BETHLEHEM -- Michael Vick was more than ready for DeSean Jackson’s arrival at Eagles training camp last night.
For one thing, missing both Jackson and Jeremy Maclin (illness) against the suddenly imposing defensive backfield the Eagles have built hasn’t been much fun for the Eagles’ quarterback. But on a more basic level, Vick is tired, as the leader of the offense, of being the guy who has to try to explain or predict what Jackson is doing.
"I don't know the details, man," Vick said, when pressed by reporters for details of Jackson's arrival. (Channel 10’s John Clark staked out Philadelphia International Airport and tweeted the arrival of Jackson and agent Drew Rosenhaus, around 8 p.m. Sunday) Vick said he spoke with the disaffected wideout Saturday night.
"I can tell you he's excited to be back," Vick said. "He's ready to come back and play football this season, ready to come back and handle his business, be the consummate teammate. He's going to come in and let his play speak for itself, come in with a different attitude."
The Eagles are believed to be somewhere around $4 million under the salary cap. They might need to do an extension with Vick -- on the books at a $16 million cap number after being franchised -- before they can break the bank for DeSean.
"I'm not concerned about that. We haven't talked about it," Vick said. "We both are important to the team. Whoever goes first, it doesn't matter. I think our play ought to speak for itself."
Jackson might be planning to have Rosenhaus speak for him today. At least, that was why the last Eagles diva receiver brought his Miami-based agent to Lehigh with him, in 2005. That day, Terrell Owens wore noise-canceling headphones and camouflage, leaving Rosenhaus to articulate his demand for a reworked contract, which Owens never got until he moved on to Dallas after that season.
It’s pretty unlikely the Eagles are going to sit down with Rosenhaus today and hash out a new Jackson deal, though they have agreed, going back to last season, that Jackson has outperformed the contract he signed as a rookie in 2008. Jackson is scheduled to make about $600,000 this season.
Monday is the final full day of practice before Juan Castillo's first preseason game as the Eagles' defensive coordinator, Thursday at home against the Ravens.
Castillo said Sunday afternoon he is eager to meet the challenge, though he wouldn't affirm that he or his unit was "ready."
"What is 'ready' until you go through it?" Castillo asked. "It's awesome to be the leader. In our lives, that's what we all look to be."
Castillo will be down on the sidelines, as he was as offensive line coach. Corners coach Johnny Lynn will be among the group in the press box, talking to Castillo through his headset.
Castillo, who said his goal is to have "11 playmakers," said he wants to keep in mind that players "are going to respond to the way you handle yourself."