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A different take: Michael Vick signing not a bad idea


I was having dinner at a nice little Italian restaurant in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. just a few minutes from the Saratoga Race Course when I got the word.

One of my dinner companions came back to the table somewhere between the salad and the main course and announced that the guys at the bar said, “The Eagles just signed Michael Vick.’’

All eyes were on me and I had no response.

Actually we sent our informer back to the bar to make sure he heard it right.

When he came back saying that he saw it himself on ESPN, we were convinced it was true, although still in a bit of disbelief.

My first coherent thought was that Kevin Kolb’s knee injury must be much worse than first thought and the Eagles needed a backup quarterback.

After learning that wasn’t the case, although I still wonder, I started to process Vick to the Eagles.


Hey, I’ve been saying and writing for months that Vick would be back in the NFL, no matter what anyone from PETA or any other animal rights organization thought. I just never thought it would be with the Eagles.

Mainly, because I just didn’t think it was a fit for either him or the team. Personally, I thought he would go to a smaller market with a bigger need at quarterback. Although in the back of my mind, Dallas was the team I had pegged all along.

Then the more I thought about it, and continue to think about it. This just might work.

If you put the obvious aside for a minute and look at this as just a football move and realize that Vick was going to play somewhere, then why not with the Eagles?

Andy Reid, who certainly has to be for “second chances’’ and I’m getting tired of hearing that phrase, is the perfect head coach for Vick both on and off the field.

Reid has shown in the past he can handle off the field problems and he is as much a quarterback-friendly coach as there is in the league.

Now before all the e-mails start flying through, and send what you want, what Vick did was apprehensible. There is no denying that. He hasn’t, so why should anyone else.

He also paid his time, big time. He spent almost two years in prison, real prison, lost a ton of money both from his former team, the Atlanta Falcons and in endorsements and has to restart his career after missing two years.

I know there are some of you who think he should not have a career after what he did. Would you feel the same way if he wasn’t a high profile athlete? Our society says a person deserves a right to make a living after paying his debt. Vick makes a living playing football.

And again, if it wasn’t with the Eagles it would have been with someone else. Maybe that was on the Eagles’ minds as well. Although they would never admit it maybe signing Vick wasn’t just to help them, but to make sure he didn’t sign with division rivals, Dallas or Washington.

And Vick is going to help the Eagles. He would have helped more if he was a tight end or a middle linebacker, but he is going to help.

In Washington it would have been just a matter of time, or timing, before he replaced Jason Campbell at quarterback, and in Dallas he was better than Tony Romo the day he stepped out of prison.

How the Eagles use Vick is going to be the intriguing part.

Reid was not a big Wildcat fan a year ago when the gimmick play began in Miami and spread through the league faster than a twitter.

Then again, he didn’t have Vick.

Again being on vacation in upstate New York when this all happened, and just a short drive to where the Giants train, it was a little funny to see a headline in the local paper, Saturday, that read “Giants prepare Wildcat defense’’.

Yes, the rest of the division, the rest of the conference is getting ready for Vick and the Eagles.

Put him on the field, and even if you don’t give him the ball, the defense is going to be oft-kilter. Do you spy him? Do you change your scheme? All that is going to do is make life easier for Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Donovan McNabb.

Speaking of McNabb, add this to a long line of moves made since that NFC title game loss to Arizona, that tells him he better win this year.

And you know what; the Eagles are a little bit closer to the Super Bowl than they were before I ordered dinner that night in Saratoga.


Home Page photo: www.football.about.com  


11:28 AM
Mon Aug 17 2009

Nice article Mark!