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  • It's Not Over For Vick

    It's not over for Vick
    By Rich Hofmann
    PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS
    03/14/2010


    BALTIMORE — Nearly 100 of them were out there, yelling, carrying signs. More people protested against Michael Vick on the night when he was one of 32 NFL players receiving an Ed Block Courage Award than at any other single event during his season with the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Almost all of the signs were printable.

    Vick's Sick

    Not Courageous

    Shame on the Eagles!

    Michael Vick has no courage!

    Electrifying Dogs

    Drowning Dogs

    Dog Fighting

    Since when is this courage?

    You get the idea. The lesson is that this is not over. Even after a season with the Eagles, after all the emotions the town experienced at the time of his signing, after everybody got used to seeing him play, after the season wore on and he ended up doing a couple of good things (but only a couple), it is not over.

    You look at those people, and you hear the cars driving by and honking in support, and you wonder whether it ever will end.

    Vick's response, at a short news conference before the dinner, was an elongated blah, blah, blah. He is "very humbled," but thinks he deserves the award because his teammates thought enough of him to vote for him — which pretty much is what he said when the announcement was made. He wants to be a starter in the league next season, and the Eagles know it. He's glad the team is paying him the $1.5 million bonus due him this week and, well, "We'll see what happens."

    As they say in court, "Asked and answered, your honor." Or not answered. And blah, blah, blah.

    Vick also was on the radio this week in St. Louis, trying to drum up interest there with the Rams, just as he did the other day with the Carolina Panthers. What you are beginning to smell is more than a whiff of desperation. But that's business.

    Much more interesting, and unknowable, is what he feels in his heart, what it felt like in his gut when he drove up and saw those people waving their signs and yelling in the street next to the catering hall where they hold this annual function, a banquet to raise money for abused children. It has to be exhausting, the unrelenting negativity he brought upon himself.

    What we learned here was that Vick's next team, wherever it is, still will be dealing with protests. The lesson on this night was that any team that takes him on still will need to wrestle with the baggage. The Eagles proved that the problem can be contained and handled, but don't kid yourselves — they sweated it and committed untold organizational man-hours to it.

    And now they cannot even pretend to tell potential suitors that the problem has vanished with time — assuming, of course, that they can find somebody to take Vick off their hands based on the football end of the equation, which still is filled with variables.

    From the December day this award was announced, it has been more fascinating than outrageous. His teammates did the voting, after all. (In San Diego, the players voted for Shawne Merriman, he of the steroid suspension, so it isn't a perfect message everywhere.) But in Vick's case, the process has always said more about his teammates than about him, about how they think he has been treated, about their opinion of the severity of the penalties — in prison time and in lost millions — that he has had to pay for being a confessed dog killer.

    Accepting the award was the normal, gracious thing to do — especially, again, when you consider that it came from his teammates. Actually attending to the banquet, though, wasn't the best idea. Vick's presence forced organizers to put on a whole extra level of security and also to end a long-standing tradition of having the award winners from each team mingle with the fans before the banquet and sign autographs.

    In addition, there was the sideshow outside in the street, either detracting from the event or just distracting everyone for a minute, depending on your perspective — but absolutely reminding everyone of Vick's problem with a certain portion of the public.

    Most years, the majority of players honored fall into two categories — players who overcame great odds to play in the league or guys receiving lifetime NFL achievement recognition from their teammates (such as Brian Dawkins this year from the Broncos). The organization and its cause, named for the former trainer of the Baltimore Colts, are first-rate — and the whole thing naturally tends to be all feel-good, all the time.

    This year is different, though. It is different because of one man, Michael Vick, and his continuing attempt to rise above infamy. And what was it that Churchill said about this not being the beginning of the end, but maybe only the end of the beginning?

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  • r8rh8rmike
    Vick: 'You Can't Design A Defense To Stop Me'
    by r8rh8rmike
    Vick: ‘You can’t design a defense to stop me’

    By Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports
    Sep 2

    When Michael Vick(notes) thinks back to his final pass of the 2010 season, a looping spiral toward the left corner of the end zone with 33 seconds remaining in a first-round playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field, he wishes he’d been a bit more patient.

    With his Philadelphia Eagles trailing by five points and a first-and-10 from the Green Bay Packers’ 27-yard-line, Vick dropped back and went for the win, only to watch cornerback Tramon Williams(notes) leap in front of Riley Cooper(notes) for the game-clinching interception. Had Vick checked down to Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson(notes) at the 15, or tucked the ball and run, or thrown it away to live another down, Aaron Rodgers(notes) and friends might not have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy four weeks later.

    “I’m hoping I can be in that situation again,” Vick said last month when I visited the Eagles’ training camp in Bethlehem, Pa. “I’m gonna try not to make the same mistake this year.”

