Football

Vick gets earful in Philly – all cheers

It had been a long time since Michael Vick heard such sweet sounds.

As Vick entered Thursday night’s exhibition game against Jacksonville on the second play from scrimmage, many in the Philadelphia crowd stood and cheered. Although he never acknowledged the support, Vick was thrilled about the reception.

“I can’t explain the feeling,” Vick said after a six-play stint in the Eagles’ 33-32 victory over the Jaguars. “It was unbelievable the way I was embraced.

“It was a great day for me all around.”

The exhibition came after a bankruptcy judge in Newport News, Va., approved the terms of Vick’s plan to repay creditors $20 million.

Nobody could be sure what to expect in Vick’s return to the game after serving 18 months in prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. For the former star quarterback who last played on the final day of 2006, everything except his understandably rusty performance was positive.

There were no boos and no banners decrying Vick’s dogfighting pursuits. Nor were there any organized protests by animal rights advocates.

Vick took five snaps in the shotgun and lined up once as a slot receiver. He spent most of the time in coach Andy Reid’s shadow on the sideline, watching Donovan McNabb handle the quarterbacking.

“When you try something new, it’s important to get into a rhythm,” McNabb said. “Move the chains, and then show them something new.”

Still, there was no doubt how Philly fans felt about having Vick on their team.

“Running onto the field, I was listening to what the reaction would be and it was very positive,” he said. “I didn’t expect that reaction.

“First off, I never envisioned myself in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform. It was kind of a surreal feeling coming out of the locker room.”

Rams 24, at Bengals 21

Kyle Boller gave St. Louis one frightening moment along with a little bit of relief. Boller, in his second game filling in for Marc Bulger, completed a flurry of short passes to help the Rams beat the Bengals.

One problem: He didn’t duck. Boller got his helmet knocked off on a hit by linebacker Keith Rivers at the end of an 8-yard scramble. Unfazed, Boller got to his feet, found his helmet and completed his next two passes, including a 3-yard shovel pass to running back Samkon Gado for a touchdown.

Dolphins 10, at Buccaneers 6

Given roughly the same amount of playing time to make their final cases against Miami, Byron Leftwich outperformed Luke McCown to likely create the separation Bucs coach Raheem Morris sought.

Chad Pennington led a drive that produced a field goal just before halftime, then led a long touchdown drive in the third quarter for the Dolphins (3-0). Mike Nugent kicked two field goals for Tampa Bay (1-2) on drives led by Leftwich.

Extra points

Brett Favre is feeling right at home with the Minnesota Vikings playbook, thanks to 16 years in the same offensive system at Green Bay. … Cowboys receiver Roy Williams injured his left shoulder on a goal-line collision with cornerback Orlando Scandrick during an open practice at the team’s new stadium. Coach Wade Phillips said he didn’t know the extent of the injury. The practice drew 26,460 fans, all let in free but charged $10 to park.

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