The Michael Vick Effect On Free Agency

For his first six years in the NFL, Michael Vick for all of his God-given ability was still a work in progress both on and off the field. After a fall from grace and two years in prison, Vick returned to the NFL prepared to repair his image at the expense of those that intimated that his repentant heart was fueled by an empty bank account.

Vick has picked up his life and career to become the leader on a loaded Philadelphia Eagles squad that’s looking to make a run at the Lombardi Trophy.

You heard me correctly when I said leader.

 

Nnamdi Asomugha said that he chose to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles because he felt they “are closer to the Super Bowl than the New York Jets.” The Birds newest defensive end Pro Bowler Jason Babin called the Eagles, “The Miami Heat of the NFL.” and Vince Young used the term “Dream Team” when asked about the Eagles acquisitions last Friday and Saturday.

Even during the Eagles recent free agent bonanza Michael Vick still seemed to be at the center of it all. Vince Young talked about how he was looking forword to pushing Vick to be the best quarterback that he can be while getting his own career back on track. Former Green Bay Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins sounded relieved in explaining how he doesn’t have to chase MV7 around anymore. And prized acquisition Nnamdi Asomugha told the Philadelphia press how Vick made his pitch for him to join the Eagles at the Pro Bowl last season. Newest addition Ronnie Brown signed a one-year deal to join Vick and others in Philly.

I’ll go on record saying that Michael Vick’s play last season was the greatest free agent lure the Eagles could’ve wished for. Now as they assemble one of the better rosters in the NFL, the Eagles expect to make a run at the Super Bowl with Vick leading the way.

Donovan McNabb Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles congratulates Michael Vick #7 after Vick passed for his second touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Team leader was the last responsibility anyone expected to hang on Vick after his release from Leavenworth prison in 2009. His first season in Philadelphia was filled with speculation about his future as a quarterback or just a novelty collecting a check. Last off season when Donovan McNabb was traded the opportunity to unseat Kevin Kolb as the starter presented itself. Vick nor Kolb did much of anything to earn the starting job in the preseason but Kolb was named the starter for the season opener.

As the saying goes - you’re only one play away.

In Week 1 Kolb went down with a concussion in the first half against the Green Bay Packers. Vick, in emergency duty channeled his inner 2005, displaying what many had been longing to see since his return. The Eagles, energized by Vick’s presence played with a sense of urgency and nearly pulled off an improbable comeback. Vick’s play was enough to convince coach Andy Reid to name him the starter for the duration.

Now the starting quarterback, Vick was thrust into a situation many thought he wasn’t prepared for. Vick had learned the nuances of the passing game while working with McNabb day in and day out while developing a new found work ethic – the results were startling. Vick’s improvement as a pocket passer was evident just as much as the return of his speed and elusiveness. Vick displayed the skills of  a complete quarterback and was once again  the most dangerous player in the NFL.

The way Vick handled himself in a critical Philadelphia media was refreshing. Vick was bold and honest yet humble and engaging. He was a new man, inside and out, appreciative of every opportunity given to him. In between the lines, Vick played like every down was his last. In last season’s miracle comeback against the Giants, Vick played with a desperation and will that reverberated throughout the team as they chipped away at a 21-point deficit with eight minutes remaining in regulation. When DeSean Jackson crossed the goal line to give the Eagles a miraculous 38-31 victory – more than the NFC East was won that day. Vick had fully won the respect of his teammates, he had won over a city that seemed divided over his arrival but eager to make him one of their own. Finally, Michael Vick won back the admiration of  the NFL - a league that many thought he had shamed.  The only shame was that no one offered to wipe Vick’s slate clean - good thing he brought his own eraser.

The 2011 Philadelphia Eagles will have the eyes of the football world fixed upon them, the comments of Babin and Young will only increase the magnification and while other players will have their moments during the season one thing remains certain…

All eyes will once again be on Michael Vick – leader of the Philadelphia Eagles.

