A year ago May 21, Michael Vick was released from federal prison after an 18-month stay on dogfighting crimes.
The Eagles quarterback is still not back to being a starter in the NFL.
"Being a competitor you always want to start," Vick said Monday, his first day participating with rookies and selected veterans during organized team activities. "I know in my future that's there for me. I'll be a starter in this league again. Right now I'm just having fun honing my skills.
"You're going to have an opportunity to be a starter. And I'll say, 'OK, I'm going to go back to the drawing board and work on a lot of things that I didn't have a chance to work on because I was forced into action so fast.' I have to work on those things and when I get back to doing them I'm going to be dangerous. That's all I can say -- I'll be dangerous."
Vick is currently the backup to Kevin Kolb, who was also in attendance at Monday's practice. There is the perception out there that Vick has to show the Eagles coaches that he comprehends coach Andy Reid's version of the west coast offense for the 29-year-old to remain on the team or perhaps be traded.
"I expect to be here at the start of the season playing the role and doing what I'm doing," Vick said. "I enjoy this organization, the locker room and the staff. It's a great place to be. Unless something else happens, I expect to be here."
During the off-season, Vick campaigned for a new job. He was on the market, the Eagles said, but they didn't receive much in offers from other teams.
"Actually, I understood," Vick said about the lack of interest. "Because I'd been out of football. I didn't play behind a center for three years. I know how good I am. The [Eagles] coaches know how good I am. I know I could have landed some place, but it wasn't meant to be. But now my skills are back. I'm ready. I'm faster than I've ever been before. I'm quicker, light on my feet. So I guess somebody missed out this time around. But I guess I'll make it work here and they'll see."
Vick said that he's working most on improving his accuracy. He was shaky during today's session. Of course, a little over a year ago, Vick was wearing a different kind of uniform.
"I celebrated the anniversary -- well, I didn't celebrate," Vick said of his release from Leavenworth. "But I thought about it and it brought back a lot of memories -- how far I've come on and off the field because my goal when I came out was to make sure I took care of all the issues off the field and tried to excel on the field. It's been a lot of hard work."
Vick was asked what he remembered most about leaving prison in Leavenworth.
"The thing I remember most is just freedom, just being free," Vick said. "Something I never thought that would be taken away from me. You don't think it would happen to you until you're actually in that situation."
Kolb, meanwhile, had different reasons for showing up for the early OTAs. He's hoping to fine-tune his understanding of the offense and wanted to shake off a so-so performance during minicamp.
“Minicamp didn’t go as smooth as I would have liked,” Kolb said. “So I just want to continue to get completions, continue to work on my fundamentals and get better. And when I leave here I want to say, ‘Alright, just stay where you’re at.’ And that way when I get into training camp I’m ready to roll and have that confidence going into the season.”
Here's some other news from Monday's practice:
-- Ellis Hobbs participated in individual drills and installations, but skipped 7-on-7s and team drills. The cornerback, considered the starter on the right side, is trying to come back from last season's neck surgery. Here's the full story.
-- There were several other veterans, aside from Kolb, Vick and Hobbs, that joined OTAs after forgoing two practices from last week: LB Ernie Sims, RB Mike Bell, DE Darryl Tapp, OL Mike McGlynn and CB Dimitri Patterson.
-- LB Moise Fokou, who did take part in last week's practices, wasn't required to be at this week's four days of OTAs.