Michael Vick at Quarterback? No Thanks
Countless times, I've heard people make such statements as: "His performance on the field will make everyone forget about his off-the-field troubles," or "All the teams that pass on Vick will regret it midway through the season."
After Vick participated in a private workout with the New England Patriots, and the organization stated that they were already set at the QB position, I heard one local radio personality questioning this claim: "Are they sure about that? They're gonna be lining up to get him around Week Six."
I couldn't believe it. Am I missing something? Is Michael Vick that good? Would I risk the potential backlash/protesting/media circus that would come with him playing quarterback for my team?
Is he worth it?
Let's pretend for a second that the dogfighting thing didn't happen, because that's not what this article is about. I am not arguing or even talking about whether or not Vick should be given a second chance in the NFL. This is about Vick as a football player and what he can bring to an NFL team.
However, even though we are ignoring the off-the-field issues, we can't ignore the fact that he hasn't played football since the '06-'07 season.
You have to take that into consideration when talking about his value and what he has to offer at this point in time.
What I really don't understand is the talk of him returning to the league as a quarterback. What has he really done at the quarterback position throughout his career?
Great quarterbacks are ultimately measured by the win-loss column, and he led the Falcons to two winning seasons out of six. He currently has a career quarterback rating of 75.5, and it has never topped 82.0 in a single season.
His highest single-season completion percentage was 56.4 percent, and for his career he has thrown 71 touchdowns to 52 interceptions—not exactly the model of efficiency.
The classic argument for Vick is that he isn't the greatest passer but his strength is running outside of the pocket and using his speed, explosiveness, etc...I get it. It was fun to watch sometimes, and if they gave out trophies for "most fun to watch" he probably would have won his fair share.
The best rushing season of his career was the '06-'07 season, with 1,039 yards rushing, averaging almost 65 yards a game. Pretty impressive except for the fact that he guided his team to a not-so-impressive 7-9 record. He's also put the ball on the ground 55 times in his career, more than one out of every 10 times he carried the ball.
I believe ultimately Michael Vick was a "single-threat" quarterback disguised as a "dual-threat." Once teams realized that if you could get an early lead on the Falcons, they could never climb out of the hole because Vick couldn't carry the team down the field with his arm.
He could run all over the field, but everyone knows running the ball when you're already down a couple touchdowns is not how you win football games. Plus, Vick always lacked the real qualities any truly successful quarterbacks should have: intensity, toughness, leadership, killer instinct, the ability to put the team on his back, etc...
Keep in mind all of this was before he took two years off from the NFL. You're telling me that a player whose career was based on athleticism, explosiveness, speed, agility, and quickness is going to take two years off from the grind of an NFL season and come back just as effective?
I'll believe it when I see it.
All signs point to Vick getting signed to an NFL team in the very near future, and I think he will. I think he'll make a decent return man or a second or third option at receiver. He may even do well in the Wildcat offense or some variation of it.
However, if Vick returns as a quarterback, and plays just as effectively as he did two years ago (which is a long-shot), that's still nothing to get excited about.
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