Michael Vick is one of the most athletic men ever to play quarterback in the National Football League, although he’s been heavily criticized for his run-first, pass-second philosophy, and his refusal to slide that has led to serious durability issues throughout his career.
Since being drafted first overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 NFL draft, Vick has started all 16 games in a season just once, and he’s missed significant action for the Philadelphia Eagles in each of the last two years. Last season alone, he suffered a concussion, a hand contusion that was initially thought to be a broken hand, a dislocated finger and eventually several broken ribs that led to Vince Young starting and the season going down the drain.
Vick is a premier quarterback when he’s on his game. He can be deadly accurate, he can throw the football nearly the length of the field, which is perfect for a big-play wide receiver like DeSean Jackson, and he is a threat to score every time he takes off to run.
Vick showed what he can do during the stretch run of the 2010 season, when he led the Eagles to a division title and put his name into the MVP discussion.
He finished the campaign with 21 touchdowns to just six interceptions, including a handful of performances that were simply legendary—first, the six-touchdown game against the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football and then, the amazing 21-point comeback against the New York Giants in the DeSean Jackson punt return game.
It’s performances like that that make me honestly believe as an Eagles fan that the team can win a Super Bowl with Vick, although nearly everything would have to go right. In no way can Vick play like he did last year—throwing 14 interceptions, fumbling 11 times, missing three starts due to injury and showing almost no clutch gene in the fourth quarter of close games.
However, if he plays as he did down the stretch in ’10, it really could happen.
In recent years, the Super Bowl winner seems to be the team that gets hot at the right time, and the Eagles have the potential to be that team. The offense is stacked with weapons, the offensive line is the divison’s best—even without Jason Peters—and the defensive line has the potential to be the NFL’s best in quite some time.
Vick is 32 years old and he’s entering a big year with recent draft pick Nick Foles in the waiting, so Vick better take Philly on a deep playoff run if he wants to prove that a running quarterback really can win a Super Bowl.
Better yet, given Vick’s age, his injury history and the fact that Andy Reid could be in his final year as a head coach of the Eagles, Vick better win it all this year if he wants it to happen.