Widely regarded as one of the leaders in the Eagles' locker room, Jason Avant knows what it takes to foster a good relationship with one's teammates. Because of that standing, Avant is as qualified as anyone on the Eagles to assess Michael Vick's role as a locker room leader. According to Avant, Vick has embraced the role with open arms.
"Sometimes when you have a franchise player like Mike, it's kind of hard to relay your opinion to him without him knowing it already," Avant told CSNPhilly.com. "For a guy to come up to (Vick), younger guy or older guy, and he gives them a voice. It makes you want to play for him ... He humbles himself and listens to everyone and also gives whether it be advice or criticism ... back. That's healthy and guys feel more connected to him, want to go out and play for him because he's humble. I think that's his biggest quality. Without him on our team, this season definitely wouldn't have been like it was."
Avant, who set a career high with 51 catches in 2010, also addressed the team's view of the occasional outside criticism laid down onto head coach Andy Reid.
"Coach Reid knows that this is a tough city. The players know that this is a tough city," Avant said. "So when you don't win, it's going to be like that. But does he deserve it? No. I definitely believe that when a guy is working as hard as he has worked and is working that you don't deserve it. I could see if there was a lack of want or a lack of effort, but it's one of those things where the league is about results. He's getting results but we're trying to take it to the next step."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 8:00 p.m., February 14