Injuries, sloppy play, and failed expectations: Gee, where have I seen this Michael Vick before?
It’s natural that when things are going well for a person that they’re often viewed as untouchable. Conversely, when things start to unravel, frustration sets in and problems become magnified.
Now multiple both of those sentences by about 50 when it comes to Vick.
When everything is right in his world, he’s “revolutionizing the quarterback position” or putting up “video game numbers.” He’s unbelievable. One-of-a-kind. A $100 million quarterback. He’s sick. He’s Mike Vick.
Everyone bought into the same hype surrounding Vick on draft day in 2001 that they did last year when he started to light up the league again. But someone please explain to me what has actually changed besides his uniform color, because I don’t see much.
Remember when the media couldn’t stop putting a microphone in front of his face last year? Oh, how the public ate it up. He was a changed man. A more mature man and a more mature player. It was going to be different in Philadelphia because quite frankly, he and everyone said it was.
But what happened? He led the Eagles to the playoffs only to come up just short in the end. Then again, he did just enough to have a lot of people believing he and the Eagles were destined for big things in 2011. Super Bowl-type things.
Falcon fans that watched his rise and fall in Atlanta must be shaking their heads right now. This is what happens with Michael Vick: he’s at his worst when the expectations are at its highest. After leading the Falcons to that epic playoff win over the Packers at Lambeau, he suffered that gruesome leg injury in 2003. When the expectations were low again in 2004 because nobody knew how he would hold up, he led them to the NFC Championship Game. When many people were predicting the Falcons to reach the Super Bowl in 2005, they finished 8-8. When people said the Falcons would be reborn again under Vick in ’06, they finished 7-9.
Now, football is played with 11 men on both sides of the ball and it takes much more than that to win. Vick is only one man and one player so it’s unfair to suggest that he was the one who failed or he was the one who fell short of the Super Bowl. But he is making the same mistakes that he made in Atlanta, at least when it comes to his play on the field.
He has always been careless with the football, especially when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter. He presses. He thinks he can win games by himself because of his superior athletic ability, which gets him into trouble. He thinks he can fit passes into windows that just aren’t there because he has a cannon for an arm. He thinks he can be careless with the ball while running because his legs has can do extraordinary things.
When he’s good he’s great and when he’s bad he’s dangerous. With the way the Eagles were moving up and down the field last Sunday night in Atlanta, there’s no excuse for why Philly wasn’t up by at least two scores heading into halftime. Yet because he turned the ball over three times on the night, he kept the Falcons in the game and they eventually won. Again, this kind of play from him is nothing new.
It’s early. If the Eagles can fix their offensive line issues and give Vick more time, then maybe he can stay healthy throughout the season and lead them back to the playoffs. But for now, he needs to spend more time worrying about why he’s still making the same mistakes he did years ago, instead of what the refs are doing.