According to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, ignoring the enormous risk to his future, has gathered his teammates together for a workout in an unknown location in southern New Jersey.
About 15 players were in attendance, including tight end Brent Celek and wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson has already politely declined to take part in any workouts, and is instead training by himself in southern California.
Minnesota Vikings running back Albert Young was also in attendance.
Although no one has mentioned his name specifically as being a part of these workouts, running back LeSean McCoy was known to be in the area and has said recently he would be more than willing to attend any workouts Vick decided to put together.
There are varying opinions on how much help these informal workouts actually are, with some agents, general managers, and head coaches even going so far as to discourage them because of the risk of injury. Eagles head coach Andy Reid is not one of those people, but he understands the workouts are not a substitute for what the team would usually be doing right now.
“Is it practice at the same tempo you’re going to do (with the team)? No,” Reid told the Philadelphia Daily News recently. “But it at least keeps them fresh.”
It’s important to keep these workouts in perspective. I have heard some casual fans make the remark that the lockout isn’t hurting anyone yet because the guys are putting together these workouts on their own but, as Reid pointed out, that could not be further from the truth.
There is no substitute for holding a practice run by your coaches with the entire team on hand, and missing too many of those will greatly diminish the quality of play.
The best thing these informal workouts can do is keep the guys fresh, help them keep up with their timing, and maybe build a little camaraderie—or, in other words, make sure they don’t lose anything between now and organized team workouts, when they can actually start gaining something.