Teammates tried to strip Vick of football he carried around Eagles facility this week

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Anyone familiar with the film The Program likely remembers that James Caan, playing a college football coach, had Omar Epps, playing a fumble-prone freshman running back in love with Halle Berry, carry a football around campus with him so that he could work on holding onto the football while his teammates tried to knock the ball loose.

It worked well enough for ESU to win the big game at the end of the movie. The Eagles are hoping that life imitates art.

Quarterback Michael Vick carried a football to meals and meetings around the Eagles facility all week and the rest of the team was charged with knocking it loose. Vick has fumbled eight times already this season, including three in last week’s loss to the Steelers, and the team needs him to to stop being careless with the football. Vick joked about there being a bounty on the ball, but said that the exercise was not a laughing matter.

“Breakfast, to the meetings, lunch. Everyone thought it was funny, but I didn’t,” Vick said in comments distributed by the team. “That’s how much I care about this team and that’s how much I care about our success and winning on Sundays. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that I take care of my responsibilities.”

Vick said he didn’t think the focus on his fumbles would be a distraction to him once the game agains the Lions gets underway. If that turns out to be false, it could wind up being another frustrating day for the Eagles offense.