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Michael Vick's Time With the Eagles Wasn't Half Bad

Updated on March 23, 2014

I will admit that there might have been a bigger critic of Michael Vick than me. But even I have to admit that not everything he did while he was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles was a complete disaster.

Don't get me wrong, though. Everything that Vick did on the football field was every bit as bad as I predicted during his time with the Eagles from 2009-2013. I told you that he was a terrible quarterback who couldn't read defenses and was a turnover machine and he proved me right. Besides one brief six-game run in 2010, Vick showed all the flaws that he showed in Atlanta, when he was the most overrated player in the entire NFL.

Michael Vick
Michael Vick

Vick was a member of the Eagles for 80 games. He started 40 of those games. And he won 20 of those games. Saying he was mediocre is giving him too much credit when you look at his statistics.

Vick completed 59% of his passes (773 of 1,300) with the Eagles, for 9, 984 yards passing. That's not terrible, but when you consider that he threw only 57 touchdowns with 33 interceptions, you see that he wasn't a good passer. Even adding in his 15 rushing touchdowns doesn't make him great because he still fumbled the ball 36 times and lost 14 of them. That means his overall TD-Turnover ratio was 72-47. That is horrific.

Anybody who thought Vick was a great quarterback when he first came to Philly, and especially anybody clueless enough to still think he's a good quarterback, must get all their football knowledge from playing Madden video games and only watching the football highlights. Anybody who watched every snap Vick took in Philly should know that he simply isn't a good quarterback. He doesn't read defenses especially well and he longer has the speed to outrun defenders. That isn't a good combination.

Michael Vick becomes a good citizen
Michael Vick becomes a good citizen

But I would like to point out the one thing that Michael Vick did very well during his time with the Eagles. He was a great teammate and leader.

I'm serious.

I never would have thought I would ever type that sentence, but it's true. Michael Vick not only rehabilitated him image, he actually rehabilitated his real life. With the exception of that one incident at his 30th birthday party where (this has never been proven but is obviously true) his brother, Marcus shot one of Michael's co-defendants in the dog-fighting ring; Michael was never in trouble during his time with the Eagles.

Michael Vick was a model citizen who actually seemed to realize that he was given a second chance in life and was determined to not screw it up. He was a family man and he apparently took his work for the Human Society to heart. You can't help but give him credit for turning his personal and professional life around, even if he wasn't a great quarterback. Unfortunately, that's really the only part that matters to sports fans.

Of course, one by-product of Vick's personal turnaround is that he helped lead his teammates.

Many of the players on the Eagles grew up idolizing Vick and looked up to him. Apparently, Vick took his role as a team leader seriously. That was never more evident than this past season.

Vick Benched
Vick Benched

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Riley Cooper's racial rant could have torn the team apart when head coach Chip Kelly wisely decided to keep Cooper on the roster. While some teammates said they could never respect Cooper again for the stupid things he said, it was Vick who stepped forward and said that everybody needed to forgive Cooper. It was very poignant, since Vick was only in this position because he, himself, had gotten a second chance in the NFL. He was forgiven. Because Vick was respected by his teammates and quarterbacks are generally seen as the leader of NFL teams, his words kept the team together and allowed Cooper to have a career season in 2013.

As if that wasn't enough, Vick also showed what a changed man he was in the way he handled his demotion to backup when Nick Foles stepped in for an injured Vick and set the NFL on fire.

Michael Vick and Chip Kelly in happier times
Michael Vick and Chip Kelly in happier times

Many NFL experts and fans assumed that Vick would get his starting job back when his hamstring healed last season. But when Foles was in the midst of one of the finest seasons in NFL history, Vick stepped forward and diffused a potentially sticky situation. Vick said in an interview that there was no way that Kelly could bench Foles when Vick was healthy enough to play. Vick then proceeded to support Foles for the rest of the season. And Foles never missed an opportunity to praise Vick for all the support and guidance he provided throughout the season. Not all veteran quarterbacks would have handled the situation as gracefully as Vick did. Heck, we had a certain high-maintenance QB in Philly, who wore No. 5, who never handled even the suggestion of a demotion as well as Vick handled his situation.

It was ironic that Vick's career with the Eagles ended in much the same manner as it started. Vick won the starting job when he played well after Kevin Kolb got hurt in 2010. Then Vick lost the starting job last season after he got hurt and Foles came in and played well.

Now don't get me wrong, I couldn't be happier that Vick is now an ex-Eagle. And I still think signing him in the first place was one of the dumbest moves that Andy Reid ever made, which is saying something with that fat dope.

But in spite of that, it would be wrong to send Vick off without at least acknowledging all the good he did while he was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Reason Michael Vick is an ex-Eagle

I won't be rooting for Vick to win with the New York Jets, who signed him to a one-year, $5 million contract to compete with Geno Smith for the starting QB job. But I am at least a big enough man to commend Michael Vick for the man he has become. After what he did to those poor animals, I thought he was a monster. It turns out that while he may have done some unspeakable things, there was at least a man under all that who was capable of turning it all around.

I think the Jets will regret signing Vick, since he is simply not a good quarterback. But he may just turn out to be a good thing for Geno Smith as he learns how to be a professional and a man in the NFL. Vick proved last season that he will support his teammates even if he isn't the starter and a young quarterback like Smith needs that kind of support.

I never would have believed I would have anything nice to say about Michael Vick. I was right about Michael Vick the quarterback, but I was wrong about Michael Vick the person. Who knew.

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