- Kieran Darcy, ESPNNewYork.com
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PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Vick's homecoming was short, but sweet.
Following a first-down handoff to Daryl Richardson, Jets coach Rex Ryan called a timeout and sent third-string QB Matt Simms onto the field. Vick was handed a visor to replace his helmet, and when the fans in half-full Lincoln Financial Field gave him a hearty cheer as he left the field, Vick doffed the visor in thanks.
"It was great," Vick said. "It was very warm. It was what I expected and I'm glad it turned out that way. It goes to show that the things that you did do were greatly appreciated."
Vick spent the past five seasons with the Eagles before signing with the Jets as a free agent this past offseason. Ryan said it was his decision to send Vick out there, and then pull him after just one play.
"It was something that, obviously I know what Mike thinks about his time in Philadelphia, the people in Philadelphia and obviously I know how Philadelphia thought of Mike -- the city of Philly and the Eagle fans," Ryan said. "So I just thought it was an appropriate thing to do, kind of send him off that way."
Vick said he was surprised by the quick hook, and that he was prepared to play at least a quarter.
"As a competitor, you always want to play," Vick said. "My mindset was to go in to play, but it was abruptly brought to an end. It was [Ryan's] decision. I wasn't going to argue that."
The game was also a reunion of sorts for ex-Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, now the backup to Nick Foles with the Eagles. Sanchez's up-and-down five-year tenure with the Jets ended last season, which he spent on injured reserve after suffering a shoulder injury in a preseason game against the New York Giants.
Ryan was criticized by many for sending Sanchez into that game against the Giants behind a backup offensive line. But Ryan and Sanchez embraced on the field before Thursday's game.
"It was good," Ryan said. "I know he's had a real nice, strong preseason. So that's great to see. I wish nothing but the best for him. He's an outstanding young man and I really mean it. I hope he does well."
4dField Yates and Rich Cimini