Eagles Wake-Up Call: Vick, DeMeco Join Forces

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans.Michael Vick and DeMeco Ryans have formed somewhat of a leadership partnership. Each handles their respective units, and they confer regularly to make sure everything is running smoothly.

“That’s all we talk about is how we are going to lead both sides of the ball. I check in with him every day, ask how things are going. He checks in with me, and that’s how we do it,” said Vick.

“We both just feel like we are the leaders of the team and we have to step up and rise to the occasion when no one else will. Some guys just kind of…so we get everybody up, we rally everybody around us.”

The role seems to come very naturally for Ryans. The veteran linebacker says the trick is just being himself, “and if guys follow, they follow.” He has been with the Eagles for just a quarter of a season, but they’re definitely following.

“That’s what that defense was missing — it was missing a guy that can lead. And DeMeco leads them every week, man,” said Vick.

One way to see their leadership take tangible form is to watch when the team gathers at midfield pregame before heading into the locker room a final time. In the middle, you will always find either Vick or Ryans. They’re doing all the talking while their teammates bounce and nod.

“I’m going to make somebody else do it, I’m going to make some of the other guys step up, see what they got,” said Vick. “It shouldn’t just have to be me and DeMeco.”

How do you decide who it will be?

“It’s all off feel,” said Vick. “It will be DeMeco this week. I’m going on the road, I’m going to stay calm this week.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

As the debate over Nnamdi Asomugha’s performance Sunday continues, we pulled out the tape to see what we could learn.

Danny Watkins was a surprise non-participant in practice Wednesday with a chest injury.

Fellow lineman King Dunlap returned to practice, but Demetress Bell continues to get reps with the first team.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman explains why Brian Rolle was cut and just how big of an impact Fletcher Cox is having.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Mike Tomlin had interest in making Vick a member of the Steelers following the QB’s release from prison, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Tomlin knew all about Vick’s talents. Both were born in Newport News, Va., and Tomlin coached twice annually against Vick when he was the secondary coach at Tampa Bay and the quarterback played for the division-rival Falcons. Plus, Vick was mentored by Tomlin’s former coach in Tampa Bay, Tony Dungy, during his time in prison and after his release.

Two things prevented Tomlin from bringing Vick to Pittsburgh. The main reason was the Rooneys were dead set against it. They had no desire to bring on a felon, just out of prison, and all the negative reaction his signing would bring, both internally and externally. Plus, the Steelers were reigning Super Bowl champs. Who needed that headache?

The Eagles are leading the division, but that’s not enough to get Andy Reid off Mike Florio’s coaching hot seat list. Reid does move back a spot to No. 3.

“He would have been number one if the second attempt from Lawrence Tynes after that icing the kicker had blown up in Andy Reid’s face. Yes he’s 3-1, but it’s undeniable he’s on the hot seat. He never should have iced the kicker.”

The full top 5:

5) Jason Garrett/Chan Gailey
4) Ron Rivera
3) Andy Reid
2) Rex Ryan
1) Pat Shurmur

Speaking of Tynes, the New York kicker says the Giants were considering a fake field goal before lining up for the 54-yarder.

According to Tynes, the Giants could have run a fake in which they passed the ball – ostensibly into the end zone because they had no timeouts remaining and thus might not have time to run another play – but still had the backup plan of kicking the field goal on fourth down if the pass was incomplete.

“I think it would have really had a chance to work,” Tynes said. “If it didn’t, O.K., we go kick.”

COMING UP

Practice at 1:50 today. Marty Mornhinweg and Juan Castillo will both address the media.