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The Rise of Vick, and the Fall of Mcnabb

 

I never saw this coming, Vick a MVP candidate in 2011, and Mcnabb considered washed up and a shell of his former self. After I looked back on it, we all should have seen it. The question is how did this come about and why. First we have to go back to Vick coming to the Eagles. The Eagles signed Vick with Mcnabb's blessing. This is the first flaw of Mcnabb he is just a nice guy. What QB wants their current team to sign the NFL version of Dominique Wilkins, the human highlight film? Do you think Tom Brady would want the Patriots to sign Peyton Manning after Manning did a couple years in the bink for a white collar crime? Hell no!

I never saw this coming, Vick a MVP candidate in 2011, and Mcnabb considered washed up and a shell of his former self. After I looked back on it, we all should have seen it.  The question is how did this come about and why.  First we have to go back to Vick coming to the Eagles. The Eagles signed Vick with Mcnabb's blessing. This is the first flaw of Mcnabb he is just a nice guy. What QB wants their current team to sign the NFL version of Dominique Wilkins, the human highlight film? Do you think Tom Brady would want the Patriots to sign Peyton Manning after Manning did a couple years in the bink for a white collar crime? Hell no!

The second thing I should have noticed is the fire inside of Vick to become what he use to be, and gain his fame and fortune back. Vick, probably could have signed with another team not as talented and in a rebuilding stage for example the Buffalo's Bills of the NFL.  He instead signs with the Eagles a talented young team with speed all over the field. Vick probably figures that if he gets one opportunity to play they will be clamoring for him to be the starter, very opportunistic on his behalf. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I vividly remember when Mcnabb got hurt vs the Panthers in Week 1 last year and Vick stood up in the press box with binoculars as if his horse in the Kentucky Derby was about to cross the finish line. The new Vick, more self aware managed to contain the mixed feelings he probably had while standing in the press box. Then a wrench named Kolb is thrown in the plans of Vick to take over the world, Kolb comes in and plays well, and it looks as operation Vick total world domination will have to wait.

Mcnabb on the other hand has one of his most impressive seasons as a pro in 2010. The young talent is developing and he is leading comeback after comeback, the Eagles are on an end of season tear until they meet the Cowboys. It's as if Vick himself got together football vodoo dolls and played the games out, as a whole the Eagles didn't play well and they got destroyed by the Cowboys both times, and all the Eagles fans remember from Mcnabb is the bad play and the air guitar, and that turned out to be Mcnabb's final performance for Philly. The thing to remember about Vick from those games against Dallas is that Vick got significant playing time and played well.

April fools 2010 Mcnabb is traded to the Washington Redskins.  Unfortunately back then I thought the Eagles were the fool, and they should have been, but Shannahan made sure the Eagles looked smart. First Shannahan takes a top 10 defense and entrenches them dead last in the NFL and ostracizes their best or at least their highest paid defensive player. He then keeps Larry Johnson, Portis, and some guy named Keiland Williams as his backs. As the season progresses and Donovan's interceptions are piling up something is evident to me Donovan doesn't grasp this offense very well. He is staring down receivers and forcing balls into places where there are no windows. If I wasn't so naive I would have known that Mcnabb was bound to fail, little talent at the skill positions, a bad offensive line, and a once proud defense personally sabotaged by Shannahan and Haslett. A coach who preaches patience to justify the 3-4 scheme and doesn't extend the same patience to his QB.

Vick on the other hand played lights out in a close loss to Green Bay after Kolb got hurt, and hasn't looked back.  His famous words after the Green Bay game "if I had played the whole game I think we would have won" and I don't think it was a shot taken at his good friend Kolb, but it was an announcement to the city of Philadelphia and the Eagles if you would like to win and win now then you know what to do.

As for the Redskins they have won games against the Titans, Packers, Eagles, Cowboys, and Bears.  All these teams they were not expected to win against, if anyone watches this team week in and week out they know that they haven't put it all together.  Offense plays well defense does not , offense and defense plays well special teams does not. This could easily be an over achieving 9 win team. Instead the coach benches Mcnabb and says he is too lazy and stupid to run the two minute offense, and then gives him a contract extension.  Further, bringing home the point that Mcnabb is too nice, why sign a contract extension that is totally in the favor of the team. Mcnabb would have been much better served to see how the rest of year played out and weighed his options. That opinion did not take a lot of hindsight.

In conclusion both of these stories come down to perception. Mcnabb always takes the high road, and stays "classy" and its killing him. Saying he is "somewhat disrespected" by the benching is basically saying it was somewhat justified, and he loses credibility every time he says he wants to comeback to the Redskins. By saying he wants to comeback he is saying he is willing to compete for a starting job, something that he should have earned at this stage of his career. Seeing Mcnabb walk out on the field for the coin toss on Sunday made me sick. A player of his caliber going out there for the coin toss then promptly sitting on the bench.  If the players in the locker room were upset about Mcnabb's benching before the game I don't think they were afterwards, because of perception. Rex Grossman missed receivers one to a wide open Santana Moss in the end zone, and threw horrible interceptions, but it "felt good" the coach was smiling after the game and even said he thought the interception at the end of the game was a "good decision". Mcnabb has done nothing on field to indicate he is washed up or has deteriorating skills, still has a strong arm, still makes plays out of the pocket, and is still hard to bring down, but Mcnabb has been his biggest contributor to the perception he is not the player he once was and it is my opinion that it has little to do with his on the field play.

As for Vick any logical person would tell you Vick is one of the greatest talents to ever step foot on a football field.  The media has helped create the story that Vick's success is a surprise. The media creates a perception of a great QB 6ft 6, good hair, a pocket passer. and yes white. I don't think it has a lot to do with racism but stereotypes and there is a big difference, stereotypes we may not even be aware of. Ask a white running back about stereotypes. Vick before jail was a great player and doing a lot with an Atlanta team that wasn't very talented. He got to 4,000 yards very different than Peyton, and Tom he did it with 2,600 yards passing and 1,400 running. He was considered inaccurate, as if he couldn't complete a pass, I don't think it ever occurred to anyone that in Atlanta he is usually throwing on the run, across his body or from a variety of different positions which affects your accuracy, that also applies to Mcnabb by the way. When Vick got out of jail there were rumblings he should play running back, or wide receiver, or he could be the next evolution of the wildcat. Anyone watching Vick without bias prior to incarceration knew exactly what he would be if he got his speed back and played for the Eagles Michael Vick 2.0. The media, and when I say "the media", in sports I primarily mean ESPN, would like for you to believe that this is some miracle that he is playing this way, it's NOT. A great redemption story off the field but for me no big surprise on the field. Vick is perfect for the Eagles but do I believe they are head and shoulders above what they were last year with Mcnabb, no. The same problems plague them, redzone offense and defense and a much softer defense than in the Dawkins and Jim Johnson days.  What they have going for them is their offense under Michael Vick, the team seems to rally behind him in a way they didn't rally behind Mcnabb for whatever reason. Moral of the story, nice guys finish last, and never underestimate the drive of someone who is trying to get back to the top after knowing what it's like to be there.

 

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