoo-ha by starting quarterback Donovan McNabb about Vick’s insertion disrupting the rhythm of the Eagles offense, it’s pretty clear Vick has overwhelming support from his teammates.
After he scored on a 2-yard run in the first half, the Eagles sideline erupted in support of Vick.
“We love to have him on our team,” said wide receiver Jason Avant. “We’re not hypocrites in this locker room. If you (follow anybody around) you’ll see some faults. We recognize that people fall short. We recognize that and we’re definitely willing to give him another chance. There’s a lot of guys around this league that needed chances and people gave it to them and they are better men for it.”
Vick, by all outward appearances, seems to be a better man. A better quarterback? That’s going to take some time.
Avant believes Vick will become that.
“We’re about winning games and Mike is going to help us win games,” Avant said. “We will win games and he will help us. Humanitarian (aspect to helping Vick) or not, he’s going to help us.”
CSN: Even if Aaron Hernandez has nothing to do with his associate's murder, it's a story the "brand-conscious" Patriots want him far away from.
Vick: 'It's like a dream'
Sept. 4: Michael Vick says he is just trying to do the right things, and it is still like a dream for him to be back playing QB in the NFL.
Eagles sign Michael Vick
2013 SNF Schedule
Check out the 2013 Sunday Night Football schedule.
Latest from ProFootballTalk
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Texans' Mt. Rushmore
ProFootballTalk: Erik Kuselias, Mike Florio and the fans agree that Andre Johnson, J.J. Watt, Arian Foster and Bob McNair belong on the Texans' Mt. Rushmore, but Frank Wycheck argues that Mario Williams deserves a spot.
Check out some of the NFL cheerleaders from across the league.
NFL divisional previews, more
A final look at the 2009 season, including a look at the key players, best offenses and coaches who have to win.
Previewing the 2009 season
Ten teams who will rebound from 2008, our All-Pros, players ready to star and more.