Philadelphia Eagles News

First-Team Offense Dynamic In TD Drive

Quarterback Michael Vick and the rest of the Eagles' first-team offense outscored the entire Baltimore Ravens team thanks to an exciting eight-play touchdown drive in the opening series of the team's first preseason game.

Vick completed four of six passes for 74 yards and a touchdown, punctuated by a three-yard touchdown strike to tight end Brent Celek on third-and-goal.

After watching film from 2010 this offseason, Vick admitted to not having as much chemistry with Celek as he wanted.

"I watched the film by myself and how I could get the ball to him and the majority of the time last year, he was wide open and I just failed to get the ball to him because I was focusing on DeSean and Jeremy," Vick said. "We are going to get Brent the ball this year. He's one of the best tight ends in the game and I think he deserves the best."

The game began when Vick hit Jason Avant for a 20-yard gain. Later in the drive, he was helped out by a tremendous 42-yard leaping catch by second-year receiver Riley Cooper. Cooper's catch, which came with future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed covering him, brought the Eagles down to the 2-yard line.

"It felt good to come down with it," Cooper said. "I'm a big-bodied receiver and I need to be able to do that. If the quarterback's in trouble he can count on me to make a play... (Vick) told me he likes having a big target out there to throw to, so we definitely have good chemistry."

Two plays later, Avant made what would have been a tremendous diving touchdown reception, but replays confirmed that Avant did not maintain possession of the ball as he hit the ground. The catch was reminiscent of the spectacular training camp that Avant has been having, as the Eagles' receiver has been Vick's go-to guy as camp.

The Eagles entered the game missing their top two wide receivers. DeSean Jackson arrived at camp just three days ago after an 11-day absence. Jeremy Maclin is still undergoing tests for an undisclosed illness that has prevented him from practicing at training camp. Add on the recently signed Steve Smith, who has not yet practiced with the team.

Following Celek's touchdown, head coach Andy Reid removed nine of the game's 11 starters on offense, leaving only right guard Danny Watkins and right tackle Ryan Harris in the game.

For Vick, this marked his first opportunity to play in a game as the starting quarterback with center Jamaal Jackson, who was lost for the season with a torn triceps injury in last year's season opener against Green Bay.

"I've been excited to play with Jamaal," Vick said. "To have him back healthy and playing great football is good for this team. We're all excited about it and I'm happy that he's on my team and he's my center."

The Eagles have three preseason games remaining, not to mention the entire regular season, but Vick is already extremely optimistic about the team's chances in 2011.

"I feel that each and every guy in that locker room wants to be on this team," Vick said. "We've enjoyed each other so much over training camp.

"I wish every guy could make this team and be a part of it. We definitely have something special and this was by far one of the best training camps that I had, one of the best teams that I ever felt that I've been a part of and I enjoy each and every teammate that I have in the locker room."

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