If you didn't know what Michael Vick has gone through in his life and in his NFL career, you wouldn't think Monday's scene was the least bit special: The quarterback of the team holding court with the media in the locker room, explaining, with poise and cool, that everything is going to be OK. Leave it to him, Vick said. No worries with another game a scant few days away.
Of course, you know Vick's story. You have traced this incredible tale all year -- for two years, actually -- so looking to Vick for leadership at this point, after a tough loss in Chicago, with the media sniffing controversy, is not at all uncomfortable. In fact, it is settling.
See, I believe in Vick. I believe in the entire quarterback picture and the locker-room brothers-in-arms mentality with this team. The Eagles have a strong constitution, something you don't often see in a young team. The Eagles know they are a good squad and that with five games remaining, they have a lot of football games to win.
And they are looking at Vick to lead the way. I don't know how he was with the media in Atlanta in his previous NFL life, but he sure is comfortable doing it as an Eagle. I suppose that when you've faced in real life what Vick has faced, a road loss to the Bears doesn't seem like too much of a sweat to overcome.
Vick has such a calm coolness about him, such an unassuming confidence, that it is easy to see why the rest of the team has hitched its emotional and physical wagons to him. He is having a sensational season, with more to come. The idea that the Giants and/or the Bears "contained" Vick is laughable, but then again the definition of "contain" gets stretched when it comes to Vick. The truth is, the Eagles stopped themselves in Chicago, specifically in the red zone.
Vick threw an interception off a tipped pass and some out there reacted with shock. Vick made a mistake!! That is how good he has been.
But Vick's importance to the team goes far beyond the snaps he takes on the field. He is dynamic, electric, an MVP candidate. Vick's presence gives the Eagles an added dimension that no other team has, and he makes this football team a very difficult one to defeat. On Monday, following the Eagles' very light practice and with most of the players scurrying to get to meetings, Vick handled the media as well as he handles a zero blitz.
And not that this is any kind of breaking news, but let's make this as official as this space permits: Vick is the undisputed leader of this team in so many ways. It is remarkable the way he has grown into the role, the way he handles every situation flawlessly.
Don't you think that when Vick sits down and talks with DeSean Jackson to soothe whatever is ruffling the young wide receiver's feathers, the two will come to the right meeting of the minds? Don't you believe that when push comes to shove every single player in the locker room would lay it all on the line for Vick?
I do. I think Vick is an extra special kind of leader, and I think he is going to take this team a long, long way this season and for many seasons to come. In an unremarkable act of professionalism with the media on Monday, Vick scored more major points. He does it in every phase of his life these days as the leader of a team that has to pull it all together in a short period of time to beat a good football team on Thursday night.
In Vick we trust. There is no doubt about that.