Where Michael Vick Belongs: Hold the Dawg Pound Jokes

jeff HubbardCorrespondent IJune 15, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 31:  Michael Vick #7 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles in NFL action December 31, 2006 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles won 24-17.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I hate to be the one to break it to you but Michael Vick has been tried, convicted and served his sentence.

Move on and let him continue his career. I will not condone dog fighting but greater transgressions have passed with less fanfare. 

Let Michael Vick get back to where he belongs.

Only let’s recognized that Michael has never belonged at Quarterback. Kordell Stewart belonged there more than Vick.

Michael is the prototype wing-back for an innovative offense: He’s fast, he’s can make  people miss in the open field if he were to catch the ball in the flat, he’s big enough to cut back inside on a wing-back option, and he can throw well enough to keep Safeties honest. 

Ideally, you’d pair the new slot receiver/wing back, Vick, with a big I-back. Someone to benefit from the Safety being pulled out of the box—a tall but less than blazing WR to create potential matchup problems, a quarterback who has played a variation of an option offense or is athletic enough to, and a coach who has shown a willingness to experiment with athletes who played quarterback at WR. 

You may even want to throw in a double wing with a second quarterback turned WR who should be a running back.

Now where can you find all those things plus a roster with not one but two offensive weapons who have lived exemplary lives after serving jail time?

Let’s see that big back in Cleveland has slowed a bit but the starter is still Jamal Lewis by default. Lewis could play role model for Vick having kept clean since serving his time.

That tall WR/s could turn out to be Braylon Edwards and Paul Hubbard, both would benefit from having a threat at wing-back more than they would from the extra second FB Charles Ali’s blocking buys there QB.

The quarterback in Cleveland is either the athletic Brady Quinn of the former option quarterback in Derek Anderson.

The Coach Eric Mangini spent seasons in New York developing athletic quarterback Brad Smith to play Wide Receiver.

Even the potential second wing-back who moved from QB is already in place with PR/KR/WR/QB (should be RB or WB at 6’1” and 215) Josh Cribbs. Cribbs is a natural roommate for Vick having been clean since his arrest on drug charges and subsequent clean streak.

Yes, all the pieces are in place. Picture the Browns in a two wide, single-back set with Cribbs and Vick in the slot and if you aren’t blinded by the criminal records or the audacity of such a Mouse Davis like system you could get excited by the prospect.

See, the fact is Michael Vick earned his new start, he did his time, paid his debt, his further punishment would be not being trusted with the leadership role at Quarterback.

Cleveland could use a game breaker as the Browns have the role models and inventive coach.

And there’s something strangely satisfying about picturing Vick leaping into the waiting arms of Cleveland fans in the end zone known as the Dawg Pound.

Of course, it will never happen, because Michael Vick will want more than a return to the NFL. He’ll want a return to a position he never should have played to begin with, at a salary he's proved he doesn't know how to handle, in a role that requires leadership and maturity. 

If he doesn't he could become what Slash Stewart almost was.