Turned out, he was even more impressive confronted by us than he had been earlier in the evening confronted for the first time in two football seasons by rampaging defensive linemen and linebackers. That was quite a feat because Vick, the vanquished Falcons' quarterback, was just about perfect -- 4-for-4 passing with one run for one yard that should've been for none or worse -- playing a few plays in the sport he had foolishly removed himself from with criminal activity two years ago.
But what Vick did after the game, in which his new team beat the Jaguars, was more important than what he did in it. And what he did before the game was more important too, making an appearance in a Newport News, Va., bankruptcy court where he let a judge know that he fully understood his responsibilities to his creditors.
That's what it is all about for Michael Vick this year. It isn't about football. It is about what he does before and after his games. After all, it wasn't poor decision-making on the field that chased him from the game; it was poor decision-making off of it.
He spoke with the humility you would expect of a young man who wasted so much so quickly. He was respectful of every question fired his way. He was a sympathetic figure.
"I just want to help this football team win, whatever I have to do" Vick said when asked what he hoped his role would be when the regular season started. "I just want to be able to make plays, to be able to say I contributed and that I helped this football team reach that one common goal. That is winning at the end of the day and hopefully wining a championship.
"I am humbled," he said, sporting a long sleeve collared shirt that was as white, as angelic white, as it could be. It draped over his dark jeans that tumbled into a pair of high top Nike basketball shoes that were as heavenly white as his shirt.
There will undoubtedly be those among us who root against Michael Vick for the rest of his life because of what he was convicted and sentenced to prison for doing, torturing dogs to death in an intrastate dogfighting operation he bankrolled and helped oversee. A handful of them turned up outside of Philly's stadium hours before kickoff. Three women carried a handmade sign denouncing Vick as a murderer. Another woman carried a T-shirt she unfurled when asked that called Vick her "dog." That was it.
It was refreshing to see in a city like Philadelphia that threatened to be so unwelcoming to Vick, and has an infamous history of nastiness, that it could turn the other cheek and give him a chance at redemption. The Eagles fans in Lincoln Field, a smattering of whom even sported Vick jerseys that at least one local sports store said it wouldn't sell, even greeted Vick's entry to the game on the second Eagles snap with a cheer.
"We were all wondering how the fans were going to react, and when they started cheering we were going nuts," another backup Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb said. "We all feel for him and we want the best for him, and obviously [Thursday] was a good start in that direction."
Vick has had one stumble in his return to the public's eye. He was caught enjoying a cocktail at a watering hole. He quickly learned from his new mentor, former NFL coach Tony Dungy, that wasn't the thing to do.
What is the thing to do is what he did for the Humane Society the other day, appearing in a promotional video for the animal welfare group talking about the need to care for pets. What is the thing to do is continue to show as he did Thursday night his contrition and remorse and thankfulness for the second chance he's received.
"I never envisioned myself coming out in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform," he said of his daydreaming in prison. "It was kind of a surreal feeling when I was coming out of the locker room and I see all these big guys in front of me and I see the Philadelphia Eagles symbol on the helmet and the green and the white. I had to kind of pinch myself to remind myself that it was real.
"It was something that I've been waiting for a long time and to actually suit up and get ready to go out and play a game, regardless of if it's the preseason or the regular season, it's been a long journey for me and I just want to do it right this time around and make the most of my situation."
Michael Vick is off to a proper start.