Philadelphia Eagles News

Vick Decision Comes And Now We Know

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --Michael Vick, Michael Vick, Michael Vick. As it has for three weeks, his name dominated the pre-game mood on Thursday night, with a bunch of questions that are only partially answered at this point. Fascinating stuff, really. Vick is eligible to play in the Week 3 game against Kansas City at Lincoln Financial Field, so between now and then here are some things to ponder ...



Commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated several times how pleased he is with Vick's progress since his release from jail and during his time as an Eagle. Making Vick eligible in Week 3 after the initial range of up to six weeks is clearly a sign that Goodell thinks that Vick has done things the right way, that he is approaching his second life in the league with an honest vigor and a clear remorse for his past mistakes.

So, yes. It was fair. Eagles President Joe Banner said as much on Thursday when he addressed the media. The team is on board with Goodell. And the clock counts down to Week 3 for Vick.

"We appreciate all the work from Commissioner Goodell and we feel it was fair and just," said Banner. "This was the range that was expected."



The Eagles have the choice of putting him on the 53-man roster or using a roster exemption on him for two weeks. Should Vick be part of the 53-man roster, he can't practice with the team until his suspension is over. To simplify, Vick wouldn't be able to practice from this point forward until the Eagles-Saints game is complete on September 20.

If the Eagles use a roster exemption for Vick, they would either go with two quarterbacks -- Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb -- for two weeks, or they would keep veteran A.J. Feeley as an insurance, emergency policy.

The Eagles have not yet made that decision. Given all the rumors about trading Feeley and the reported league interest in him from other teams, it makes for a really interesting next move from head coach Andy Reid and the Eagles.



This is an impossible question to answer until the Eagles decide the next step with Vick on the roster. If he can't practice, well, what more can they teach him in two weeks other than classroom theories? If he can practice, what would he really do, anyway? The Eagles aren't going to devote much time, if any at all, to a player who isn't going to take part in that week's game. I'm not sure whether the question of whether Vick can practice is going to play a big part in what the Eagles do with his roster status.

Clearly, there are going to be those who wonder what happens if the Eagles average 35 points in games against Carolina and New Orleans and then all of a sudden have to appease Vick in the offense. Here's the thing: There is no obligation to appease Vick. The first priority is to win football games, no matter what it takes.

However it works out in games one and two, the Eagles know they are getting a huge talent for the rest of the season. What they do with him is something only the coaching staff really knows at this point.



To date, it has worked out very well. Vick has been an extremely positive addition here. He has worked well with his teammates and the organization. The fans received him in the preseason game against Jacksonville with a standing ovation. Vick has been, in the words of Banner, "a model citizen" and has impressed all who have met him or who have charted his progress.

But this is a question that can't truly be answered until the season is over and we see how Vick impacted the football team and how he impacted the community. He is working at it, that's for sure. And it is certainly a different approach to his time in Atlanta. Vick is committed to being a better football player and a better man, and that is a win-win for everybody.



There have been some productive meetings between the Eagles and the community in Vick's three weeks on the team, and Banner indicated that Vick would "soon" be out doing community work similar to his work recently visiting schools in Virginia.

The Eagles, said Banner, are waiting for the "right fit" and that process is ongoing. Vick won't be judged by the first service day he has. He will be judged by his commitment to the community for the rest of his life.

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