A friend of mine asked me Friday what I think Michael Vick will do with the Eagles. My response? Not much.
Everyone talks about how dynamic Vick was during his time in Atlanta. He could scramble, run, shake off tacklers and overthrow wide receivers with the best of them.
As a QB, the ability to run and use quickness and shiftiness to avoid tacklers is an asset to be treasured. As a receiver or a running back, those abilities are standard fare.
And, given that the Eagles say they have no intention of playing Vick at quarterback (except in the occasional “Wildcat” formation), he is most likely to line up as a receiver, is he really that great a “talent”?
I get it. When he was the Falcons’ starting QB they led the NFL in rushing three times, with the lefty cracking the 1,000 yard plateau once and amassing more than 900 yards one season as well and when he wasn’t around, the team slipped to 26th in the league in rushing.
But why do people think the rushing ability he had as a quarterback will lead to positive results at another position? Fact is Vick is not a running back and he is not a wide receiver. He is not going to take a handoff in the backfield and hit a hole, running through tacklers in the process, and he’s not going to be running routes down the field.
At this point Vick’s only role on a team is in a gimmick offense that will likely be used less than 10 times a game, and one defenses will most certainly catch up to once they’ve seen it enough.
No, I’m not saying that a guy who ran a 4.33 40-yard dash is totally useless to a football team. I’m saying that this guy who ran a 4.33 40-yard dash is totally useless to a football team.
It is not unheard of for former QBs to make the transition to other positions on the field (the Cardinals have a success story in Anquan Boldin), but the switch usually happens sometime in college or during the player’s rookie season – not when one is entering his seventh season in the league.
Granted, I can understand why the Eagles made the move to add Vick. They have a window to finally win a Super Bowl, and it will not be open much longer. They were close last season and, on the heels of the Phillies’ World Series title, the Eagles may be afraid of losing their hold on the market. Plus, Donovan McNabb is getting up there in age, and Kevin Kolb does not seem to be a viable successor to the 32-year-old, so the Eagles may be looking to add a new QB of the future.
But Michael Vick is not the answer, unless the question is “Who is one of the most overrated players in recent NFL history?” With a career completion percentage under 54 and a host of receivers whose careers fell apart, Vick does not make the players around him better.
Oh, he is 38-28-1 as a starting QB you say? Well his last two seasons he was 15-16, so one would have to wonder if the NFL had figured out how to stop him, especially considering his completion percentage was the lowest it had been in three seasons.
NFL teams win by taking risks. The Patriots added Randy Moss and did not lose a game until the Super Bowl, and only a few years back the very same Eagles traded for the mercurial Terrell Owens and watched him lead them to their only Super Bowl appearance in the McNabb/Andy Reid era.
But, in this case, the risk is not at all close to being worth the reward. There will most certainly be protests, possibly season ticket cancellations, upset advertisers, and a general loss of likeability by the general public. Sure, winning tends to cure all ills, and the Eagles may win a lot of games, but it won’t be because of anything Michael Vick does.