Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Michael Vick

I spent about six hours on Saturday night listening to Philly sportstalk. The only topic of discussion was Vick. If the callers are indicative of general opinion (not a given), then there seems to be a pretty big divide on the subject in Philly. The divide seems (though may not actually be) largely drawn along racial lines, with blacks largely in favor of the move and whites more split on it.

Without getting into the moral dimensions of the debate, I'm struck by a question which is, oddly, getting little attention: From football perspective, why would the Eagles want Vick? The Four Letter's Matt Mosely has looked at this some. My thoughts follow his to a large degree.

From the Eagles' POV, what could they think they're adding with Vick?

* A back-up quarterback who could, with luck, become their franchise QB in two years after McNabb's contract is up.

* A gimmick player who could wreak havoc on defenses once or twice a game with the kind of trick plays that Andy Reid has long been fond of.

* A star player at a bargain price, positional value TBD. (This is the equivalent of the argument that you take the best available player in a draft, even if you already have strength at that position.)

I'm not sure that any of those up-sides outweigh the potential down-sides:

* Unsettling McNabb.

* Splitting the focus of the offense as they try to manage both West Coast and Wildcat schemes.

* The attendant locker-room headaches of having a special-case player around. See Owens, Terrell.

Plus, doesn't this all negate the reasoning behind using the 2007 first-round pick on Kevin Kolb instead of the wide-out help that they desperately needed?

I'm not against taking a flyer on a troubled player if that player might be your missing piece. I'd argue that the Owens experiment was probably a mistake, but that's debatable. And even if it was, it was certainly a reasonable mistake to make and one that a smart GM should probably be open to making again.

But is Vick that missing piece? Not obviously. If anything, Plaxico might have been a smarter gamble. We'll see.


Dave S. said...

Regarding the unsettling of McNabb, Wilbon in the Post said that McNabb initiated the Vick pickup, so if that's the case McNabb is going in to this with open eyes.

Also, I think Vick's case is different from TO's (always fun to be a Bills fan) in that Vick is under double-secret super-whammy probation, from what I understand, so he might not be inclined to "special case" behavior.

And isn't Plaxico under indictment? Ex-con beats pre-con, right?

Anjan Kumar Saha said...

Vick is a worthless quarterback anyways without his legs. Donovan is an actual QUARTERBACK, not just a scrambler. Without his legs, Vick is the most useless piece of trash ever. Before and after this dog fighting. Donovan has nothing to worry about.