Eagles Begin Vick Experiment

First things first as Eagles address the media

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Vick was penitent in his first press conference with the Eagles.

    What do you do when you sign a quarterback many fans -- and most dog lovers -- would probably prefer never played a game of football for the rest of his life? You get your story straight.

    That's what the Philadelphia Eagles did today after signing Michael Vick, the controversial-for-reasons-you-don't-need-us-to-explain quarterback. Most teams stayed as far away from Vick as possible; only the Eagles felt brave (or stupid) enough to take a chance on a formerly spotty passer whose last live football game came two years ago.

    That meant convincing the public and the media that Vick's signing was no threat to Donovan McNabb, who, despite his years of All-Pro play, seems always just about to lose his job. Doing this is no easy task, so McNabb, Andy Reid, and everyone with a Philadelphia Eagles logo on their attire had to ensure the media that not only was McNabb cool with the signing, not only did he understand, but he actually preferred to have Vick on the team, that it was practically his idea in the first place. Right.

    Then it was up to Andy Reid to discuss second chances and love and why Vick deserves an opportunity to redeem himself. Pretty much your standard boilerplate; every GM and coach would have probably explained the situation similarly.

    Then, of course, there was owner Jeffrey Lurie, who seemed not only agitated by the signing (Reid makes all football decisions) by downright intent on turning Michael Vick into a spokesman for the Humane Society. Lurie is a famous animal lover, and his quotes were stern and pointed. They were also less concerned with what Vick does on the field, meaning if Lurie has his druthers, Vick won't be taking too many snaps from the Wildcat in Philly anytime soon.

    All in all, it was an occasionally heartfelt, oftentimes awkward performance from the Eagles, but any team would have had the same issues. Now it's up to Vick to justify the signing. Whether that's by standing pretty and not doing anything wrong, or actually contributing on the football field, remains to be seen.

    Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.