Philly's 32-year-old QB opened some eyes during OTAs when he beat running back LeSean McCoy in a 40-yard race. But the big test this spring is learning Chip Kelly's offense.
DAN PATRICK:How do I introduce you? Are you the starting quarterback of the Eagles?
MICHAEL VICK: Just say quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.
DP:But is it an open competition?
MV: Coach wants us to compete as hard as we can.
DP:What has Chip Kelly taught you?
MV: He's taught me a lot in the last two months. He's taught me how to run his offense, which is kind of sophisticated, but at the same time it has a lot of simple concepts which allow me to play my game and have fun playing football.
DP:Why did you take offense to critical comments in a Philadelphia radio interview about holding on to the ball too long?
MV: It was [suggested] that I didn't understand how to read defenses. I was trying to defend myself, which is something I shouldn't [have to do] at this phase of my career.
DP:Was there any stereotype at play when they questioned your football IQ?
MV: I try not to look at it from a stereotypical perspective or from a racist perspective. Chip wanted me to be here in Philadelphia for another year. I think that spoke volumes. Andy Reid thought I could run the team. Those two coaches, both great minds, wanting me to be part of their team said enough.
DP:What was your reaction when the Eagles drafted USC QB Matt Barkley?
MV: I didn't look at it in a negative light. I love the competition. Matt has the potential to be a great quarterback in this league. We all have to grow within the system. I didn't think it was the wrong thing to do.
DP:How different would your career have been if you had come right into a read-option system?
MV: I think about that often—what if I was drafted into a system of this caliber and what would it have looked like. The fact that I'm 32 and running this kind of system ... I still have a lot of football in me.
DP:How fast do you run the 40?
MV: After racing LeSean McCoy, I still think I run about a 4.4. Maybe a high 4.4. But my quickness is there. I'm doing all the things that I did going into the 2010 season in terms of my training regimen. What Chip has implemented in the weight room has allowed me to gain six pounds of muscle. I see muscles in my legs that I used to see when I was younger. My burst is there. I'm just excited. I feel like there's a lot that's in my favor.
DP:Which quarterback could beat you in a 40-yard dash?
MV: These guys are young and fast and quick. The thing I do have is a very quick get-off. My burst.
DP:Just go ahead and say nobody.
MV: I really don't feel like there's a quarterback in the league who can beat me in the 40-yard dash. If someone wants to set up something, I'll be glad to accept the challenge.
"Our culture right now is big on movie previews—more so than the movie. We really hype the movie so we get a good first-weekend audience. Understanding the culture is important. He'll handle [the hype]. He's had to handle that his whole life."
—MIKE KRZYZEWSKI, Duke basketball coach, on prized recruit Jabari Parker
Grizzlies guard Mike Conley Jr. supports an NBA return for former Ohio State teammate Greg Oden. "I'd love for Memphis to reach out to him," Conley told me. "[It'd] be a good fit—being somewhere where people will embrace him and being around me because we have a relationship." ... I asked Golf Channel's Steve Sands if the USGA would pair Tiger Woods and Sergio García in the U.S. Open. "They've done stuff like that before," he said, "but I don't think they'll try it this time. The last thing they want to do is take away from the event." ... Phil Jackson talked about why he didn't want the Lakers job this season: "I told [fiancée] Jeanie [Buss], I think maybe we can get out of the Western Conference, but I'd hate to lose in the Finals again. I started thinking about how one would beat Miami." ... Duck Dynasty star and LSU fan Willie Robertson told me that Florida coach Will Muschamp asked him to stand on the Gators' sideline against the Tigers. "I said, 'Coach, have you lost your mind?' " Robertson told me. "I'd need 20 security guys to get out of there."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (DAN PATRICK)
CHRIS SZAGOLA/CAL SPORT MEDIA (VICK)
GREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (CONLEY)
DAVID CANNON/GETTY IMAGES (SANDS)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (JACKSON)
JENNIFER GRAYLOCK/FILMMAGIC/GETTY IMAGES (ROBERTSON)