Home > Uncategorized > Just say no to Michael Vick

Just say no to Michael Vick

Bill Simmons said it best1. There really are three types of athletes.

1. Those who bring something to the table.
2. Those who bring nothing to the table.
3. Those who take things off the table.

Following this theory, the object of any professional franchise should be simple: avoid drafting/signing guys who take things off the table. They’re no good for the morale of the team2, and team morale is almost as important as talent3.

I’m sure you’re wondering by now why I’m bringing this up. Well, I was watching the NFL Network today, and the talking heads decided to bring up the “where will Michael Vick play next season” discussion (as if anyone really cares right now), and of course the Panthers were mentioned as one of the potential teams that may take a chance and acquire Vick.

The fact that Delhomme has struggled this season was used as the analysts’ reasoning behind the Panthers possibly being in a Vick courtship, but what the talking heads forgot to mention was that Delhomme is signed for $13M more guaranteed from his contract extension, and it would be pointless to bring in a quarterback like Vick to replace Delhomme. If the Panthers are going to replace Delhomme (and they should), it would make more sense to replace him with someone younger instead of someone who has seen little game action for the past 2 years4.

Also, there are the off-field ramifications of bringing in Michael Vick. Let’s face it: there are a lot of people who don’t like the guy. He is still in the process of rebuilding his public image, and there are a lot of people who are reluctant to support him, regardless of how many times he says he is sorry or how sincere he seems to be with his apologies.

Remember, I said that Simmons was right when he claimed there are three types of athletes, and I believe that Vick is one of those athletes that takes things off the table. The constant media attention to Vick would be a distraction for the rest of the team, and a distracted team doesn’t perform up to standard most of the time.

But, it’s not just about his off-the-field actions that makes him a “takes things of the table” guy. In reality, he’s just not that great of a quarterback. Sure, he can move in and out of the pocket and can get a lot of rushing yards over the course of a season, but when it comes down to the position of on-field leader and passer he fails miserably. He doesn’t have a good arm, and he doesn’t have a clutch mentality. I wouldn’t want him under center with my team down by 6 points with 1:00 remaining in the 4th quarter of the NFC Championship Game on a drive that must go 80+ yards for a game-winning score.

At this stage in his career (if you can even say he has a career anymore), he’s nothing more than a gimmick quarterback that can be used in “Wildcat Formation” situations for teams that want to give the illusion that “hey, we might pass out of this formation, so you better be on your toes” — but that’s all he has left in him. He’s not the same player that he was when he came out of Virginia Tech and led the Falcons back to respectability. He’s no longer the same threat he used to be. (And, he has never been a passing threat, he’s always been a run-first type of quarterback.)

I really hope that the Panthers’ front office isn’t even considering the possibility of signing Vick, and if they are, I hope they will take some time and think about the negative impact such a move could make on the franchise. I believe that if they were to look at both sides of the argument, they would see that the bad most definitely outweigh the good, and that Michael Vick has no place in Carolina.

We already have enough guys who bring nothing to the table, we don’t need anyone taking the little we have off of it.

———————————————————————————————————

1 – Bill Simmons’ “Table Theory” is found in this column.

2 – A perfect example of a guy who takes things off the table is Terrell Owens. Sure, he’s a great receiver (or at least he used to be), but his attitude problems cause so many distractions that the problems associated with him negate the positive impact he makes on the field. (Constantly attacking his coaches and quarterbacks on the field and to the media when he’s not featured enough in the offensive gameplan is his most frequent way of causing problems.)

3 – I truly believe this is why teams like the Cowboys can’t win the Super Bowl. They have too many egos in the locker room to form the proper bond necessary to have any positive morale, causing an “every man for himself” attitude that kills them when they face teams that are sold out for one another and for the benefit of the group.

4 – A counterargument could be that Moore falls in the same category, but he has at least been through camp, practiced, and been on the sideline, unlike Vick.

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  1. LestersLegends
    9 December 2009 at 9:53 PM

    I don't know why they would bother with him.

  2. bwsmith25
    9 December 2009 at 9:57 PM

    I don't know why they would want to do it either — it didn't make any sense to me when I saw them talking about Vick going to Carolina. I think it's more of a "let's make up stories about where Vick might go because we really don't have anything else to say right now" situation than anything else.

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