30 Responses to “The Michael Vick Effect On Free Agency”

  1. That’s what I’m talking about. Good stuff Mr. Glover.

  2. Miranda says:

    VY made a pretty innocuous comment that has spun into a media driven “The Eagles tryna buy the Super Bowl!” storyline for the mainstream sports media….and like the pied piper leading the children out the city, the knuckledraggers that permeate the comment sections of the various big sports sites, have followed dutifully in buying it and repeating it ad nauseum. I swear I think they sit at their computers, eyes glazed over, fingers typing in a robotic pattern, as they repeat the talking points with military precision.

    So the storyline has been set…Eagles – bad guys, they think they’re a “dream team”, they tryna buy the Super Bowl…bad bad bad.

    It would be funny if it weren’t so tiring.

  3. Wall $t. says:

    Jason Babin may have inadvertantly started “The Rapeover” of The Eagles…

    Vick was already easy for alot of “others” to hate…

    Now that he has a bounty of riches to support him in Philly, instead of embracing his growth & turnaround, he will be villified for having the kind of appeal (wanted to say “swag”, but it almost made me vomit in my mowf a lil’ bit) to draw high end free agents that didn’t say “Hey Peyton! How much of a pay cut are you willing to take to win?” #MediaFabricatedTheDecisio?n2.0

  4. Temple3 says:

    Alright now Philly….

    I don’t want to hear anyone complaining about how Andy Reid wouldn’t give the rock to McCoy and Ronnie Brown after they get bumped in the playoffs.

  5. MODI says:

    Eagles and Pats in most highly rated Super Bowl ever…

    Barring injury, I don’t see Green Bay, Vikes, Jets, or Steelers interrupting this collision course

    This season should be a lot of fun…

  6. E says:

    I knew Vick would shine again

  7. CAvard says:

    Still hoping for an Eagles-Patriots showdown in Super Bowl XLVI. Please make it happen.

  8. Origin says:

    @ RG – Brotha this was a hell of a write up.

    @ Miranda – You know it sista….these idiots have to have someone to hate. What better then a loaded team with the most hated athlete (outside of Lebron) who is the QB of that team. Now watch how they will really play with folks heads. As the Eagles win game after game the hate will build up critiquing everything the team does and especially every pass and or run that Vick performs. Then I can see Mcnabb’s Vikings playing Vick’s Eagles in the Conf. Championship game with the announcers and media saying how much Mcnabb deserves to go to the Superbowl because how he carried himself and how he played the position the right way. But how hard it is for people to forgive Vick and maybe its too soon to forget and forgive Vick for what he did in the past.

    Only then to flip the script if Mcnabb’s Vikings happen to beat the Eagles and face a golden boy team in th Superbowl 2 weeks later.
    Suddenly the talk of Mcnabb deserving to win the Superbowl goes away. Only talk of how the golden boy he is facing in the superbowl is so much better and plays the game the right way and that Mcnabb is a choke artist and that he must win to go to the HOF.

    @Wall @$t. – Its BS because as I said with Lebron and the Heat…no one would complain if they got together to team with Nash or Dirk. No one covering the NFL complains when Brady’s Team or Peyton’s Team is stacked and gets a ton of free agents and players through trades. Everytime these golden boys get talent all I hear is how fun its going to be to watch these teams. Or how these players are smart to come together to help Brady or Peyton win a ring.

    @ Modi – I don’t even think the Eagles get to the Superbowl (the Conf. Championship yes). Now don’t get me wrong I will be happy if the Eagles or the Vikings get to the superbowl and win it. That would make my year!!!! But in saying that the pessimist in me says that old Andy will abandon the run during the conf. championship game only to have Vick throw the ball 60 times at home in 20 degree weather with 40 mile an hour winds…..LOL!!!

    And the conspiracy theorist in me says that that even if Andy calls a balance offense throughout the season and in the playoffs the refs will still let Vick get beat into the ground on late hits. Getting hit 5 seconds after releasing the ball or hit after stepping 5 yards out of bounds. He still won’t get calls that a player of his stature and at that position deserves. Add to the fact him being the most dangerous player in the league the last thing the league needs is him getting to the superbowl and messing everything up. A player like Vick is unpredictable in a single elimination game (like the superbowl) even if the refs and his own coach are against his best interest…he can still pull a rabit out of a hat….LOL!!!

