Michael Vick has plenty of experience playing in regular season openers. When the Eagles take the field against the Redskins in Landover, Md., it will be the second time that Vick has opened on Monday night. In 2005, Vick led the Atlanta Falcons to a 14-10 victory over the Eagles in a rematch of the previous year's NFC Championship Game. Though there is a lot intrigue surrounding Monday night's game for a variety of reasons, Vick is still preparing for the game the same way that he always does.
"You have to just approach it like it's another game," Vick said on Friday. "You've got 16 of them and this one isn't going to be any different because it's played on a different day. Our approach has to be the same and we have to stay even keeled and calm."
For the first time since the Eagles hosted the Giants in 2004, the team will open their schedule against a division opponent. Though the game may have more impact on the Eagles' playoff picture down the road, Vick knows that every game during the season will be just as important.
"(Openers) are big games, but every game is a big game," Vick explained. "You could be in week 11, and that game could determine the course of your season, and like Coach (Chip) Kelly tells us, one play can determine the course of the game. You've got to give it your all and you can't take any plays off. You can't treat it differently. You've got to give it everything that you've got and not leave any stones unturned. The one thing you don't want to do is be laying in your bed at night after the game wondering what could have happened and what should have happened."
Vick will be at the reins of Kelly's new look system. The offense line will be fully intact, and the football world will be watching to see exactly how potent the Eagles attack can be in Kelly's first NFL game as a head coach. Vick is looking forward to calling the shots.
"Playing in this offense is fun," said Vick. "I feel like I control everything. I'm the head that controls the body. Each and every day I go out there and I feel like I'm in control and I just want to take this offense and own it. I'm still learning everyday and there are things that sometimes I don't do as well, but I correct it and my motto is to never make the same mistake twice, and I think I've been doing a good job of that. Things are going to continue to happen, and I just have to continue to build on it."
Another possible reason why it is so fun for Vick to work in this offense is the number of weapons that he will have at his disposal. It has been well-documented that DeSean Jackson has had a terrific Training Camp and preseason. Vick is excited about Jackson making his presence known on the field, but what makes the offense even more dangerous is that no one has the title of lead receiver.
"There's no number one receiver in our offense because guys move around and everybody knows four or five positions," Vick explained. "We can put anybody in any spot and they know exactly what to run, so it's a credit to their hard work and their preparation and being in the playbook, knowing exactly what they have to do. It makes us versatile and gives us an opportunity to explore different avenues."
After a rocky finish in 2012, Vick was left unsure of his future in Philadelphia. When Kelly was hired as the team's new head coach, Vick was given a chance to rewrite his legacy with the Eagles. He battled it out for the starting job, and now that he has been chosen to lead the offense, Vick believes that everything has come together for Monday night's showdown with the Redskins.
"I think everything is in place for us," Vick noted. "Our philosophy and what we're going to do is going to be paramount to us being out on the field for all 16 games. The thing is, we've been able to go through it all through the spring and the summer. I feel good about it, and that's where you want to be going into opening week. It just gives you optimism going down the road."
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