Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thoughts on Vick

As the storm of speculation over where Michael Vick is headed has been growing by the minute, seemingly every organized football team has been included as a landing spot.

With Brett Favre now retired (again), the Vikings have been mentioned consistently, as have teams like the Jaguars, the Dolphins, the 49ers, every team in the fledgling UFL...

And the New England Patriots.

Don't believe me? Check it out. And don't worry, I didn't believe it at first either. Because, simply put, it doesn't make sense.

Don't get me wrong, the thought of getting Vick is an exciting one, and even two years removed from the game, there are few in the NFL that can match his pure, blinding speed and athletic gifts.

The thought of Vick running a Wildcat scheme with Sammy Morris and Tom Brady is tantalizing, and the idea of No. 7 simply standing on the same field, in the same uniform, as Randy Moss is frightening for defensive coordinators.

Despite all of these highs, there is one reason for Patriots fans to be very, very low on Vick. And it has nothing to do with dogs.

It has to do with our cleft-chinned, knee brace-wearing Wonderboy.

Any team that signs Michael Vick will be signing a quarterback. Pure and simple. They won't be signing a running back, or a wide receiver, or some freak combination in the Kordell Stewart mold from the mid-90s.

Vick can't play those positions. He has the talent, but not the body. Fans in Atlanta would hold their breath every time he took off past the line of scrimmage, in fear he would suffer an injury like 2003's fractured ankle.

You think that sounds like a guy who should be catching 40 passes a season?

Instead, Vick still has the rocket arm. He still has the leadership qualities. He still has the sense in the pocket from playing quarterback all his life. He IS a quarterback.

If the Patriots signed Vick, his most significant role on the team would be as the backup quarterback, and over time, questions would rise as to the point of having a marquee QB like Vick on the depth chart if the starter is entrenched in his spot.

Nobody in the NFL has more job security than Tom Brady. The idea of signing Vick is doomed to failure.

So Patriots fans can still dream of a Brady-Vick tandem tearing up the league the way the Dolphins did last year. They can still hope to see Vick sprinting down the field, catching an arcing pass from Brady, and burning everyone else into the end zone.

But that won't happen for long. Vick will realize his roots. You can't teach an old quarterback new tricks.

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