  9. Origin says:

    And if Andy Reid actually uses Ronnie Brown to run for first downs on 3rd and short I know the world is really coming to an end in 2012.

  10. MODI says:

    O, I can’t think of a matchup that Goodell wouldn’t want more than Eagles and Pats. That’s why I think the calls will be fair…

  11. HarveyDent says:

    Great read, RG, and I have to say that outside of the Eagles and Pats this NFL season is set to be very interesting all the way around. What will McNabb and Kolb do with their new teams? Will Julio Jones be worth what the Falcons gave up to get him? Is Detroit ready to take the next step? And those questions are just in the NFC.

    I’m excited again about football this season and if by some miracle the Eagles do win the SB I may surprise myself and stick around for seasons after instead of giving up the NFL as I’d promised.

  12. Ron Glover says:

    Now you know I can’t let you do that HD!

  13. Temple3 says:

    Hilarious stuff. If Ronnie Brown gets the ball on 3rd and short, Origen, you’re 100% correct. We can all cash in our chips, get VanderJacked (liquor’d up), and head over to The Grotto — to see what’s poppin’.

    The Packers, though, are not to be slept on. They have great DBs…their Front 7 is infinitely better than the Eagles — they have a better defensive scheme and better defensive signal caller, they have more chemistry on defense and they’re getting back a TON of guys.

    They’re adding Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley to a team that won the Super Bowl. They have mo’ betta wide receivers than the Eagles. They’re just as good at RB. They’re miles ahead at TE and along the line especially at both tackle positions.

    They have depth with Super Bowl experience.

    They could have a hang over, but it just might be that all those guys who missed out last year are really, really hungry and will bring enough fire to the game to get things done. The Packers could be significantly better than they were last year.

    And having Nnamdi and DRC and Asante will help vs. the Packers, but it won’t be decisive. They’re 4th receiver can win a Super Bowl. Is Philly putting Hanson on Jordy Nelson? Which Philly linebacker/safety combo is covering Finley?

    Assuming folks stay healthy, it could come down to coaching…it could come down to hell freezing over and Andy Reid running the ball at clutch time….Hahahahahahaahahahaha!!!

    Don’t bet on it.

  14. RBD says:

    Just thought about this. If I were an Eagles fan living in, say, North Dakota, I wouldn’t get the NFL Sunday Ticket. No need. The Eagles will be available nationally in probably half the weeks of the season. And why not? Good team. Big market. Compelling storylines.

    We’ve seen much recently about the advent of the HD, big-screen TV and its impact on live attendance. I”m curious as to how that plays with the Eagles this year. I’ve got to believe they won’t have trouble selling tickets.

  15. Miranda says:

    RBD, I read a story on philly.com that they sold out of the single game tickets in an hour.

  16. Origin says:

    @Temple – Hey did you hear that Reid is finally putting in hot reads for Vick. The word is that the Eagles offense under Reid has never had hot reads. So maybe just maybe Reid will incorporate a running game to go along with the hot reads…..lord this dude for over 10 years has never had hot reads in his play book.

    @Miranda – Sista are you going to the Eagles vs. Atl game this year? There might be even more Vick fans there then before.

  17. Michelle says:

    Good read Ron :)

  18. Miranda says:

    Origin, if I can get tickets I most certainly am!! Right now the Falcons tryna sell 3 and 5 game packages and guess which game just magically winds up in both? They won’t put the single game tickets on sale yet – I guess 13 and 3 doesn’t translate to automatic season ticket sellouts like they thought it would.

  19. Ron Glover says:

    Thanks, long lost TSF reader :-)

  20. Miranda says:

    Man, I tell ya….the way Tebow has been bashed the last few days by folks makes me feel sorry for Football Jesus! LOL Anyone else heard it on any sports talk or is that just what I’ve heard?

  21. Ron Glover says:

    @Origin, Vick has been seeing his share of blitzes in practice, I would say at least 50 percent of his snaps. Never a hot route or a quarterback checking off under Reid. A long-time sticking point for me.