    I predict that, come January, Vick will once again be in position to do something special for Philly in the postseason – and this time, I believe, he’ll deliver. I felt this as I headed down to the locker rooms at The Linc in the minutes after Vick’s pass was picked eight months ago, and the slew of talented players the Eagles acquired in the days after the lockout ended did nothing to curb my enthusiasm.

    It turns out I’m not alone in thinking that the Eagles are pretty, pretty good. And while I realize that picking them to play in Super Bowl XLVI is pretty, pretty trendy, in my defense I’ve been on this bandwagon for awhile – certainly as far back as the end of the 2010 regular season, when I imprudently predicted Philly to prevail over the Pack, my preseason pick to win it all.

    Confused? Here’s all that you need to know: Contrary to semi-popular belief, I don’t get emotionally invested in my forecasts, and if they seem blatantly unimaginative, chances are I’ll talk myself into changing them. I’d rather be wrong than boring.

    As I reminded you at this time two years ago, and again in 2010, assuming that there will be substantial carryover from one NFL season to the next is a common trap. So, too, is overreacting to high-profile offseason acquisitions.

    For all of these reasons, I should be wary of the Dream Team. Yet I’m willing to risk looking like a sucker when it comes to the Eagles, and being dubbed Captain Obvious, because I’m captivated by their locker room’s ideal mix of swagger and hunger.

    This is a group of players that expect to be great, and unlike the Donovan McNabb(notes)-led Philly contenders of the previous decade, it’s not incumbent upon anyone – even the quarterback – to carry the team.

    On offense, the list of playmakers reads like a fantasy...
    -09-04-2011, 09:13 PM
  • MauiRam
    Return man?
    by MauiRam
    By TIM DAHLBERG
    AP SPORTS COLUMNIST
    05/24/2009

    Michael Vick hit the highway on his first day of semi-freedom, setting off on a 1,176-mile road trip from Kansas to his Virginia home, where he will make the transition from prisoner to his new career as day laborer/Humane Society crusader.

    For some strange reason, Vick took along a videographer to record the trek, bathroom pit stops and all. There was security, too, just in case some deranged PETA sort lurked at a Waffle House along the way.

    There's a good chance you can read all about it in the near future. The whole sordid Vick saga may even make the big screen someday, if plans for book and movie deals pan out.

    Expect a lot of tears, and not just from those saddened by what Vick and his posse liked to do with their fighting dogs. No, this would be a tale of redemption and rebirth about a man who once had everything and now has nothing.
    Nothing, that is, if you forget the two lavish homes and three luxury cars that are still in the stable. But those could go, too, if a federal bankruptcy judge doesn't like what he sees when Vick appears before him next month with a new plan to pay the millions owed his creditors.

    The man who once dismissed a $1,000 gift to his mother as "chump change" will need to work three weeks in his new construction job to earn that much after taxes. His other duties with the Humane Society have yet to be agreed upon, but the payoff from them will come in a different form of currency.

    Together, the two gigs won't be enough to pay the electric bill or fuel up the Range Rover. They won't even begin to make a dent in the $8 million or so the bankruptcy judge estimates Vick will need to make over each of the next three years to pay everyone off.

    Granted, a book or movie could help. But, really, don't we know enough about Vick already? Would anyone reach into their pocket to learn more?

    My guess is no. And that means any chance Vick has of emerging from his financial mess depends on one thing.

    He has to make it on the football field.

    The question then becomes, will someone give him that chance?

    Ask the players around the NFL, as various Associated Press writers did Wednesday, and the unanimous opinion is that some team should. To a man, they said Vick has paid a huge price for his misdeeds and should be welcomed back into the league, the sooner the better.

    "He's paid his debt," said ***** kick returner Allen Rossum, who played three seasons with Vick in Atlanta. "He deserves an opportunity like anybody else. He's a good guy at heart and it's time for people to let him move on with his life and get back in this game, where he's one of the best players out there. I've known him for five years. He's a good guy."

    A lot of dog owners...
    -05-25-2009, 01:56 PM
  • swatter555
    Micheal Vick- What a player!
    by swatter555
    In that Eagles offense, he was unstoppable on Monday night. If there was a small opening, he threw it in there. If the recievers were covered, he ran for a first down (or a touchdown). I watched the first quarter twice, that was definately a treat for non-Redskin fans. Of course blowouts get pretty boring, but the first quarter was awesome.

    I had a gut feeling he was going to come back and be better than before. There is something about being torn down and lifting yourself back up; it brings a sense of humility that high talent players need at times. It sort of reminds them of what is important. I am not judging whether Vick is a good or bad guy, but he is one hell of a QB.
    -11-16-2010, 04:50 PM
  • A-Web
    Vick Reinstatement 2009?
    by A-Web
    Just putting this out there for people to express opinions and projections. Don't make it hostile, and reasonable talk only please.

