1. As Michael Vick got ready to address the kids at Jeremy Maclin’s football camp, I couldn’t help but think how far the guy has come since being released from prison back in 2009.
Four years ago, the thought of Vick offering advice to a bunch of impressionable children would have been unheard of. Parents would have been up in arms. But right before he got started, one kid grabbed his buddy by the shirt and pointed, “Look! It’s Michael Vick!” At 33-years-old, Vick still creates a buzz and resonates with young fans.
He’s coming off a couple turnover-filled, disappointing seasons. And as I’ve stated on several occasions, I believe Chip Kelly when he says the QB competition is wide open. But even if Vick is never a full-fledged starter again, he has to be pretty thrilled with how the second phase of his career has turned out.
People are well within their rights to never forgive him, but overall, it’s difficult to imagine Vick doing a better job of rehabbing his image.
2. We discussed earlier this week about how Maclin is approaching his contract year. But he expanded on some of his initial thoughts at his camp.
“I’m not going to get caught up in the hoopla of it,” he said. “I’ve seen many people go down the wrong route by doing that, so I’m excited to be in the position I’m in. I’m excited to basically show how much I’m worth. You couldn’t ask to be in a different situation.”
That seems like the right attitude, but the injury question can’t be dismissed. We know NFL contracts are not guaranteed. As a first-round pick, Maclin got a nice rookie deal, but a lucrative second contract awaits him eight months from now – if he’s healthy. Will that weigh on him once the season starts?
“I think Jeremy Maclin has emerged as one of the hardest-working guys on our team,” Vick said. “You watch him in the weight room, he goes in there and he’s just a different person there. So I think that’ll translate over to the field.”
We’ll find out for sure in September.
3. Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith advises Eagles fans to take it easy on Cary Williams.
“If you can’t tell, he’s emotional, very passionate, a great family guy. I think they have a great football player on their hands,” Smith said. “He’s a playmaker. I think he’s had the opportunity to get a few more picks that just didn’t go his way, but in terms of a guy that’s physical, wants to win, very passionate, he’s a great guy for Philadelphia. We’re going to miss him in Baltimore.”
When pushed about missing OTAs, Williams said that wasn’t a big deal with the Ravens. Smith backed him on that argument.
“He wasn’t the only guy who had to miss an OTA for whatever reason,” Smith said. “Some of our best leaders didn’t show up until mandatory mini-camps. …A lot of vets, once they’re established, they come to the real deal, the mini-camps and things like that. I don’t think he should be judged based off of that. Wait until some plays happen and then judge him.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
A trip down memory lane with the 2004 Eagles.
One writer provides a warning about Kelly. Here’s the roundup.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
ESPN.com projects Lane Johnson as the fourth-best offensive lineman in the league in 2016:
A creative Chip Kelly offense requires linemen who are athletic and great in space. They must also be in shape to run the high volume of plays required. He is an ex-quarterback and tight end, which is an example of his athletic ability. As well as he plays, there is still a lot of room for improvement. He is not a power player, but he wins with balance and position. He seems to have a good feel for blocking angles. He gets to the second level, adjusts on the move and fits perfectly in this up-tempo offense.
Dave Spadaro of PhiladelphiaEagles.com takes a look at the Eagles’ cornerback situation:
For Cary Williams￼, fresh off a Super Bowl win and an emerging cornerback who started the last two seasons in Baltimore, the Eagles represent a chance to take his game to an elite level. He played that way down the stretch for the Ravens in their championship season of 2012 and he stepped up to the responsibility in the playoffs.
Now he’s squarely in the spotlight, a role he relishes.
“I know how to come in and be a professional each and every day, and I accept that,” he said. “If I don’t think I’m the top corner, I shouldn’t be here. I’m excited about it, and once the pads go on, the cream will rise to the top.”
I’ll pinch-hit for T-Mac with a Twitter Mailbag.