Whatever happens Sunday night at the Meadowlands, they can't take last week away from Michael Vick.
In his Atlanta homecoming, Vick ran for one touchdown and threw for another in by far his most productive outing as an Eagle. Vick doesn't know whether that means more action on Sunday, or less, since the Giants will have seen what happened on tape and will be prepared. But the Atlanta game proved Vick still had a football pulse, and that has been his goal, in the nearly 4 months since he began his comeback bid.
"I had 56 text messages when I got back to my phone, 14 to 15 the next day," Vick said. "It felt good. It was everybody just congratulating me, sending me their best, telling me I deserved it, and I'd worked hard for it. It's something that you'll always cherish. It's an opportunity that you had and you'll never be able to relive that moment. You've just got to relish the moment."
Vick was bombarded yesterday with questions about whether Sunday's production means he is truly, 100 percent back as an offensive force.
"I really can't say where I'm at right now; I know I play good as a player, I feel I can do things to help this football team, but I'm not going to put a percentage on it. I'm not going to try to grade myself right now, because you just can't do it," he said.
Vick said he has lost 15 pounds since signing with the Eagles, something he has never had to do before.
"Protein," he said, when asked for dietary tips.
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott wouldn't say exactly how the linebacking crew would play out with Akeem Jordan back in the lineup. Jeremiah Trotter seems to have carved a role of some sort in Jordan's absence, and Will Witherspoon has shown he can play either weakside or the middle pretty well. Jordan, maybe the Birds' most active linebacker, clearly is going to play, but the Eagles also like Witherspoon, who was playing the weakside in a similar defense when he was traded here from St. Louis.
This is a happy dilemma for a defense that has spent much of the season trying to scrape together three or four solid, competent linebackers who know their positions. McDermott acknowledged "a comfort level with Akeem out there," but he didn't say where.
"We'll see," McDermott said, when asked whether Witherspoon would move back to the middle. "It depends on the personnel group."
Asked whether Witherspoon is more comfortable in the middle or on the weakside, McDermott replied, "Really, he's so intelligent, I think he could play either position."
Demps' Christmas giving
Safety Quintin Demps disclosed that he was fined by the league for both of his personal fouls Sunday at Atlanta - $7,500 for roughing quarterback Chris Redman and $5,000 for coming in late (and helmet-first) on receiver Roddy White.
"Just be smart," Demps said, when asked whether he had gotten any advice from the team on future conduct. "I'm flyin' around, though. There ain't too much I can do, man, unless I just put my hands around my back or something."
Wide receiver Kevin Curtis is no longer practicing solely with the scout team, but Curtis (knee) said he isn't ready to play this week . . . Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin missed practice again with plantar faciitis; he's wearing a protective boot. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he expects Maclin would be able to play. "Oh, yeah, I think he'll be fast," Mornhinweg said . . . Special-teams coordinator Ted Daisher confirmed what DeSean Jackson had said, that Jackson would resume returning punts, "if DeSean is healthy and playing" . . . Daisher seems inclined to keep Macho Harris on kickoffs, although Quintin Demps' ankle sprain is improving . . . Mornhinweg acknowledged he remains concerned about his unit's red-zone production. He said that though there have been some possessions at the end of halves or games where the Birds kicked field goals on drives he wouldn't consider red-zone failures, but "even if you take those out, it's still not as good as we need to be" . . . Since 2000, Andy Reid's teams are 14-5 within the division in December . . . Before the Nov. 22 win at Chicago, the Eagles had been on an 0-7 Sunday-night streak . . . Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott agreed with a questioner that cornerbacks Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown both are Pro Bowl-worthy this season.