Could Michael Vick Be the Kurt Warner of 2008?
Sounds crazy, right?
Kurt Warner is known for his incredible rise from supermarkets to Super Bowls. Michael Vick is known for his mighty fall from superstar to prisoner.
Kurt Warner has always been Johnny Citizen with his positive attitude, charity work, and devoted faith. Michael Vick, even before his fall from grace, was widely regarded as lazy and self-entitled.
So you must be wondering. How is Michael Vick like the Kurt Warner of 2008?
Let me tell you.
Going into the 2008 offseason, the Arizona Cardinals named Matt Leinart as their starting quarterback, despite the presence of Pro-Bowler and former MVP, Kurt Warner, on the roster.
Matt Leinart was seen as a bright and promising young star. While unproven, he had shown glimpses of brilliance, and many viewed him as the future of the franchise.
Going into the 2010 offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles named Kevin Kolb as their starting quarterback, despite the presence of the Pro-Bowler and former NFL icon, Michael Vick, on the roster.
Kevin Kolb is seen as a bright and promising young star. While unproven, he has shown glimpses of brilliance and many view him as the future of the franchise.
Period of Absence from Pro Bowl Play
Going into the 2008-09 season, Kurt Warner had fallen a long way from his glory days with the Rams. It had been six years since his second NFL MVP award and last Super Bowl appearance.
Following his appearance in Superbowl XXXVI, Kurt Warner spent one bad year with the Rams, one bad year with the Giants, and a few bad years with the Cardinals. He had just started to get back on track at the end of the 2007-08 season.
Going into the 2010-11 season, Michael Vick has certainly fallen a long way from his glory days with the Falcons. It has been five years since his third Pro Bowl appearance and last division championship.
Following his last Pro Bowl season, Vick struggled with injury before being suspended in 2007 for dogfighting. He was convicted and served a 23-month sentence. He returned to the NFL for the 2009-10 season and has just started to get back on track.
Return to Form
During the 2008 Cardinals training camp, Kurt Warner showed a return to form. Despite any real recent success, he displayed great confidence in himself.
Kurt Warner told media:
"I believe I'm a proven commodity and that every time I've been given an opportunity, I've performed at an extremely high level...I want to do everything so well that they have to say, 'We can't go against Kurt, because he's something special and because he can do something special for us that nobody else in this camp can do right now.'
"That's what I would like to prove to them, and that's my goal every day—to show them I can do that consistently, and that I can be the best guy for this organization right now."
Kurt Warner backed up his words by outplaying Leinart throughout training camp. And it wasn't even really close.
You have to give a lot of credit to Ken Whisenhunt for naming Kurt Warner as the starter for Week One, despite so much pressure to start Leinart.
The decision proved to be the right one, as Warner went on to have one of the best seasons of his career and led the Cardinals to their first home playoff game and a Super Bowl appearance.
As the Philadelphia Eagles start rookie camps and OTAs, Michael Vick appears to have returned to form. Despite any real recent success he has displayed great confidence in himself.
Michael Vick told media:
"The skills are there, the speed is there. I can move wherever I want to, I feel quick. I feel like my old self. And the good thing is, I haven't had that wear and tear on me the last three years. I haven't been hit, haven't been knocked down, so my legs don't get sore anymore."
"My thing is to just show that I'm worthy of helping this team win football games, and I want to be a part of it."
So far Vick has showed great promise during team activities. It remains to be seen whether Michael Vick will be able to outplay Kevin Kolb throughout training camp.
You have to hope that Andy Reid is willing to name the best quarterback as the starter, despite so much pressure to start Kolb.
Who knows? Maybe Michael Vick can follow in Kurt Warner's footsteps and re-establish himself as a legitimate Hall of Fame contender.
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