Vick news overshadows loss to Jets

The Eagles' King Dunlap loses his helmet as he is hit by the Jets' Bart Scott in the first quarter of last night's preseason finale.
The Eagles' King Dunlap loses his helmet as he is hit by the Jets' Bart Scott in the first quarter of last night's preseason finale.
Posted: September 04, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Michael Vick scored his first Eagles touchdown and threw his first Eagles interception in last night's final exhibition game, a 38-27 loss to the New York Jets at Giants Stadium.

But the key move of the day for Vick was his morning meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who later announced that Vick will be eligible to play in the Eagles' third game, against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 27 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Goodell's decision gave the Eagles more clarity as they finalize the 53-man roster prior to tomorrow's 6 p.m. deadline.

"You can make decisions now knowing the answers to all the possible questions instead of having a bunch of question marks that you didn't know what things would look like in the short term," Eagles president Joe Banner said before the game.

If general manager Tom Heckert has any unused minutes on his cell phone, he will exhaust them in the next 24 hours as the Eagles attempt to trade veteran A.J. Feeley, leaving Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Vick as the team's three quarterbacks.

It wouldn't be surprising either if Feeley, who played just one series last night, was being offered in a package with wide receiver Reggie Brown, a former starter who was still playing in the fourth quarter last night.

An Eagles source said recently that the team would like to add another tight end to the roster, and New England is interested in moving Alex Smith, a former third-round pick by Tampa Bay who was traded to the Patriots during the off-season.

The source indicated that the Eagles were still looking for help at other positions, too. Safety and linebacker figure to be on that list.

The Eagles might feel a little better about the tight end position this morning after recent addition Tony Curtis caught four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown against the Jets.

There are other possible options, too. It wouldn't be surprising if one of the Eagles' former assistants, such as St. Louis' Steve Spagnuolo or Baltimore's John Harbaugh, expressed an interest in Feeley.

Donovan McNabb's only contribution last night came when he called tails during the coin toss at midfield. It was tails and he informed referee Ron Winter that the Eagles would like the football to start the game.

Kevin Kolb, meanwhile, made the most of a rare start, completing 8 of 16 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown in the opening half. With the help of Vick, who was incorporated into the offense for 10 first-half plays, Kolb led the Eagles' second-teamers on three touchdown drives.

"A couple of drives we let it slip away, but we put up 24 points and we had a pretty good rhythm throughout the whole half," Kolb said. "Overall, it was positive. Vick did some good things when we lined him up at quarterback."

Kolb said he couldn't fathom what playing after a two-year absence must be like for Vick.

"Two weeks out and I felt like I missed an eternity," Kolb said. "Two years I can't imagine. I told him that, too. It's going to be a slow process. We're all trying to feed him positive motivation. You could tell the athleticism was there tonight. The reads and the mental part will come."

The first of the three scores came against the Jets' first-team defense on the game's first series. Two pass interference penalties, including one that went for 43 yards against former Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard, aided that opening drive, which ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy.

Kolb's final pass of the evening was a perfectly thrown 12-yarder over the middle to Curtis for a touchdown, allowing the Eagles to take a 24-14 lead with just over a minute left in the first half.

Vick, who was booed each time he stepped on the turf, ran the ball four times and threw it twice during his 10 first-half plays in the Wildcat formation. He also scored his first touchdown when he faked a handoff and ran two yards for a score early in the second quarter.

The Eagles' best first-half play with Vick on the field was probably an option pitch he made to wide receiver Danny Amendola that went for 11-yard gain. Vick's first pass of the game came on the next play and it was intercepted in the end zone by Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery.

With Vick playing solely at quarterback, the Eagles didn't have much success at all in the second half and he absorbed some violent hits from the Jets' defense. Vick was 7 for 9 in the second half, but threw for only 26 yards. He was sacked four times.

"It was good to get some snaps at the quarterback position," Vick said. "There were a lot of things I could have done better. But it was good to be out there at quarterback and shake off some of the cobwebs."


Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577

or bbrookover@phillynews.com.

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