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Michael Vick says he'll play safer

Looking over today's posts, it really feels like the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins are being ignored. I toyed briefly with the idea of a "Who'll finish third?" Hot Button debate post, but that seemed a little bit too mean. So I have this for you on Eagles and ... some Redskins thing a little later on, I'm sure.

Michael Vick is back in the saddle, listed on the Eagles' injury report as a full-practice participant and determined to play Sunday after missing three games with broken ribs. It's kind of like the hero riding in to save the day after the bandits have already stolen all of the food and water and everybody's just sitting around staring at the dead campfire and wondering, "What's this guy all gung-ho about?," but the fact is they're all professionals, still getting paid for these final four games and have things they need to work on for the future.

One of those things, for Vick, is trying not to get himself killed. It seems the entire NFL has been talking about this for two years, and that the Eagles themselves have been talking to Vick about it at least as long. But this time, coming off of two broken ribs that cost him three games, Vick says he's gotten the message and is willing to cut plays short by sliding every now and then rather than try to break a big run every time the play breaks down or fight for extra yards that could be made up later. From the Philly Daily News:

"Sliding. Getting down," Vick said, interrupting a question about how he might avoid missing valuable time with injuries. "I've made my mind up. There's going to be times when I can't get the extra yards. I gotta get down. I get too caught up in the game sometimes, but that leads to me being sidelined, not being accountable for the team on Sunday."

Vick called it "a situation I had total control of, and I still do it, each and every time I step outside of the pocket."

Vick said he will slide "the best way I can." Vick has said previously he doesn't really know how to slide.

Couple of years ago, I remember Rex Ryan and the Jets bringing Yankees manager Joe Girardi to camp to teach Mark Sanchez how to slide. Maybe Charlie Manuel and the Phillies have somebody they can send over to NovaCare. Meantime, it'll be interesting to see what form this new revelation of caution takes on the field. A timid Vick will not be a good Vick, and I'm expecting a couple of uncomfortable, indecisive-looking moments in the next couple of weeks where Vick is flying around and thinks, "Oh no! I need to slide or go out of bounds or something!" and something really weird happens as a result. We'll see. I imagine the Eagles can deal with a mistake born out of this new self-consciousness as long as it's not one that gets their man injured.