Friday, July 31, 2009

Thoughts on Vick, Part II

In an earlier post, I commented that the hypothetical signing of Michael Vick would ultimately be a bad idea for the Patriots.

Now, after a press conference given by Bill Belichick on Friday, I maintain my stance. Because it might not matter.

In typical Belichick fashion, when asked several questions about Vick, Bill didn't give a yes, no, maybe, or anything of the sort. What he did do, however, was give a revealing amount of nothing:

Q: Have you and the organization ruled out signing Michael Vick?

BB: Have we ruled it out? I don’t know that it’s ruled in or ruled out.

Q: Some teams have said, ‘We are not going to sign him.’

BB: Well I’m just answering your question and I’m saying I don’t think it’s ever been put that way, so I can’t really answer it.

Q: Are you interested in signing Michael Vick?

BB: We are coaching the players that we have on the field right now, so that’s who’s here. So anybody who isn’t here, is there a potential that they could be here? Yea, there probably is, but right now they’re not. We’re coaching the 80 players that are here, so until we get somebody else we are coaching them. If we get somebody else in here, which I am sure at some point we will, then we’ll coach them [with] the players that are here. Who that’s all going to be, right now it’s the 80 players that are here. That’s all I can tell you.

Q: It sounds like you’re not ruling that out?

BB: Karen [Guregian], I am coaching the players that are here, that are on this team. I am not coaching anybody else. I’m sure at some point somebody else will be here, I don’t know who that’s going to be. If I knew they would already be here.

Q: Is that something you need a couple weeks to assess?

BB: I don’t think there is any time frame or any set criteria, no. We signed players a couple days ago. We signed players last week. Last year we signed a player or two at the beginning of camp. I don’t know. If we need somebody and we feel like that player can help our team and puts us in a better situation than what we had, then we’ll do it. If we don’t than we won’t.

Belichick is not one to affirm or deny anything. Had either of those reporters asked if Tom Brady was going to start at quarterback, he'd answer "Every position is up for grabs." Had they asked if he was hoping for a Super Bowl victory, he'd answer "We're not thinking that far ahead."

So with something like a potential Vick signing, whatever he says has to be read between the lines. And that seems to show a coach intrigued with the possibility of adding a fallen NFL superstar to an already potent mix.

If Belichick were absolutely not thinking of signing Vick, he would have used the opportunity to protect another aspect of his strategy: dispelling rumors. But considering that he was told that other coaches have flat rejected the idea of signing the former Falcon, and he still remained vague, implies that he's not denying anything because, simply, there's nothing to deny.

There's nothing to affirm, nothing to deny. Welcome to Bill's world.

The only reason that this looks like more evidence towards a Vick signing is that this is the routine Belichick and the media go through with every Patriot target. Whether it be something like the Randy Moss trade (which the Boston Herald reported was a possibility months before it was done) or the Rosevelt Colvin-Junior Seau signings in the second half of last season, the shtick is the same.

Belichick doesn't tip his hand, and when the deal is done, it's always a surprise.

It's too early, way too early, to say that Vick is busy getting on the next flight to Logan Airport. But there's a lot in Bill's seemingly nothing response that implies the New England brain trust is thinking of him. Sometimes, a compelling indication can be nothing at all.

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