BY: KWAME FISHER-JONES
“If you go back through Mike’s career -------- and I mean all the way back to the beginning of the days in Atlanta, and you count up the games where he has 30 passing attempts………….The more he (Vick) throws the more trouble he gets into. The more turnovers he has, the more hits he takes, the more he gets hurt”------- Pro Football Hall of Fame writer Ray Didinger talking Michael Vick on Eagles Post Game Live
As the Philadelphia Eagles prepared for their final game of the 2012 NFL season, it was fitting that the man responsible for driving the Birds to Irrelevant-ville was again behind the wheel. When the ink dried on the 2012 season there was a plethora of excuses given to why quarterback Michael Vick underperformed.
Scribers will direct disdain to the offensive line and their inability to sustain blocks or the defensive secondary's lack of providing anything resembling coverage. Both claims are warranted and carry some sort of credence, but no single player, coach, or unit has failed this franchise the way Vick has. No.7’s poor throws and gut-wrenching turnovers have tormented the Eagles since week 15 of the 2010 season.
The Birds were 10-4 at that point and had successfully hindered the true Vick from rearing his lust for turnovers. Since that point the quarterback has led the Eagles to a 10 – 15 record. By now everyone is aware of the quarterback’s 26 interceptions and 21 plus fumbles in those 25 games. However, it is the hope that waned during the quarterback’s time under center that is so alarming and should be the final piece of evidence needed in extraditing No.7.
How many promising drives were killed by the quarterback’s turnovers? How many certain scoring opportunities were negated because of Vick’s love affair with the turnover?
It is hard to not be a fan of Michael Vick but it is impossible to believe in him. The mercurial quarterback has immense talent; unfortunately Vick has found a way to misguide that talent.
Those who believed in Vick would consistently feel the wrath of his commitment to disappointment. It is implausible to ask 52 men to strive for perfection and almost simultaneously you allow the quarterback to be insanely imperfect.
The diligence and consistency Head Coach Andy Reid displayed throughout his tenure was obliterated by Vick in just 39 games. A squad with young stallions who galloped effortlessly and almost flawlessly with former Eagles signal caller Donovan McNabb at the helm, now move with the sense of urgency reserved for donkeys.
At some point after watching Vick’s ninth interception and sixth fumble occur in the same game the zeal disappears. The spirit of joy is overcome by the misery of defeat and those players are only human for feeling that way. Especially when the man responsible for the ship sinking stands in the life boat and utters, "I know what I can do" or when he hits land and has the audacity to say "I wish I could play other positions” as if to infer he did not drive this once passionate youthful group to misery. It is easy to be led in the wrong direction and harder to be led to the right and there should be little doubt that Vick led this group to where we sit today.
Yes the quarterback had a litany of assistance in achieving this atrocity, but he was the Nino Brown of this Carter.
The first quarter in the Eagles final game in the Andy Reid era sums up No.7’s time in Philly. In that quarter against the New York Giants, Vick makes two fundamental errors to end the Eagles opening drive. First the quarterback failed to look off Giants' safety Stevie Brown, who was having a career year with eight interceptions, and then threw what FOX analyst Brian Billick kindly referred to as a “high floater” in the middle of the field. This is who Vick has always been and in the end it cost Reid his job.
That turnover came directly after the Eagles recovered an onside kick to open the game. Any momentum established after that kick was seized by Vick and destroyed.
The man who became the first ever African-American quarterback to be drafted first overall has failed at delivering his promise and should not be given another chance in Philly.
A new Head Coach, a new regime, and new hope should not be greeted by the same old broken promises, poor throws, and wretched excuses that accompany Michael Vick.
Unless new head coach Chip Kelly plans on changing his “Spread Offense” to a “Share Offense” Vick is not the quarterback for Kelly’s Eagles.
Furthermore, accountability must be exhibited by this new group of generals. Every player must be held to the same standard and there cannot be any pardons for those who fail to meet their prescribed level of play.
Vick has destroyed two franchises in his vexatious career with the hope he would change as a player. It is time for reality to replace hope.