Barack Obama asked and Michael Vick delivered. During an offensive group install session in the Eagles' afternoon practice, Vick rolled out on a designed play, gained some yards and then did the unthinkable - he slid. Following the slide, Vick immediately popped up, tossed the ball in the air in celebration and the throngs of Eagles fans erupted for the largest cheer of the day.
"President's orders," Vick said after practice. "I have to follow the President's orders. I mean, when you get it from the head man, from the man who runs the world, the (United States), hey, you have to listen. I'm a great listener.
"It was for the fans. It was to show everybody that, look, I will be sliding this year, I will be getting down and protecting myself, I know how to do it. It's not a hard thing to do. It's very easy, you just have to be able to do it in the moment."
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, a highly touted baseball prospect when he was in high school, critiqued Vick's slide.
"Ehhh ... His slide was not too good, but at least he slid so it doesn't really matter," Jackson said. "As long as we're able to keep him healthy throughout a full season, I think our upside is tremendous."
Jackson, meanwhile, had a standout moment in practice of a different kind. After running a deep route during a 7-on-7 drill, Jackson returned to the huddle and then, well, lost his lunch.
"The schedule is a little different. It's something we're not used to because it's new," Jackson said. "We just have to adjust to it on the fly ... Hopefully, in the next couple of days we'll be adjusted to it and used to it."
No complaints from Jackson, though.
"I'm just here to work, man," Jackson added. "Whenever we have to come out here and play the game, that's what we're going to do."
What else happened on the practice field? Here's your rundown ...
--- Thursday, we got a glimpse of the first- and second-team offensive lines. There were no changes to that lineup Friday, but we did also get to see what positions the third-team O-line group played. From left to right: D.J. Jones, Alfred McCullough, Steve Vallos, Brandon Washington and Thomas Welch.
--- As Andy Reid hinted at Friday morning, undrafted rookie Emil Igwenagu, who has worked exclusively as a fullback since joining the Eagles in the spring, spent the afternoon working primarily with the tight end group. With Brent Celek out for a few days because of a mild MCL sprain, Igwenagu's versatility (he played both tight end and fullback at Massachusetts) is being put to good use.
--- It was an up and down day for Riley Cooper, who continues to get reps with the first-team offense. Twice, Cooper had an opportunity to make a big play down the field. Both times, Cooper did a good job of rising up to snatch the ball at its highest point. Unfortunately, on both occasions Cooper grabbed the ball only to have it wrestled away for an incompletion by the cornerback (Joselio Hanson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in succession) before the catch would be completed.
--- Two throws stood out during the only 11-on-11 session of the day, a blitz drill. The first came on the first play of the period, when Vick fired a bullet, threading the needle over the linebacker and in between Rodgers-Cromartie and Kurt Coleman, connecting with Jeremy Maclin on a post. The second came later in the period, when Nick Foles took a quick three-step drop and connected on a slant with Elvis Akpla, who snatched the ball cleanly and turned upfield untouched.
--- Without pads on, it's difficult to get a great sense of the offensive and defensive line play, but one player from each side made an impression Friday. First, during offensive line vs. defensive line one-on-one drills, Brandon Graham had a great session. So much so, in fact, that defensive line coach Jim Washburn called him over for a hug after a particularly strong pass rush. Then, during the blitz drill, second-team right guard Mike Gibson got out in the open field and beautifully picked off linebacker Mychal Kendricks to clear the way for a big gain by Dion Lewis.
--- Despite his momentary regurgitation, Jackson actually had a fine day on the practice field, making a few nice plays in the open field on short routes before hauling in a difficult pass from Vick along the sideline.
--- You'll surely remember Chad Henry's attempted pass during last year's game against the Chicago Bears in which he failed to connect with Colt Anderson on a fake punt. Well, practice makes perfect special teams coordinator Bobby April had Henry working on the fake punt/pass during a warmup drill Friday afternoon. Henry threw over 20 passes to multiple receivers and connected on every one.
--- Finally, during the individual drills, defensive tackle Mike Patterson was working out with trainers on one of the practice fields. The defensive tackles were on an adjacent field and they made sure to let their teammate know that they were thinking of him yelling, "We see you Mike P!"
Remember, Saturday afternoon is the big day. For the first time this season, we'll see the Eagles don the pads and hit for real. Of course, there's only one place you can watch practice live, so don't forget to join Dave Spadaro for Training Camp Live! starting at 2 PM.
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