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Jags will be chasing Vick


The Jaguars could find themselves chasing the proverbial "chicken with his head cut off" on Sunday, and coach Jack Del Rio knows his team's tackling ability will be at the test.

"We're not going to bring a chicken in to prepare for Michael (Vick)," Del Rio said, citing a scene from the movie Rocky, "but the more you can put a good pad on him the better."

Vick is one of the league's top rushers with 140 yards on 18 runs. He was dazzling in the Eagles' 35-32 win in Detroit last Sunday and his performance through two games in relief of Kevin Kolb has fans and media alike asking the hot question of the season: Is Vick back?

Eagles coach Andy Reid announced on Tuesday that Vick will be the Eagles' starting quarterback on Sunday in Jacksonville. Reid had said on Monday that Kolb, who missed the game in Detroit due to a concussion, would return to the starting lineup. Why did Reid change his mind?

"Andy Reid did what most coaches do. We all do what we can to win," Del Rio said on Wednesday.

Vick has the hot hand. In addition to the threat he poses in running with the ball, he has also thrown for 459 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 105.5 passer rating.

Is he, indeed, back? That's a question that'll be answered to some degree on Sunday, in a game of critical importance to both teams. It's a game on which national media attention will shine and it's solely because of Vick and his infamy.

The Eagles are 1-1 and coming off a win. Should Vick lead the Eagles to a second straight road win, they would become one of the hot stories in the league, especially on the heels of their offseason decision to trade long-time star quarterback Donovan McNabb.

"It's a fun story for you to cover," Del Rio said to the media on Wednesday. "He's a polarizing figure. What we're all about on Sunday is finding a way to be the better football team."

The Jaguars are 1-1 and coming off an embarrassingly lopsided loss in San Diego that has fans upset. Quarterback David Garrard, who threw four interceptions in that 38-13 loss, is the player most vilified.

"David will have a bounce-back opportunity and we'll need him to do that," Del Rio said.

"You have to have strong shoulders. You have to have good faith. This is a game I love to play. You're going to have bad days. If you look around the league, there were a ton of quarterbacks that had bad days," Garrard said.

Vick's bounce-back story is certainly trumping Garrard's. From the Jaguars' perspective, the big question would seem to be: Can a defense that surrendered 477 yards to the Chargers find a way to stop Vick? The Jaguars' secondary would seem to be facing the greatest challenge.

Del Rio wouldn't say on Wednesday whether cornerback Derek Cox, who was deactivated in San Diego, will regain his starting job.

"We'll see how practice goes," Del Rio said.

He made one promise: "We'll be ready."

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