Read the opposing argument from Babe Ruthless.
With everyone so high on Michael Vick right now it’s tough to imagine he was one of the most despised men in America just a few years ago. His actions caused former fans to burn his jersey and made him the punch line of countless jokes. Yet with two good performances on the books in the 2010 NFL season, everyone seems ready to forgive and forget his antics. I am not be so hasty.
Appearances May Be Deceiving
Contrary to popular belief, Michael Vick still can’t run with the big dogs. What, too soon? Well it’s true. He is completely overrated, and it is an absolute shame that Michael Vick had such a great game Sunday, because now Philly fans will expect outings like that all the time, and there is no way he keeps it up. Seriously, he just can’t do it.
Last Sunday Vick threw for 284 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Projecting stats like those across the rest of the season Vick would have to throw for 3,976 yards and 28 touchdowns in the remaining 14 games. Those stats are completely implausible for Vick. Those numbers surpass his career bests (2,936 yards in 2002 and 20 passing touchdowns in 2006) by miles. Vick played a ridiculously great game… for Vick. But even that has to be put into context. Michael Vick was playing against the Detroit Lions. You know the same team that has only won two games in the last two seasons. So Vick’s numbers were somewhat inflated. It was one really good week playing a below average team that was getting his first start in years. While he is certainly a more than capable backup, he’s not the long term answer. Just like his Atlanta days, teams will figure him out, and when they do his numbers will come down to Earth… and Philly fans will eat him alive (a fitting punishment if I do say so myself).
You Can’t Teach An Old Dog Beater New Tricks
Expecting Michael Vick to behave is like expecting Kanye West to not be a jerk. It simply isn’t going to happen. Give Vick enough rope and he’s going to hang himself. How many second chances was he given in his Atlanta days before he ended up behind bars? Long before Vick’s dog fighting ring days he was making headlines for stupid actions which jeopardized his future with the team.
First there was the infamous herpes case, where Vick was accused of knowingly giving a sexual partner a sexually transmitted disease that he kept quiet about (Editor’s Note: Also inspiring Sports Geek’s fantasy football team name, Ron Mexico’s Puppy Farm.). And to think he didn’t try to parlay that into an endorsement deal. Then, he made headlines again for surrounding himself with friends that included former drug traffickers. He was even implicated in a scandal involving the theft of a very expensive watch and his posse of world class losers. Despite meetings with team officials about making good decisions for himself and his team, he continued to act irresponsibly. Later, Vick came under scrutiny for connections to drugs in 2007 after trying to sneak drugs past TSA agents in a Florida airport. While these actions may seem like small potatoes in comparison to his piece de résistance – his dog fighting ring – it proves that Vick has a long track record of being a world class loser. Vick’s track record has shown no signs of overcoming his character flaws even after his time in the slammer, so why should Andy Reid trust him to be better when he can’t even throw a birthday party without people getting shot. To trust him with the ball and the future of the Eagles’ organization makes about as much sense as hiring Lindsay Lohan as a motivational speaker.
Kolb is Still the Man
Everyone loves a winner and Vick’s wins have made it hard for fans to remember that he is still just a backup quarterback. Andy Reid is no fool. He was willing to deal Donovan McNabb, within the division no less. because he had faith in his starter – Kevin Kolb. Similarly, there is a reason that Andy Reid was willing to entrust the lesser experienced Kevin Kolb with the starting gig over the more experienced Vick. Clearly Reid likes what he saw in the sporadic playing time Kolb has had over the past few years. There is no doubt that his pocket passing ability will serve him well in Reid’s offense, which is made stronger by the acquisition of guys like DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
There is no controversy here. Vick himself admits he is okay with being Kolb’s backup, so all this hubbub is much ado about nothing. Andy Reid should not just discard all his plans because of one uncharacteristically good start by a backup, and one untimely concussion to his starter (and I’m not alone in this belief).
Taking nothing away from Vick, who is a more than capable backup quarterback and has the potential to be a starter elsewhere in the league, he just isn’t the guy the Eagles need right now. And for that matter, until he proves he is trustworthy (which his birthday blowout proved once again he’s not) he’s a risk for any organization for which he plays. Kolb was made for the Philly offense. The smart money is on the young man with a lot of upside, and both Andy Reid and Michael Vick have to know this.