When Michael Vick came to the NovaCare Complex on Friday, there was a gift waiting for him at his locker.
It was the trophy for being named the Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2010. However, one of the team's equipment staff said it was a three-interception trophy after Vick's performance Thursday night against the Steelers.
Vick said that he "got a kick out of" the joke, which was the first time he laughed about the game.
"The last two days was rough. That's very uncharacteristic of me. It's something I rarely do," Vick said after Saturday's practice. "I think I just got caught up in trying to force it, force the ball into certain spots. Those things you just can't do. I don't plan on doing it again. I look forward to getting better each and every day and having a good day this week."
Trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter, Vick tried to rally the team back knowing in the back of his mind he was not playing in the second half. In all of last season, Vick was very protective of the ball as he threw just six interceptions. The trophy should serve as a reminder of that.
"I might keep it in my locker as motivation," Vick said.
What will help Vick is the eventual return of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who said on Saturday there's "no doubt" that he will play in the season opener in St. Louis. Maclin has been sidelined with an illness, but testing showed earlier this week that it's nothing life-threatening. Maclin was cleared to return to the field and is doing conditioning drills with an eye towards returning to practice in a week.
"He looks strong. He already knows the offense. I think it's just about getting back into shape and we'll gradually do that," Vick said. "In time, I think he will be back to looking like the Jeremy that we've seen of old."
The one position on offense that needs to be solidified is Vick's blindside protector at right tackle. The Eagles signed veteran Reggie Wells to add some competition on Saturday. King Dunlap remains the starter as Winston Justice is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a knee injury.
"Ultimately, I think at some point we'll find the guy who is going to be that guy. It's not a big concern," Vick said. "We can always help out in protection."
If the Eagles can lock up the protection on Vick's blindside, that could help win a trophy even better than the one on display Saturday at Vick's locker.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider