September 3, 2009 will always be a memorable day for Michael Vick.
Exactly three weeks after word broke that Vick would be joining the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick's day began with a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and it ended on the football field in East Rutherford, NJ.
In between, Vick learned that he would be cleared to play for the Eagles in week 3, saw his first extensive action behind center, and carried the ball into the end zone for the first time in over two years.
"I'm just blessed to have an opportunity," Vick said. "I'm blessed to be standing before you right now. 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 where I've been, I'm just trying to enjoy every moment. I can't complain about anything, if it was a six game suspension and that was the final verdict, then I would have been happy enough."
Vick dove into the end zone on a 2-yard run up the middle with 14:35 left in the second quarter to put the Eagles up 14-7.
"I didn't even know what to do with myself," Vick said of getting into the end zone. "I always told myself I was going to keep the ball; I was going to hand the ball to an offensive lineman to spike it. Then I just lost it. I just ran off the field like nothing had ever happened. My mind went blank. I went through so many different scenarios in my mind, but it was great."
Vick spent the first half working in specialty packages while Kevin Kolb quarterbacked the offense. Then in the second half, Vick played under center and ran the offense until midway through the fourth quarter. Although he wasn't given much protection by the backup offensive line, Vick completed several short passes, and twice showed the athletic ability that makes him special by scrambling for first downs.
He finished 7 of 11 for 26 yards, and had 35 yards rushing on seven attempts.
"It felt good to finally get out and get some snaps at the quarterback position," he said. "I think I played fairly well. There's a lot of things I could have done better, but it felt good to get out and shake off some of the cobwebs."
"You can tell the athleticism was there tonight," quarterback Kevin Kolb said of Vick. "The reads and those things, that'll come. He'll work hard and he'll get all that part right.
"Two weeks out (with an injury) and I felt like I had missed an eternity, I can't imagine two years, and I told him that. It's going to be a slow process, and we're all just trying to feed him positive motivation."
Head coach Andy Reid addressed the decision about whether to put Vick on the 53-man roster to start the season so that he can participate in practice.
"I can't tell you how we'll handle it roster wise right now, but I'm going to talk with (Tom Heckert) tomorrow and we'll talk about that," he said.
Vick said he believes it's important for him to practice at this stage of his comeback to professional football. The team has the option of putting Vick on the exempt list, which would mean that he wouldn't count towards the 53-man roster but he would be ineligible to practice.
"I think being able to practice and go out there and get a feel for the offense and work on the small things, like ball security, is very important at this point," he said. "It's the small things at this point that I need to work on, and the good thing is it's all correctable."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 11:44 p.m., September 3