    @Miranda, I think we’ve heard the same stories when it comes to the most recent persecution of “End Zone Jesus”.

  22. Temple3 says:

    This hot route thing is interesting. I don’t really know what to make of that since McNabb played there for so long and left with the lowest INT% in league history. And people thought he was a bum.

    The Eagles have always run lots of crossing routes, hooks, digs and slants which are all effectively various types of “hots.” It seems to me that the QB has always had the choice between multiple receivers running routes to beat a blitz. I don’t have too many recollections of the Eagles sending everyone deep.

    A wise man once said, “Defenses get paid, too.” Don’t be surprised if you see defenses fake a few blitzes and snatch the ball away from the “hot.” It happens. It happened to the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

    The Eagles need to worry about running the ball in the 2nd half of playoff games and getting linebackers who can cover and d-linemen who won’t get mauled at the point of attack.

  23. Origin says:

    @ Miranda – My sistah hear you go

    http://www.stubhub.com/atlanta-falcons-tickets/falcons-vs-eagles-georgia-dome-1068467/

    I usually order my tickets from stubhub and have never had any issues. I attend to be there with my queen and my baby girl on the 18th of Sep.

    Also I have seen how the media is riding hard on Tebow. Man the way they were riding on him I had to double check to make sure Tebow wasn’t a black QB. The media needs to stop this mess….leave the kid alone they are the bums who anointed Tebow as the second coming of Jesus. Now he isn’t living up to the hype they want to tear the young man down. I don’t know what to make of this…what are they upset that he will be given the job over a pocket passing QB with a losing record? I don’t understand why is it so bad that Tebow is getting a starting gig. Is it a money issue or a lack of performance issue? Shit Carson Palmer and Alex Smith been under performing and stealing money for YEARS and I don’t hear crap from the media!!!! So what is the problem then.

    @RG- Yeah that has always bothered me with Reid. Thats why his offense (the one in which he wants to pass 70% of the time) is only efficient when ran by a incredibly gifted QB such as Vick or Mcnabb. Who can make plays with their arm and feet and be an extension of the running game. If Reid doesn’t have a QB like that he then calls a more balanced attack (Garcia, Feely, Detmer).

    @Temple – It seems that Reid has never given his QBs the option to audible or call hot routes. As far as I remember the only thing they have ever been allowed to do is flip a play from left to right or vice versa.

    But you are right if the Eagles don’t run the ball this season hot routes won’t matter. Cause they won’t get to the superbowl and Vick will be hurt.

    So guys whats the over under on how many ints that Grossman throws this season. I hope he goes for the record beating george blanda’s record of 42.

  24. eric daniels says:

    What’s up fam, been busy with Diaylsis and doing pre transplant work- up (to get back on the list) but I would say the Eagles aren’t the favorite just yet, they may have taken care of the CB problems but they couldn’t mount a pass rush to save their lives and a legitimate running game was always Philly’s problem. Will “Big Red’ run the ball to take pressure off Vick late to seal wins and can they get the ball in the end zone when in the red zone? Nobody on this board has answered that question.

    Now the NFC is pretty thick with good to great teams with the NFC South and North teams and young teams on the come-up like the Rams, Bucs , Lions and Seahawks who can win 8-10 games who the Eagles will face this year. Let’s not just give the George Halas trophy just yet.

  25. Miranda says:

    Take care of yourself ED, wishing you the best!

  26. Ron Glover says:

    Yo Ed, it’s good to hear from you. I see the Eagles right now as a team that can have a special season if it all comes together from these unit jelling down to staying healthy. I’m still a little concerned about the health of Jeremy Maclin and the progression of the offensive line as well as the linebacking corps.

    The league as a whole has gotten better and some teams like the Bucs are ready to make the next step where I think a team like the Saints may fall off for a year.

    All things considered, I’m really looking forward to the season.

    Stay in good health.

  27. What Miranda said ED!

  28. HarveyDent says:

    Take care of yourself, ED

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