Vick, Babin all smiles as Birds prep for opener

Now it begins for real.

The Eagles took the field yesterday for the first regular-season practice of the year. In five days, the team will head to Cleveland for the season opener — with a presumably healthy Mike Vick under center. Vick took all the first-team reps.

“My arm felt fresh and my legs felt good,” Vick said. “I threw the ball really well, and I had a chance to make some throws that I haven’t made in a long time. It felt good to be back, and I’m extremely excited.”

Much of the talk this preseason has been about the emergence of rookie Nick Foles. His progression up the depth chart pushed Mike Kafka off the roster. Trent Edwards locked up the No. 3 spot when roster cuts were announced last Friday. Now, if Vick goes down at any point, Foles will be asked to step in, and that’s something everyone is comfortable with.

“I feel very confident in Nick’s ability to run this offense,” Vick said. “He did a great job in the preseason and had great numbers, showed extreme poise and the ability to make each and every throw. That’s what you look for in a quarterback: the understanding of the game, the big-time arm, and the poise to go out there and remain consistent.”

Defensive end ‘98.9’ percent for Browns

Defensive end Jason Babin was back in pads, too. The sack master has been sidelined since July 28 with a calf injury. Babin expects to play Sunday and put his health at “98.9” percent.

“People are going to be really excited when we get out there and it counts,” he said.

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