    I personally believe that Vick will be reinstated and at least practicing / backing up for a team this coming year. I say this because of a couple facts.

    1) Goodell has a nack for second chances. And thirds, and fourths and fifths and sixths...you get the point. We know this because of Adam Jones. And if Adam Jones can still play in the NFL, than I have a feeling a two year suspension is all Vick owes the NFL, and all he is due to sit.

    2) There is an abundance of NFL teams that are, for lack of better terminology, repulsive. Most of this has to do with leadership. And specifically in the Quarterback position. In example, San Francisco, Detroit, New York Jets (Post Favre potentially), Kansas City, Seattle (if you believe Hasselbeck is a wash at this point), Cincinnatti (Palmer has already peaked in my opinion, and that whole team needs revamped), and probably a few others that I'm not going to follow up with. But basically, teams need good quarterbacks. Which means, if you're a quarterback with the credentials to play in the NFL, you will have a job in 2009...I actually believe that is the safest job in the country at this point and time.

    The reason Vick will be a quarterback on an NFL roster next year is that some of these teams need long term fixes. Long term fixes come from the draft, and usually have to develop. This means that they need a temporary, or plug-in quarterback who can get the job done. Even if your team doesn't have the Wide Receivers, Vick can still potentially make due with his legs when necessary. This at least gives that team a "punchers chance." Also, I think that there are teams with fading fan-support. Bringing Vick on the scene in an intelligent way could get alot of attention, and not all of it bad. Second chances can be a beautiful thing, and if Vick plays his cards right, and an NFL team plays his cards right, he can start a foundation to support animal causes (Gets PETA off his back, and inserts him into "Good Guy Status stage 1") and turn his life story to the next page. A second chance for a player can be a new life for a team as well, and a team could use him as that pedestal.

    3...5...or whatever number I'm on) There will be no cheaper NFL Quarterback available. Starter or otherwise. Mike Vick needs a second chance. He has no money, has no job, has no...anything. He is essentially a homeless man with a resumé. And all it takes to return him to the status he once had, is a job. He will take whatever pay cut he requires to get back to that job, and I think he will be a definite bargain buy when he comes into the market. Be that a cheap backup, or super-super cheap starter, he will save teams cap room in a high cap era. And imagine locking him into a contract for that low money, and if the salary cap...
    -01-24-2009, 06:50 AM
  • THOLTFAN81
    Could Michael Vick be an option for St. Louis Rams?
    by THOLTFAN81
    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    01/15/2010

    As the Philadelphia Eagles headed into the offseason following last weekend's wild-card loss to Dallas, quarterback Michael Vick made it clear what he wanted in his future.

    "Everybody wants to be a starter in this league, and everybody wants to play," Vick told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "That should be your goal. The ambition you should have is to want to be great. ... I know I can still play at a high level."

    All of which is no surprise to Eagles coach Andy Reid.

    "That kid, the changes that he made this year in his life, I was impressed with," Reid told Philadelphia reporters. "And his desire to be a No. 1 guy in this league, I'd be disappointed if he didn't feel that way."


    As long as Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb are in Philly, Vick won't get a chance to start for the Eagles. But what about St. Louis?

    What seemed totally far-fetched last summer, as Vick was about to get out of prison, no longer seems like such a longshot in St. Louis. Because Vick remains under contract with Philadelphia, Rams general manager Billy Devaney can't speak publicly on the topic.

    But Devaney has consistently said the team will explore all options to improve the club. He has made it a point in interviews to note that the "four pillars" approach is being softened this offseason. In other words, the Rams are more likely to take a chance on a so-called "character-risk" player than last year at this time.

    Devaney worked for the Atlanta Falcons before coming to St. Louis, so he's very familiar with Vick. In fact, Devaney visited Vick in prison while Vick was serving 18 months for running a dogfighting operation.

    Reid has been one of the major career influences for Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo. So when Reid talks about how he was impressed with Vick, and the "changes" he made in his life, that will resonate with Spagnuolo.

    So it will come as no surprise if Vick's name comes up next week when Devaney, Spagnuolo and executive vice president of football operations Kevin Demoff meet with Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom at the organization's annual postseason summit.

    By all accounts, Vick has said and done the right things in Philadelphia, where he was given a second chance by Reid. If not the Rams, it seems likely someone now will give Vick a chance to compete for a starting job in a league where top-flight quarterbacks remain a rare commodity.

    But even if it comes down to a pure football decision, does Vick still have what it takes to be a difference-maker in the NFL? That's what the Rams, or any other team, must decide.

    The No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft by Atlanta, Vick made three Pro Bowls in six seasons with the Falcons. He isn't a pure passer...
    -01-15-2010, 12:26 AM
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