VICK GETS HIS DEAL; WHAT IS NEXT FOR EAGLES?
As he has since the first day he joined the Eagles, Michael Vick handled his business the right way when he met the media on Tuesday to discuss his contract extension. Vick was thankful, he was humbled and he was confident all at once.
It is way you want your franchise quarterback to act. The next order of business for Vick, of course, is to have a great day of preparation on Wednesday as he looks ahead to the Rams. The ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. That is the only thing that matters at this stage of his career, and of the franchise's goals, so this is a one-step-at-a-time proposition. Before anything, the Eagles must go out and play the Rams, and Vick is the key leader of the team and orchestrator of the offense.
So, it was a great Eagles day at the NovaCare Complex when Vick, with head coach Andy Reid to is right and a huge contingent of local and national media on hand, talked once again about the journey he has had these last couple of years. If they can make a move of Vince Papale's improbable rise to the NFL – Invincible was a hit at the box office – then a movie of Vick's career can't be too far behind.
The Eagles' front office understandably felt good about the contract, and of securing Vick for the long haul. The question that comes, naturally, is of the future. What is next for the Eagles?
Team President Joe Banner artfully dodged the questions after Vick was done with the media. Everyone is aware of DeSean Jackson's interest in a new contract and there is every reason to think that the Eagles want to make sure Jackson is in the right frame of mind heading into the regular season. But how much can the team continue to within the restraints of the salary cap? How many more Benjamins can Banner pull from his sleeve?
We shall see. The Eagles created some cap room with Vick's extension and they have some wiggle room. Don't put anything past Banner and Reid and general manager Howie Roseman. We have a week to go before the team steps on the practice field with St. Louis in full sight and the 53-man roster set and then set again.
A lot can happen in the next handful of days. Stay tuned.
PREPARING FOR THE JETS
How many starters will play against the Jets? If history holds, Reid will sit just about everyone. He may give some of his younger players some time --- guard Danny Watkins said he requested playing time, and the rookie kickers will play – but Reid isn't going to trot out Vick and LeSean McCoy and Co. for this fourth preseason game.
Vince Young is likely to play the first half on Thursday night (7:30 p.m. kickoff, 6abc) with Mike Kafka going after that. Dion Lewis and Craig Cooper will get a lot of carries in the backfield. A lot of roster jobs are on the line, so it is an important game from every angle.
There are key roster battles everywhere, including offensive line, wide receiver, tight end and throughout the defense. Does Chad Hall make it at wide receiver? How about Colt Anderson at safety and on special teams? Who are the backups at linebacker? Is Trevor Laws going to stay here, or will Derek Landri earn a roster spot. Which would the Eagles keep, if it came down to it, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim or Phillip Hunt at defensive end? Is Winston Justice going to make it on the active roster, or does he go on the Physically Unable to Perform list?
Questions, questions. Sixty minutes of action on Thursday night will answer some, but not all, of those questions.
BUILDING THE 53-MAN ROSTER
As active as the Eagles have been since the doors opened for NFL business five weeks ago, they still have work to do. This is Roseman's time to work some deals, and he thrives in this environment. The Eagles have some assets with which to work should they decide to make some deals. They know that Joselio Hanson, a valuable cornerback here, is gaining some attention from other teams in trade talks. Do they deal him for a draft pick, or keep him on the 53-man roster? Are there other players on the roster who might be moved to help the team now, or to add to the cache' of draft picks the Eagles have for 2012?
Beyond that, there are players about to hit the waiver wire from the 31 other teams. There are bound to be some players of interest to the Eagles, who are historically active right through Sunday and Monday.
It is a busy, frantic, wonderful time of the year for the Eagles, who are hard at work setting the table for a great 2011 season ahead.