[Richard spends five minutes laughing, regains composure, sighs and returns to the keyboard]
Absolutely, 100 percent not.
To paraphrase a popular 1960s song (whose title I forget, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the Rolling Stones), “No no no no no no no no no no no!”
If I were speaking Mandarin Chinese, I’d say: Bù!
If I were speaking Russian: Нет!
And if I were speaking Hebrew: !לא
Yes, I know Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is into trying to take decrepit players and remodel and redesign them in his own image and turn them into perennial Pro Bowlers and Mr. Big D in hopes of someday inducting them into the Ring of Honor, but I hope he passes on Michael Vick.
Somewhere there’s an NFL team that will take a gamble and sign Vick to the veterans’ minimum and give him a chance to recreate his left-chinstrap-buckle-dangling, throw-the-ball-100-yards while dancing around defenders. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who acquired troubled receiver Randy Moss a few years ago, has praised Vick's athleticism.
I just hope the team Vick ends up with isn't the Cowboys.
And I’m pretty certain it won’t be the Cleveland Browns.* Would the famed Dawg Pound really accept Vick and forgive him?
A friend who works as a reporter in Texas says Jerry Jones isn’t interested in Vick. I hope that’s the case; perhaps after getting burned on Adam “Please Don’t Call Me Pac-Man” Jones, Jerry Jones is employing the “once bitten, twice shy” approach.
Not to say Vick will try to fight bodyguards or get into more trouble with police, but Dallas’ locker room chemistry was one of the reasons for its problems last year. I don’t see how Vick will help things out.
I could be wrong. That does happen, occasionally.
We recall the last time Jones brought a disgraced quarterback to the Cowboys was Ryan Leaf. Granted, Leaf didn’t pull any “Don’t [EXPLETIVE]-ing talk to me! Knock it off! All right?!” embarrassments while with the Cowboys, but he wasn’t able to take up the mantle that had been cast on the ground since the release and retirement of Troy Aikman. Granted, part of that was an injured wrist that never seemed to heal.
Still, considering Tony Romo, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee (who’s supposed to be really good) and another free agent are in training camp, why would Dallas need another quarterback?
I know, I know: Kitna’s there for veteran insurance and is in the twilight of his not-great-but-not-bad career while McGee no doubt is learning the game in case Romo ends up becoming one of those not-quite stellar quarterbacks.
So far, the Cowboys seem pretty impressed with McGee, a quarterback largely overlooked by other teams because he went to Texas A&M, a school that traditionally runs the ball.**
IF the Cowboys should choose to risk their nose being wide open (as they say in casinos to describe a sucker who gambles away a fortune) by signing Vick, it would make more sense for the Cowboys to sign Vick as a Kordell “Slash” Stewart” wide receiver…you know, someone who’s fast, can catch passes, and who’s a threat to also throw.
Here’s why: Vick has always come across to me as someone whose NFL success stems more from being a great runner with a rocket arm than a great pure quarterback. He’s also six feet tall, short for a quarterback. I can think of four stature-challenged men who’ve had successful NFL careers: Doug Flutie (5’9”), Fran Tarkenton (5’10”), and both Joe Theismann and Drew Brees (6’0”).
But as I’ve watched Vick, I’ve never been very impressed with his ability to read defenses; I seem to remember in the NFC championship game [YEAR] against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Eagles thwarted Vick by laying off blitzes and making him throw the ball instead of trying to make something happen on the go.
My understanding is Vick could be playing in the NFL by October. As long as he keeps a low profile and doesn’t shoot himself in the proverbial foot, and as long as he can still run and throw and make things happen, someone will take a chance on him.
* Truth be told, I have lots of admiration for the Cleveland Browns. Their fans will show up and cheer for the team regardless of the weather and how good or poorly the team’s playing. If there’s one team I’d love to see win a Super Bowl, it’s Cleveland.
** I’ll never forget watching the ESPN movie The Junction Boys, about when legendary Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant took over the reins at Texas A&M early in his career.A quarterback tried to get out of practice with a sore arm, only to be told that since the Aggies would throw the ball maybe “twice in a decade”, having a sore arm wasn’t a sufficient excuse. Granted, according to Junction Boy and future Alabama head coach Gene Stallings, the movie had some fiction in it, but I found the line to be funny all the same.