That level of respect for Vincent should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Vincent since he was a first-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 1992. A leader in the locker room who extended his greatness onto the playing field, Vincent has taken the fast track to the top of the NFL's leadership ladder.
"I'm grateful and I'm humble," said Vincent, an Eagle for eight seasons, via telephone on Thursday morning. "The NFL is a great game, made that way by many factions. It's certainly a greater responsibility than just one one person. We have a partnership within our league and with our fans and all of those who love the NFL, so I'm excited about the opportunity to make this game even greater for now and for the future.
"I've always been one to rely upon those around me, and that's not going to change. I'm taking this challenge very seriously. I am excited to get started."
Vincent's first step comes next week at the NFL Owners Meetings in Orlando, Fla. He will be involved in a myriad of conversations with multiple league committees. Already on the table is a list that includes 13 proposed rule changes, seven bylaw changes and one resolution were proposed.
The Competition Committee will clearly be in focus during the meetings.
"I will listen. That's the first step. I will listen to what people have to say and then it's on to the next part of the process," said Vincent. "I'm going to be in meetings with the same people I've met with over the years, but the conversations will be different, and I look forward to that and to making the NFL a better game."
Vincent served as the head of NFL Player Engagement Program since 2010 after spending 2004-2008 as president of the NFL Players Association. Everything he learned during his playing career has served him well in the league office.
"Having that perspective has been invaluable," said Vincent. "I always kept my eyes and ears open when I was a player. I considered everything that was said to me and I think that has helped me along the way."
Vincent joined the Eagles in 1996 as a transition free agent -- the Eagles made him an offer that Miami did not match -- and immediately added his presence to a developing defense. The Ray Rhodes-coached Eagles made the playoffs in '96, but then fell on hard times the next two seasons. Andy Reid replaced Rhodes as head coach and brought along Jim Johnson as the defensive coordinator, and the Eagles took flight from there.
Vincent was a key piece in the defensive strategy. He made five Pro Bowls during his eight seasons in Philadelphia, grabbed 28 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles and 6 fumbles recovered in his eight seasons and 118 starts, and was lauded for his leadership on and off the field. In 2002, Vincent was named the league's recipient of the prestigious Walter Payton Award, an annual award honoring a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field, for his work with the Troy Vincent Foundation.
Just as important, Vincent was the veteran to whom the young Eagles looked for off-the-field support. He was a voice of reason and thoughtful perspective for the media, and Vincent's leadership helped the Eagles transition quickly when the coaching staff changed and the Eagles regained their playoff footing.
Vincent was inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame in 2012.
"This is a new chapter that I am excited about, just like every step of my career on and off the field," said Vincent. "It's a wonderful time for the NFL that I am looking to advance."