FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The words were uttered in reverence, but truth be told, it made Michael Vick uneasy.
As the quarterback issued instructions to a young fullback during practice last week, the player responded "Yes, sir" -- much to Vick's dismay.
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"That baffled me a little bit," the veteran QB said Wednesday, half-jokingly. "I'm not that old. I've got to reiterate that over and over again. I may be 10 or 12 years their senior, but you start calling me 'Sir,' I've got to start thinking about retirement."
While Vick -- who is involved in a quarterback "competition" of sorts with Geno Smith -- tries to prove he's still got the talent and speed to be a viable NFL starter, his teammates can't help but be in awe of his presence.
"It's pretty cool, man," slot receiver Jeremy Kerley said. "I try not to be star-struck, but that was my guy growing up. When he was in Atlanta, I was a big fan. So just to catch passes [from him], it's a special thing. So hopefully we can get to the season and just get going."
Vick can't count the number of times he's been told by former teammates and football fans around the world that he was their QB pick when playing the Madden NFL video game. But now that he's nearing the tail end of his professional career, Vick is isn't fond of being reminded about his age.
"It definitely makes me feel old. I can tell you that," said Vick, who turns 34 on June 26.
But for guys like Kerley and rookie receiver Jalen Saunders, it's hard to ignore the fact that their childhood idol is in their huddle. But Kerley is careful not to let Vick know how much he meant to him growing up.
"I don't want to blow his head up," Kerley said with a smile.
Vick, meanwhile, is trying to get accustomed to his new playbook and the level of respect he commands in the locker room. The former Eagle said he didn't bother correcting his teammate for answering back "Yes, sir." But he definitely hopes it doesn't happen again.
"We got a good laugh off it," Vick said. "But seriously, deep down I really didn't think it was funny."
Notes & quotes: Rex Ryan had no problems with Eric Decker skipping Wednesday's voluntary OTA in order to present an award with his wife, country-pop singer Jessie James, at Wednesday night's Country Music Television Awards in Nashville. "Speaking as a married guy, [I] absolutely recommended that you would go to that," Ryan said.