Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm Sick of Vick

I'm sick and tired of this one trick pony called Michael Vick. ESPN is constantly promoting this guy to be the poster child of the NFL. Many fans are out of touch with reality when they argue his worth, Vick is not even an average quarterback in the NFL. A few weeks ago Vick himself said that his passing skills were right up there with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady! Hello, I know your cocky and all but I think all of that medication is getting to your head RON MEXICO. After over half a season of play, he has the 14th highst QB ranking in his conference of 16 teams. The statistical QB rating formula has Vick ranked right at the bottom with rookie 6th round draft pick Bruce Gradkowski, benched Drew Bledsoe, and Rookie Matt Leinart.

The Michael Vick legend can really be attibuted to a few things. When he was in college, he had a remarkable National championship game against Florida State. It was a legandary kind of game that comes around only a couple times each decade ( Vince Young vs USC). After he came into the NFL, he entered these popular John Madden football games as the ultimate weapon for video game players. In the game he was one of the fastest players, with one of the strongest arms, with the real decisions not up to Michael but the controller. The final leg that built the Vick legand was the playoff win in Green Bay. He beat the undefeatable Brett Favre in Green Bay on National TV. He didn't REALLY beat the packers that night, but the when the packers committed four turnovers they beat themselves. Nobody remembered the fumble or Keon Carpenter and his intercepting Favre, they just remembered this young #7 dancing around avoiding the pass rush.

In the years Vick has been in the league he hasn't improved. He was originally traded for draft picks which turned into Ladanian Tomlinson and Drew Brees. Right now LT is the best running back in the league and nothing short of a touchdown machine. Drew Brees started out his career slow, but progressed and turned around both the Chargers and now the Saints. Drew Brees is the anti-Michael Vick.

One of the major arguments from Vick supporters is that " He has no receivers, or no team". As of a few weeks ago, Atlanta backs and receivers ranked 11th in the NFC with 6 dropped passes. Philly was leading the league with 19 drops and Green Bay followed with 15, and New Orleans with 11. Michael Vick is now playing with a probowl running back, a probowl tight end, and two 1st round picks at receiver. Drew Brees had 2 key drops in his game last week, but I didn't see him calling his receivers out. After the Saints receivers dropped passes, Brees just went back to work and threw more passes to them. One of the problems for Falcons receiver is that they might only see a few passes a game, and the ones they get are not every accurate.

Not only do Vick fans argue that he has no talented receivers, but Vick has personally sold out his own teammates raising the issue of his receivers and play calling. I thought a Quarterback was supposed to be a leader that made his teammates better, not some guy that threw them under the bus after failure.

Vick uses his teammates as an excuse for poor play, and he even uses his race as an excuse. In an interview with Cris Carter, Vick said the he " wasn't getting the coaching he needed because he was a black QB". When Vick first entered into the NFL he told Sports Illustrated that his mission was to " prove that blacks can play quarterback". He just seems to pound his chest when he performs well, and to hide behind an army of excuses when he fails. After a few poor weeks of play, Vick recently said that Dan Reeves offense suited his skills better, and that he doesn't like playing in the shotgun formation. He also said that he hasn't watched film of himself until a few weeks ago. Now is this a leader, or a guy who throws everybody under the bus when he fails?

Michael hasn't progressed in his entire career. He is the same player today, as he was when he entered the league. I'd attribute a lot of his lack of progression to his character and being lazy. A few weeks ago against Arizona, Vick threw an interception at the goal line to Adrian Wilson. Vick is supposed to be one of the fastest players in the league, and rather than chase down the 230 pound defensive back, Michael took about 5 hard steps and then quit running. While Michael Vick Quit running, the hard working and under sized Warrick Dunn ran down the running back 80 yards to ALMOST make the play. Now who shows leadership? A Quarterback who quit out of frustration or a running back with heart who ran 80 yards from the other side of the field to almost make the play? Vick prides himself on being one of the fastest players in the league, but he just quit. If he is going to quit so easily on game day, what happens when the cameras aren't looking? I just don't see him as the kind of guy putting forth the extra effort. He was born with speed and agility, but I don't think anybody is born an NFL ready quarterback.

In last week’s game against the Steelers, Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was at the opponent’s goal line on a play action rollout play. The fake handoff fooled the defense and Brees could have easily ran the ball into the end zone for the score. Instead of running the ball into the end zone, Brees threw the pass to his receiver Terrance Copper. Michael Vick would have NEVER thrown that pass. Have you ever noticed after Vick scores, he always seems to find the camera and celebrate? Other teammates run to celebrate with him, but he runs away from teammates, and runs to the cameras. He's the player that pounds his chest after a score, but blames his teammates after a loss.

A quarterback has 5 backs and receivers at his disposal strategically placed around the field. It is in a Quarterbacks best interest to use his backs and receivers to stretch out the defense and force them to honor the whole field. It's a lot harder to cover 5 receivers, than it is to cover a QB and a tight end that he locks on to. I know people talk about his feet being the ultimate weapon, but Peyton Mannings arm ( and brain) are a lot more dangerous than Vicks feet. Peyton can throw a football in any direction 50 yards instantly, Vick is only as fast as his legs will take him. Vick was supposed to be an undefendable passer because defenses were supposed to "waste a spy" on him, leaving others open. Vick usually hovers around a 50% completion percentage which fails that argument.

Atlanta dumbed down their offense this season for #7 . When Gregg Knapp came to Atlanta, the team started running those long stretch run plays that open up the bootlegs. They run other misdirection plays and even the option keepers out of the shotgun. Many of their pass plays are rollouts based off those stretch run plays where Vick will have one read. Their playbook more resembles a Wing T playbook you would see in highschool, or a college football offense with option keepers. Vick is a terrible drop back passer. He may be a mobile quarterback, but he has horrible pocket presence. He still LOOKS at the defensive end pass rushers, and doesn't have a very good clock in his head as to when to throw the ball. The announcer on the game a few weeks ago pointed out that people criticize his line, but they were giving him time ( Vick just held onto the ball too long).

Did you catch that start last year by Matt Schaub? He threw for just under 300 yards ( what Michael can't seem to do). It's kind of funny how Matt Schaub didn't have " no receivers" in his start, but Michael has no receivers. You know how when a backup quaterback goes to the sidelines they usually converse coverages with the starter? Schaubb was just jogging to the sidelines that game and talking with coaches. Vick was standing near them all quietly. I honestly don't think he understands all those coverages, if he did, he certainly didn't offer any help or opinion. I'd believe that Vick doesn't understand coverages because he's always on the bench by himself inbetween series. He just sits on the bench catching his breath with this blank stare on his face. This year, sometimes I see Gregg Knapp on the sidelines next to him shoving screen shots into his face trying to coach him. It's a different picture than a Peyton Manning. You can always find Manning or Brees on the sidelines looking at ariel overhead shots trying to figure out what happened on the last series. There is so much going on every NFL play, that you can't possibly dissect it all live. Manning and many of the good quarterbacks are trying to figure out what happened, so they can prepare for next time. Vick just sits on the sidelines with his head inbetween his legs waiting for his next turn.

ESPN doesn't even show a lot of the Vick lowlights. They stopped showing many of his interceptions and fumbles. ESPN loves to show those 25 yard runs for a first downs, but they don't like showing that fumble that cost his team points. Michael Vick is a great runner and great for highlights and selling jerseys, but NOT a great quarterback.

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