Michael Vick: Why his Career with the Philadelphia Eagles Won't Have a Happy End
Michael Vick has had a tumultuous year to say the least. After earning the starting job thanks to his play after a random injury to Kevin Kolb in the 2010 season opener, he went on to have a career season and be named the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year for 2010.
In 2011, he came in as the starting quarterback of the supposed "Dream Team," a Philadelphia Eagles squad that was thinking Super Bowl or bust.
Now five weeks into the 2011 season, Vick stands as the quarterback of a terrible 1-4 team, and there are questions to be answered.
Given the very nature of the NFL in addition to the harsh consequences for underachieving in Philadelphia professional sports, it is already time to wonder if the $100 million man's days are numbered.
If history can teach us us anything, the answer would be yes.
5. Vick Cannot Stay Healthy
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That $100 million contract better come with some warranties, because this product breaks all the time.
Jokes aside, yesterday's loss to the Buffalo Bills marked the first time in four games that Michael Vick did not find himself dinged up in some way. His style of play does not lend itself to staying healthy, either.
A quarterback who runs the ball constantly is not going to get some of the flags that pocket QBs receive, and there is always a risk of getting hurt when you are being hammered by linebackers and defensive tackles 10 times per game.
If Vick continues on his current path, he WILL eventually end up with a major injury, and it is unlikely that anyone in the Philly front office will want to pony up the $60 million in non-guaranteed money for a guy who might be hurt every season....especially when the backups play well (Mike Kafka).
Vick is potentially one serious injury away from the unemployment line.
4. Vick Is Not a True Leader
How often does a quarterback not get voted a team captain? There must be a reason that his teammates decided not to confer the honor upon him, especially given that he is the most important piece of the Eagle offense.
Moreover, it is a rare leader who will take the podium to whine and make excuses after a loss. Don't think for even one second that Aaron Rodgers, Josh Freeman or Tom Brady would EVER complain about the refs on the stand after losing a game.
After a stunning loss to the Buffalo Bills, Brady was recorded saying "We played a good football team and made too many mistakes." Have a listen to Vick's press conference above...impressed?
The Philadelphia Eagles are lacking leadership from their coaches. Without coaching leadership, a locker room needs leaders among the players.
What good is a quarterback who can't inspire his team?
3. Vick Cannot Win the Crowd
Anyone who has seen the film Gladiator knows how important it is to win the hearts of the crowd.
Thanks to his dog-killing exploits, there will always be a portion of the fanbase that hates him on a fundamental level, even in Philadelphia.
The more losses Vick racks up, the more the crowd is going to turn on him. His star power does not offer him any protection, either.
Remember a guy named Donovan McNabb? He is the single greatest passer in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles, and he was run out of town. Five NFC Championship appearances and a Super Bowl appearance couldn't save him from the consequences of not winning a ring, and Vick will not likely fare any better.
2. Andy Reid's Successor May Not Be a Vick Advocate
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Andy Reid is the reason Michael Vick has a job. He convinced the Philadelphia Eagles' front office to give an ex-convict a second chance.
After 12 years of coaching, no rings and now an apparent 2011 debacle, Andy Reid could be on his last leg with the organization.
The team has two serviceable backup quarterbacks, and if the quality of Vick's play continues to slide, the next coach (whenever that is) could decide to go in a different direction.
After all, new regimes tend to bring new quarterbacks.
1. The Expectations Are Too High
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"Super Bowl or bust" is a very dangerous mentality, no matter who you are. If you're a quarterback in the second year of a comeback, it isn't where you want to be.
No matter what Vick does, this season and the next few will be considered failures in Philadelphia if they don't at least make a deep playoff run, and now it is entirely possible that they miss the 2011 playoffs completely.
No matter how much talent, coaching or leadership a team has, winning the Super Bowl is still a total crap-shoot. Moreover, Michael Vick's durability, lack of leadership and poor pocket performance do not bode well for a playoff run.
Philadelphia is a city and team that dumped Donovan McNabb despite his aforementioned NFC title game and Super Bowl appearances.
There is no reason to believe that Mike Vick will receive any more leniency than McNabb did. After so many ring-less years, he might get even less. The bar is high.
If Vick cannot deliver a title to the City of Brotherly Love in the next two or three years, he may find himself out on his ear before he can blink.
He won't be able to blame the refs for that one.