Four days a week, Eagles safety Nate Allen puts in morning and afternoon workouts at the IMG Academies complex in Bradenton, Fla.

Three times each week, he adds rehabilitation sessions to recover from a torn patellar tendon he suffered late last season.

It's all part of the effort to make a leap from rookie safety to defensive leader in his second season, even with the NFL lockout crimping the offseason schedule.

Allen, a 2010 second-round draft pick, said the work was paying off.

"I'm pretty much doing everything. I'm squatting, power cleaning. They've got me running," Allen said Wednesday in a telephone interview. He is running at about 80 percent speed, he said, and in the last two weeks he has added football moves such as backpedaling and cutting.

"I'm right where I need to be, they say," Allen said, referring to his doctors. If training camp begins on time, Allen said, he believes he'll be ready. But he added that would depend in part on the opinion of the team's training staff.

As he waits for the lockout to end, Allen, a relentless student, looks over a playbook, obtained during the window when the NFL lockout was briefly lifted. But he said that reading plays and running through them are very different things.

The Eagles will need Allen, who started 13 games as a rookie before being hurt Dec. 19 against the Giants. If free agent Quintin Mikell leaves, Allen will be the safety with the most experience in the Eagles system. Just one year removed from being the new guy, he'll be the veteran.

"I experienced a lot last year, so I can tell all the young guys what to expect and kind of help them along through their rookie year because I just went through it," he said. "It's fresh in my memory."

Birds talk Plaxico

Quarterback Michael Vick said Wednesday he would welcome wide receiver Plaxico Burress to Philadelphia.

"We all, as Philadelphia Eagles, would love to have Plaxico as a teammate. I think he would be a great fit," Vick told CNBC.

Vick said he hasn't spoken to Burress. But when asked about what advice he'd give the receiver on returning to the NFL from a prison sentence, Vick said he'd tell Burress to "take your time" and "think family first and football second, and it'll all work out."

As for the team's decision-makers, coach Andy Reid said, "We haven't done anything yet," when it comes to evaluating Burress. The Eagles are already deep at receiver.

Even if the Eagles were interested - and it appears unlikely - owner Jeffrey Lurie said the team would have to meet Burress to gauge his fit.

"Any player, if there's issues off the field, we have to ascertain that the player is going to represent Philadelphia really well while he's here. That's the key," Lurie said.

Workouts to resume

Vick said he's been back in the Philadelphia area working out and plans to get teammates together again for more throwing within the next two weeks. 

Eagles build playground

Lurie, Reid, and other Eagles employees were at the team's 15th annual playground build at the John Moffet Elementary School in Kensington. They painted murals and built a play structure, among other tasks.

"Every kid deserves a safe place to play," said Sarah Martinez-Helfman, executive director of the Eagles Youth Partnership. Coaches were there - Reid helped paint - but players were not, a result of the lockout.

Vick endorses company

Vick did a media tour Wednesday for Unequal, a Kennett Square-based company offering what it describes as "ballistic grade" pads for athletes.

Vick said he wore Unequal's padding after he hurt his ribs against the Redskins and again after bruising his thigh late in the season.

Unequal also provided padding to Eagles Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy, four Steelers who played in the Super Bowl, and to members of the Boston Bruins, said Unequal president Robert Vito.

Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214,, or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.