I was initially going to just post these as a fanshot, with a comment or two and be done. I changed my mind because, even though Vick still hurts, I think we are to the point we can coherently and calmly discuss his time with the Falcons.
First of all, here are the links:
If you want, follow me after the jump for my comments.
The first link, an article by ESPN, is a normal "Lets love Vick and his comeback story" that we've all read billlions of times. One thing stood out to me though.
"The problem was that I wasn't given the liberty to do certain things when I was young. The reason I became a better player was because I came to Philly," he said. (Vick)
I'd be interested in a follow up question here. What are the things he's speaking about? I have always assumed the circus that was Vick's time in Atlanta was created by many things. 1) His inability to study and work like a NFL QB, and 2) Head coaches coddling him like a infant, and 3) a very bad scheme, built around one player. I thought that Vick was doing what he wanted (running after seeing option 1 covered).
"In the GQ interview and in another with ESPN The Magazine, for issues scheduled to go on sale Aug. 24, Vick said he needed a change of scenery after six years with the Atlanta Falcons, the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2001 from Virginia Tech."
Whether or not you still love Vick, I think we can all agree that he needed a change of scenery, and probably never would have been the QB he is with the Eagles, if he had stayed with us.
"I had lost confidence and was losing my love of the game. Football wasn't fun anymore," Vick told ESPN The Magazine. "If I had stayed in Atlanta, I'd be a year or two away from retiring. In the NFL, schemes make great quarterbacks," he added in the ESPN The Magazine interview. "I love Atlanta, but I wish now I would have been drafted by the Eagles."
Ouch. It hurts to hear him say it, but it's not expected. He is a great QB for the Eagles now, and it seems, having a much better life in Philly. True, but it still hurts.
It has been widely presumed that Vick's 21 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to financing a dogfighting ring altered his perspective. But Vick told GQ that prison wasn't where he decided to make changes."No ... I had changed my life long before then. I was just with the wrong team at the wrong time," Vick told GQ."I was turning the corner. I was cutting my braids off. I was changing my life. I wanted to live the life where football and family were the only things that mattered. I was ready to do it. I felt like time was running out on my career. I needed focus," he said, according to GQ.
That's interesting. I always assumed he had to go to prison to have his revelation. Apparently according to Vick, he had already made changes. Did he actually do that? Had he started down the right path, but had his past catch him? I don't know, and have no way of truly knowing, but it seems to be a stretch.
So, would he still be an elite quarterback if he'd never went to prison or was never discovered to have been involved in dogfighting? "Only if I had gotten traded to the Philadelphia Eagles," he told the magazine. "They never tried to change me."
What does he mean here? What exactly did the ATL coaches and management try and change? It seems to me, from the outside, that he needed to change.
Is everything we heard wrong? I am very interested. This article seems to infer that all Philly had to do, was let Vick be Vick. I always assumed he went to prison, made some internal changes, and came back with a passion he never had in Atlanta to study and practice. I always assumed we let him run way too much, because he couldn't be a pocket passer. Is Vick saying we changed him into that? Lots of questions that may never be answered.
Article 2 is a follow up article concerning Goodell pushing Vick to Philly. I don't think he did, but it has this exerp:
To think that Vick would have become what he's become while riding the bench behind Palmer or even while starting games for Buffalo is to underestimate the work the Eagles did with him once they got their hands on him. If this is going to be a controversy, people had better come at it with all of the facts. Sure, it's possible Goodell wanted Vick in Philadelphia. But if he did, it had nothing to do with wanting to help the Eagles. They did that on their own.
First of all Goodell should never, ever, help determine in any way where a free agent player goes. That shouldn't have to be said.
Second, apparently the Eagles did change Vick. It shows up in every article. How much work they put into him; how he works so much harder; how it took a coach like Reid to show him the way. Those things all seem to point to a changed man. Not a man who didn't need changed.