He’s Baaaaaaack — Again!!!!

By Reuben Frank
Updated: May 3, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — This time last year, Michael Vick was in Leavenworth federal penitentiary, a month away from being released after serving 19 months on running an illegal dogfighting operation in his native Virginia.

Now? He’s running around at Eagles practice like the Vick of old.

It’s amazing what an actual offseason of training, lifting, running, throwing and conditioning can do.

“As a competitor, as an athlete, you always feel like you’re the greatest,” Vick said after the Eagles’ three-day minicamp ended. “But in reality, I wasn’t there (last year).”

“Everybody’s telling me (now) I look like my old self, and I felt that way. My quickness is there. Just the sudden movements that I used to have that I did instinctively – without even thinking about it – it’s back.”

Vick, who projects for now as the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback behind Kevin Kolb, had a couple touchdown runs at practice Sunday that recalled the Michael Vick who went to three Pro Bowls with the Falcons before his off-the-field problems began.

“I think he looks great,” head coach Andy Reid said. “You saw him today. He’s working with the second group. Any time he gets into trouble, he’s out of there. You see his quickness and speed back.”

“He’s throwing the ball confidently. … He’s doing all the moving in that pocket … but he’s always looking for the throw down the field. He’s working the offense the way it’s supposed to work.”

When last season ended, Vick was hoping to be traded to a team that wanted to give him a shot to start. When that didn’t happen, he came back for a second year with the Eagles.

But he said even though this isn’t what he hoped for, he’s content being with the only team that gave him a chance when he got out of prison, and he knows there’s still a chance he could end up starting here.

“My mindset is I’m here, I’m going to make the most of it, I’m going to help this team win football games,” he said. “I’m enjoying myself, I’m happy and I’m having fun.”

“Sometimes that’s more important than things that you want to have for yourself or to happen. I put my faith in God and I trust him and I’m here for a reason. So, I’m going to take advantage of it.”

“I’m running with the twos and it’s full-time and this is my permanent job, to coordinate the offense when I’m with them. So it’s a little different, it’s a different feel but at the same time, what I tell myself is, ‘Try to get better as a quarterback.’ ”