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New Vick on display Sunday


He can still run, but there are indications that Michael Vick is starting to become an efficient passer, too. The Jaguars will get an up-close look at the new Vick on Sunday at EverBank Field.

"Being a little older, I think I've improved in the passing game. I think I've done everything that I've been asked to do and tried to make sure I give the team the best opportunity to win games when I'm out there. That's been the goal since day one and I'm going to continue to do that," Vick said.

Two weeks into the season, Vick is the league's top rushing quarterback with 140 yards on 18 runs; no surprise there. He's also the league's fourth-ranked passer with a 105.5 passer rating; that's what's surprising.

So, after an infamous conviction and prison sentence robbed Vick of a couple of seasons in the prime of his football career, Vick is attempting to make a comeback and national attention will be trained on that effort in Jacksonville. The Jaguars, of course, will be trying to rebound from a 38-13 loss in San Diego.

"I always wondered if I would get the second chance, if I would have the opportunity to play again and start in this league and, hey, here we are and I got the chance and I worked hard. I work hard each and every day," Vick said.

Can the Jaguars stop him? That's the question on the lips of Jaguars fans.

"He's an explosive playmaker, very dynamic," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "He's a rare combination of speed and athleticism at that position. Typically, you don't get guys that are quite that fast or elusive back there throwing the ball, so it presents problems for you defensively. It's not like he has a perfect record and has never been beaten and hasn't had his share of bad days, but he's played well the last couple of weeks, for sure."

It's not as though Vick is the Eagles' only weapon, either. DeSean Jackson is a home run-hitting wide receiver who'll test the tolerances of the Jaguars' beleaguered pass-defense, and LeSean McCoy is a big-play running back who rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns last week in Detroit.

The focus of attention, however, will be on Vick. Eagles coach Andy Reid named Vick the starter on Tuesday, a day after saying Kevin Kolb would return to the starting job. Kolb sustained a concussion in the season-opener and missed the game in Detroit.

Why did Reid switch?

"This is just the obvious, and I'm not saying this to be a smart aleck, but it was the play of Michael Vick. The past two games, he's played even beyond what I thought he could play," Reid explained.

Reid's decision, of course, was vilified by the Philadelphia media, largely because of Reid's Monday pronouncement and because the Eagles committed to Kolb as the team's future at the position after trading Donovan McNabb to Washington.

"I told our football team that when you play a Jack Del Rio football team, you better strap it on, men," Reid said of Sunday's game.

The Jaguars' tackling will certainly be put to the test by Vick.

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