Refreshed Eagles look to turn season around after long bye week

Andy Reid is one of the few coaches in the NFL that gives his players an entire week off on the bye. He wants them to take their minds off football, refresh their batteries and come back ready to attack.

The strategy has worked for the coach, since he holds a 13-0 record following the bye. Some players stay in the area, like Jeremy Maclin, who just relaxed and watched his St. Louis Cardinals drop Game 7 of the NLCS.

Mike Vick went home to Virginia. When his SUV incurred a flat tire along the way, he received help from an auto body shop in Maryland and addressed a group of gymnasts at a local gym there.

While posing for pictures and giving out advice, Vick never once thought about his status of being the starting quarterback for the Eagles.

“No, it was never a time when I didn’t know whether I was going to be the starter or not,” said Vick. “Quite frankly, I know what I can do when I’m out there and I know what has to happen when I’m out there on the football field. That’s my approach now, to go out there and get the job done, we’ll see what happens.”

The Eagles held a light practice Monday back at the NovaCare Complex. They’ll hit it for real today as they look to save a season that appears to be slipping away. Reid’s teams tend to thrive at this time of year, holding an 11-4 record in games played after the bye over the last two seasons.

“I think the coaches use the bye to figure out what works and what doesn’t. What are we excelling at and what we can get better at,” Vick said. “It definitely helps and it’s something that you have to do. Hopefully, we can get this thing turned around and I’m optimistic that we will.”

Patterson back at practice, wants to play

Mike Patterson is one of the cheeriest guys in the Eagles’ locker room. The 29-year-old always seems to be in a good mood. Strange, considering all he’s been through.

Patterson returned to practice Monday for the first time since undergoing brain surgery. He’s not close to being activated, but there is an outside shot he could play.

“I’m not in the rotation right now, so like I said, they’re just going to take it slow,” he said. “We’re going to see how things work out. The big man [Andy Reid], he’s just not in a rush to get me out there and risk anything.”

Patterson, who suffered a seizure and collapsed on the field at Lehigh in August 2011, wants to play again. The team has until after Week 9 to make a decision. Otherwise, he’ll be placed on injured reserve.

“Just kind of happy to be back,” Patterson said. “Just got to take it one day at a time and just wait patiently until I get back on that real field.”