This afternoon Michael Vick makes his second start as an Eagle, but only the first since being named the teams' starter for the rest of the season. Vick opens his time as the starter down in Jacksonville against the 1-1 Jaguars, who he last faced in 2003 as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. Vick says he still expects to have a little bit of jitters as he makes his first start as the official starter.
"I had a little bit. When you first start, it's a different feel, a different atmosphere. You're on the road. Haven't started in four years, so it's all a part of the process you have to go through. And I think it's good to have butterflies in the beginning of the game, but once that ball is snapped and the game is on, then it's on for 60 minutes."
Jacksonville has had an up-and-down start to their season with a solid home win against the Denver Broncos followed by a 38-13 drubbing on the road against the Chargers.
The Jaguars offense has pretty much followed the fortunes of QB David Garrard. In Week 1 against Denver he threw for 3 TDs and they put up 27 points, last week against the Chargers he threw four picks and the team was blown out. The Jaguars' best offensive weapon is RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who actually has not rushed for 100 yards in a game in eight of his last nine contests.
As much as their offense struggled last week, the Jaguars' 29th ranked defense seems to be clear weakness of the team. The Jags have especially been vulnerable through the air giving up 629 yards through the air after the first two games. CB Derek Cox was actually benched last week after getting burnt a number of times against the Broncos, but he's expected to return to the starting lineup today.
Eagles coach Andy Reid was asked whether the balmy heat expected in Jacksonville will play a factor in today's game.
"Well, listen, I don't put a big emphasis on the heat or the cold, when it's cold. I think you just go play, and you start thinking about [the heat] and not the game, then I think that's a problem. On the other hand, it's always good to practice in the type of climate that you're going to play in. I think that's ok."
Considering a good portion of the Eagles roster was born in Florida, other parts of the deep south, or California ... it's hard to imagine they'll be affected by the heat too much.
He was also asked about the defense's inconsistency this season.
"I mentioned that after, really both games. The first game I thought was two different games in itself. I thought this last game was almost three different games in itself. There were three phases that the offense and defense both went through. We have to work on that and we've addressed it, and we have to work on it and play consistent for four quarters, and that's not just about the defense. That's the offense included there."
Might all the youth on the defense be to blame?
"Well, listen, I've mentioned this with all the young guys period. It takes a little bit of time to get going. The important thing is that you get better every week. I'd tell you that on the defensive side we just keep getting better every week, and the continuity and aggressive play, energy; all those things come into effect. You want to make sure you keep your energy level up as your working through things and this crew does that. I think we've seen that in practice and in the games, they play very hard. It's just on both sides of the ball, we just have to get a couple things together and we've been working on that this week."
Eagles/Jaguars kick off at 4 p.m. today.