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Michael Vick Saluted by Fans

Submitted by on August 28, 2009 – 9:43 amNo Comment
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All eyes were on Michael Vick — for all of six plays. Playing his first NFL game since his release from prison, the Eagles quarterback got a standing ovation in a half-empty stadium, avoided any ugly protests and completed four passes for 19 yards.  “It’s been a long journey for me,” Vick said. “I just want to do it right this time around.” 

 Though his minutes were limited Thursday night, Vick was ready to take on any assignment. He played quarterback, ran the Wildcat formation, even lined up at wide receiver and completed a pass right-handed.  Philadelphia even won the game, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-32 on David Akers’ 34-yard field goal in the final minute. Vick’s return overshadowed a somewhat sloppy effort by an Eagles team that has Super Bowl aspirations.

 It was Vick and only Vick who captured fans’ attention — whether he was on the field, on the sideline or sitting on the bench. “Everything he was asked to do, he did it well,” Donovan McNabb said.

 Eagles coach Andy Reid didn’t wait long to use Vick. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback jogged onto the field for the second play from scrimmage and got a hearty welcome from the notoriously tough Philly fans.

 ”It was awesome. When I was running out onto the field I was listening to see what the reaction was going to be,” Vick said. “I was very pleased. I really didn’t expect that reaction, but I was very thankful.” So much for all those protesters and anti-Vick factions. Some fans even chanted “We want Vick!” after he left the game.

 Vick was on the field for six plays — all in the opening 18 minutes — and completed all four of his passes, ran for 1 yard and lined up in the slot for one play. “I just want to help this football team win, whatever I have to do,” Vick said. “I just want to be able to make plays and say that I contributed. … I want to sit back and learn as much as I can and polish my skills as a quarterback.”

 Vick acknowledged he’s still working on his fitness, saying he was at about 70 percent.  “Once I get myself into tiptop shape, the sky’s the limit,” he said. “When I was younger I did it all. I can do it all now. Down the road, I’ll be back at the quarterback position full time. As of right now, I have to do what I can to win.”

 Vick hadn’t played in an NFL game since Dec. 31, 2006, with the Atlanta Falcons. He was released from federal custody July 20 after serving 18 months of a 23-month sentence for his role in running a dogfighting ring. He signed a one-year, $1.6 million contract with the Eagles, who hold a $5.2 million option for a second season.

 

 Source: ESPN

 

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