Our long national nightmare is finally over and the NFL returns for real Thursday night when the Saints take on the Packers this Thursday night. The Eagles kick off their 2011 campaign this Sunday in St. Louis and Michael Vick says the expectations for this season are at a championship level.
"Our expectations - mine is to win a championship and I'd be lying if I told you anything else," Vick said. "Other than that I have no more personal goals. You know, as far as the team, I want this team to excel, I want the best for this organization, and I think every man in this locker room would tell you the same thing that I just told you; they would probably reiterate that. So it's all about the team and what we're trying to accomplish. We want to win it all."
Of course, with expectations comes pressure, but Vick says that as a professional, pressure is just part of the game.
"You know, there's always pressure. There's pressure on every team in this league. Every team's goal is to win the Super Bowl. So we thrive off pressure and that's the way it's going to be. A majority of these guys have been faced with pressure situations all their life. It's football, so how much pressure could there be?"
While this is old hat for Vick, some guys like Casey Matthews will be dealing with this pressure while also playing their first ever game. Matthews is one of three rookies the Eagles will be starting Sunday and he talked about his expectations now that the preseason is over.
"I mean, obviously people are going to go hard in preseason but it's a different type of atmosphere," the Eagles middle linebacker said. "You know with the games counting, obviously, you're going to play a lot more, people are going a little harder, and obviously some of the established guys got a couple reps and stuff like that. But obviously, it's going to be a little different now. They know what's at stake, a playoff birth; and obviously, it's a long season, but everyone is shooting for the same goal."