Michael Vick flicked his wrist and fired tight spirals deep downfield.
A two-year layoff sure didn’t seem to hurt Vick’s arm strength. He showed off his skills Saturday in his first NFL practice with the Philadelphia Eagles since completing his prison sentence.
“He throws the ball as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen,” said wide receiver Danny Amendola, a second-year pro.
Wearing a No. 7 red quarterback’s jersey, Vick took part in limited drills with the offense. He worked in one-on-ones, seven-on-sevens and red zone offense. Vick mostly observed Donovan McNabb during the two-hour session in Philadelphia.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
When he got a chance on the field, the 29-year-old made the most of it. He had plenty of zip behind his throws and completed a few deep balls, including one to rookie wideout Jeremy Maclin down the sideline.
Vick put in extra time after practice, working on footwork and mechanics with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. He was the last player to leave the field, jogging off with his helmet still on.
Asked how he felt, Vick replied: “Great.”
Vick didn’t speak to the large contingent of reporters around his mostly empty locker. As he finished taking off his ankle braces, Vick drew a chuckle when he said: “This is weird.”
Vick was the fourth quarterback to line up under center in the early portion of the practice. Vick took only one snap and completed his first pass over the middle against no defense. He playfully pumped his fist before McNabb, who lobbied the Eagles to sign Vick, gave him a hug.
Vick worked with the scout team in the morning walkthrough.
“We have to get him in football shape,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. Reid said Vick was fit enough to handle an NFL practice and the team would bring him along accordingly.
Vick practiced only at quarterback in the morning session, Reid said.
“That’s what Michael is,” he said. “Michael’s a quarterback.”
A three-time Pro Bowl pick during six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Vick served 18 months in federal prison for running a dogfighting ring and was reinstated last month by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being out of action since the 2006 season.
Vick signed a one-year deal with the Eagles on Thursday for $1.6 million with a team option for $5.2 million in 2010.
At Lions 27, Falcons 26: Matthew Stafford threw a touchdown, an interception and had some passes dropped in his debut with Detroit. Veteran Jason Hanson’s 47-yard field goal as time expired lifted the Lions to their first victory since last preseason.
At Packers 17, Browns 0: Aaron Rodgers directed two long touchdown drives before departing, and Green Bay’s new 3-4 defense gave Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson fits.
At Bills 27, Bears 20: Jay Cutler came out throwing for Chicago. But he missed as many as he completed. Meanwhile, Buffalo was more efficient, even in muggy, 80-degree weather, even though Terrell Owens was out with a sprained toe.
Texans 16, at Chiefs 10: Houston’s starters looked sharp in heavy rain, while Kansas City, under new coach Todd Haley, looked every bit the franchise-worst 2-14 team it was in 2008.
At Titans 27, Buccaneers 20: Kerry Collins was intercepted twice, while backup Vince Young threw for 131 yards and a touchdown, rallying Tennessee to a victory in the coaching debut of Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris.
Baltimore lost wide receiver Marcus Smith for the season when he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament while making a special teams tackle in the Ravens’ 23-0 exhibition victory over Washington on Thursday. … New Orleans signed veteran free agent kicker John Carney, who was selected for the Pro Bowl last season after he converted 35 of 38 field goal attempts and all 38 extra-point kicks for the New York Giants. Carney ranks fourth in NFL history with 1,995 career points. … The New York Giants lost reserve running back Andre Brown to a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon. … Indianapolis defensive tackle Raheem Brock injured his left hand in the first half of Friday night’s 13-3 exhibition loss to Minnesota. … Oakland signed cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. and released tight end John Paul Foschi.