Al Davis Needs To Pick Up Michael Vick and Save The Raiders.
First off, I want to clear the air about Michael Vick. I think what he did is just inhuman. I have nothing but pity for those poor dogs, and I have nothing but contempt for Michael Vick the person.
However, in football, a general manager cannot choose a player based on the public opinion. It is hard enough to find great athletes, but if one starts using a filter process then it is like finding needles in haystacks.
A general manager has to evaluate talent first, then personality second. Vick is a felon, but he has athletic ability the common man dreams about.
Many experts have called Vick one of the fastest players in football. He is probably the fastest quarterback in the history of football. If a general manager looks at this guy, knows he needs a guy like this, and just passes him over, he wouldn't be doing his job. He would be hurting the team.
Let us assume that Vick has kept his athleticism, and that he will be a decent locker room personality. Where would he go? He can easily be a backup, but the top overall pick of 2001 is going to want to start somewhere.
The most logical place for Vick to go is to Raider Nation.
1. The Oakland Raiders need a quarterback who can produce: JaMarcus Russell is looking like a bust. It is not a fact yet, but he needs to get much better or he'll be nothing in the NFL but an over-sized quarterback. He needs to learn fast. Vick may not be the best mentor, but he is better than nothing.
2. Al Davis is the most likely guy to use Vick: This is the man who drafted a punter in the first round of the 1975 draft. Davis has always done things a little differently and not just to do them, but because he believes it's right. The Raiders of the '70s and '80s were not your ordinary guys. They had Ted Hendricks (who had at least one screw loose in his head), Ken Stabler (the party animal of the decade), and I can go on and on about Jack Tatum, George Atkinson, Fred Biletnikoff, Lester Hayes, and more.
Vick fits right in there perfectly.
3. The Raiders need to win now and get respect back: The Raiders may not be the worst team in the league right now record-wise. That title belongs to the Detroit Lions, but this isn't a ordinary team, this is the Raiders. Just six years ago they were in the Super Bowl. The Raiders have three Vince Lombardi Trophies and five Championship titles. This team's " commitment to excellence" has been successful, while the Lions haven't been to playoffs in over 10 years. It is one thing to always be bad, but to become bad so quickly is tragic, not only to the franchise but to its fans.
4. Michael Vick's abilities can help Darren McFadden: By now, teams know that Russell is a pocket quarterback. They know that he can't run with the ball, so when they look for the run they expect Darren McFadden or Justin Fargas to carry it. However, if you have a quarterback who can run with the ball, it makes the defense have to look for one more target. They have to wonder whether Vick has it or whether McFadden has it, so it helps relieve pressure off of McFadden.
Davis can save not one, but three top five overall draft picks by making this move. He can get Russell in the position to learn, he can help McFadden make progress, and he can get Vick back in the game he desperately needs to play.
The big bonus is that Vick is going to be begging for a spot, so the salary they can give him may be much lower than what he normally would get. Therefore, the Raiders could save a ton of money in cap space after paying Russell and McFadden so much money.
Davis has been labeled as crazy, as a guy who is losing his touch, and as a less than competent general manager. The best move he can make to show he still has it is to pick up Vick and get him back to his old self. This young man has rushed for over a thousand yards in a season, and he did it with Warrick Dunn rushing for over a thousand yards as well.
You get Vick and you get a chance at making a running game to match no other in the league, so pick him up Al!
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