Adam Reigner is a contributor to CB and a WIP host and producer. He doesn’t like Michael Vick. Direct love and hate toward him on Twitter (@AdamReigner).
What’s wrong with Michael Vick?
Let’s keep it real: he will never again be the player who got Kevin Kolb traded. He’s lost the speed that made him a superhero in video games, he’s on the other side of 30 and, frankly, never possessed the ability to be a pocket passer. He doesn’t know it, but he was given the ability to make people believe (you need to look no further than the ridiculous PR spin that surrounds him), and he has found a home with somebody who knows a thing or two about enabling.
Andy Reid hasn’t won a playoff game since January 11, 2009. Remember that long ago? George Bush was still President. Eli Manning was just one year removed from winning the Super Bowl (against New England who was 18-0 … cheaters). And Donovan McNabb was on his last legs with a city that never embraced him.
McNabb did his best Donovan McNabb impression in that last playoff win, and if it wasn’t for an Asante Samuel interception off of Manning, the Eagles would have lost. That was the last of the Eagles’ Glory Days, for significant lack of a better term. Almost four years later and, a few thrilling regular season victories notwithstanding, Reid is still living off his earlier “success. And so is Vick.
Vick, I think, has entered the final act of his career.
The big elephant in the room is that he can’t outrun linebackers anymore. Heck, he can barely get by defensive ends. Defenses no longer have to worry about accounting for him as a running threat. They can sit back in zone coverage and make Vick become his own worst enemy. When he sees open space in front of him, it’s just his natural instinct to think that he can still beat a guy to the corner. It has to be one of the most sobering moments as an athlete, when you no longer can do what made you great. It starts to go and all those SportsCenter highlights must play in your head on a continuos loop.
Not having to worry about him running as much, or as effectively, has given defenses the ability to do two things: 1) drop an extra man into coverage and confuse him, or 2) blitz him and confuse him. Common theme: confused.
I know– the Eagles are 3-1 and I’m a curmudgeon. But Vick is 28th in the league in QB rating, he has thrown six interceptions and only four touchdowns, hasn’t rushed for over 50 yards in any one game, and has been knocked down 44 times (that leads the league). And the Eagles have a minus-17 point differential.
The fact that a man who has played the position for 10 (ten!) years and yet still stares down receivers like a pair of fresh titties is mind boggling. Still is reckless with the ball in the red zone. STILL DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO SLIDE.
And let’s not even get into the “100 Million Dollar” contract, which oh by the way is now officially an $80 million contract, and it has been for the last year, ever since Vick nullified the final year on his deal by playing in his fourth game of the season.
What you saw on Sunday night was a direct result of putting the ball in the best player on the team’s hands and letting him run with it – literally – not Vick’s passing abilities. Taking away those seven games from two years ago that helped land Vick his “$100 million contract, the last time he went three games without an interception was all the way back in 2006.
And that seems to be the theme with Vick: He’s not great because of what he’s done lately. He’s great because of a few things he did years ago.
Remember that play from way back against the Lions, when he “sensed” that blitz from the blindside, spun out and ran for 30 yards? Yeah, I’m just sitting back, trying to recapture, a little of the glory.
Or how about when he threw that bomb to DeSean on the first play against the Redskins? Well, time slips away and leaves you nothing, mister.
Oh, what about the “Miracle at the Meadows Part 2,” when he broke containment and scrambled to turn the game around? Nothing but boring stories of glory days.
You remember those days? Well, they’ve passed Michael Vick by.
Follow Adam on Twitter (@AdamReigner).