There’s plenty of pressure on a number of players to perform in the NFL. Michael Vick could be carrying the most weight.
The Eagles finished 8-8 last year and Vick missed three games with a rib injury. He completed 253 of 423 passes for 3,303 yards with 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
That’s certainly a drop off from 2010 where he completed 233 of 323 passes for 3,018 yards with 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. In addition, the Eagles finished with a 10-6 record and a NFC East Division title culminating with a trip to the playoffs before losing to the then Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
If you subscribe to all the pro football experts, it seems as if they have nothing but questions about Vick’s ability. It’s either his ability to stay healthy or to even make plays at this point. The Eagles signal caller is well rested for the opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
“I feel good going into this game,” Vick said. “I feel like I’m 100 percent. I don’t really have any nagging injuries. I think I’m fully recovered. The last two weeks have really helped me get there. I’m just ready to go.”
The questions have really begun to mount after a preseason where he bruised his thumb in the first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and injured his ribs against the New England Patriots in the second preseason contest.
In the NFL, everybody bases everything on winning Super Bowls. This is Vick’s 11th season in the NFL. In 2001, he was the first pick overall in the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He’s only played a full, 16-game schedule once in his career. He’s only been to one NFC championship game. Ironically, that was 2004, the year the Eagles went to the Super Bowl. The Eagles defeated Vick and the Falcons to get there.
Vick needs to come out and play well right away against Cleveland. He has to remember that teams are going to be coming after him. If the play breaks down, he should head for the sideline or for cover somewhere on the field where he’s not going to get hurt. He has to stay healthy. He needs to remind everybody how good a quarterback he really is. In 2010, he was named to the Pro Bowl and selected 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
The Eagles have a bundle of talent on both sides of the football. They have a lot of big names who make a lot of money. Now, the fans as well as Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles chairman/chief executive officer, want this team to go all the way. You can’t blame him or the fans. They deserve it.
Vick knows that. After a bad year and missing most of the preseason, you get the feeling that something big is going to happen on Sunday. For Vick and the Eagles, the biggest thing would be a win.