Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thoughts on Vick and Kolb

The story of the day is from Philadelphia, where Eagles Coach Andy Reid has announced that Michael Vick, not Kevin Kolb, will be the starting quarterback henceforth, and the decision has nothing to do with Kolb's injuries.

Said Reid, "You're talking about Michael Vick as one the best quarterbacks in the NFL right now."

"He did an exceptional job and my job is to evaluate the players." "It's my obligation to make the proper decision."

Okay. So here's my response to that statement. Plain and simple: Michael Vick did play an exceptional game, but it's important to remember that he played against the exceptionally bad Detroit Lions defense.

Detroit has ranked dead last in total defense two seasons in a row, and actually got WORSE this year in the secondary. Not to mention two of our best starters, Levy and Avril, missed the game with injuries. Throwing two TDs against the Lions defense is like successfully taking out the trash. Not an overly difficult task.

Vick posted a 108 QB rating against the Lions, with 2 touchdowns, 284 yards, and a 61% completion percentage. That's great.

But take a look at what other quarterbacks were able to do against Detroit's defense in 2009:

  • Week 1 - Drew Brees QB rating, 137
  • Week 2 - Brett Favre, 115
  • Week 3 - Jason Campbell, 97.6
  • Week 4 - Jay Cutler, 100.4
  • Week 5 - Ben Ruthlessraper, 123.9
  • Week 6 - Aaron Rodgers, 113.7
  • Week 10 - Favre, 120.5
  • Week 11 - Brady Quinn, 133.1
  • Week 12 - Rodgers, 124.7
  • Week 14 - Joe Flacco, 120.8
  • Week 16 - Alex Smith, 97.5
  • Week 17 - Cutler, 122
In 12 of our 16 games, we allowed a QB rating of higher than 97. Or, put it this way: the average QB rating against the Lions was 107, and that included quarterbacks such as Campbell, Quinn, Marc Bulger, and Jay Cutler twice.

Which means that last season, the best quarterback in the NFL was Drew Brees with a 109.6 rating, and the second best QB was 'whoever played the Lions.'

So when Mike Vick puts together a QB rating of 108 against the Lions, essentially, he's played an average game against a hideous defense. He did the same thing that Brady Freaking Quinn did against the same defense.

And so, when Andy Reid proclaims Vick "one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League" based solely on a single game against the anemic Lions defense, he's made a crucial misjudgment.

I think this is a knee-jerk reaction and it's going to be detrimental to the post-McNabb era in Philadelphia. Kevin Kolb should be the franchise quarterback there and there should be no argument. Vick is a solid quarterback and does some things that no other quarterback can do. But Kolb is the guy who can control the offense, control the tempo, and win the most games. Kolb will limit mistakes, will provide exceedingly better leadership, and will be a likeable face of the franchise for years to come.

Michael Vick intentionally murdered dogs. He electrocuted them and hung them from trees. Not only that, but his past has been tied to illegal drugs, airport theft, gang activity, steroids, as well as one incident when he was sued for giving a woman genital herpes. Each time, the settlement was made out of court.

Vick has good lawyers and lots of money. He thought he could stay out of trouble forever. He thought he could do whatever he wanted. He thought he could fund an illegal and disgusting dog-fighting operation in his own backyard and never get caught. And when he did get caught, he thought he could simply lie about it and let his lawyers do the rest. It worked with the drugs and the steroids and the herpes.

But not this time you sick bastard. You got caught and your ass got sent to jail where it belongs. Vick should have served a 10-15 year sentence for his role as founder and funder of the dog-fighting operation, but instead got out in 18 months. All it takes is money and you can screw the U.S. justice system like a cheap prostitute. It's so obscene. People like Michael Vick make me humiliated to be an American.

But alas, Vick got released and went right back into his old habits - lying, cheating, doing whatever the hell he wants, and letting his lawyers and PR people keep him out of trouble. Less than a year after his release, Vick was in a nightclub, with guns and homeys and "alleged" shootings. Back in legal trouble. But of course, "he was already gone when the shooting took place." Right. I'm sure he had nothing to do with it.

His life is like one of those mobster movies where the bad guy always gets away with thier bad-guy activities, because they have tons of money and icky lawyers. They pay off cops. They pay off reporters. They do whatever they gotta do to stay out of trouble. That's the story of Vick's life (and many other professional athletes, I'm afraid).

And the worst part of all is the now sparkling clean image that Vick's PR folks have created. During the Lions-Eagles game on Sunday, the commentators made at least 5 mentions to Vick's efforts in community service. The first one or two times it was egregious and an insult to my intelligence, but then they continued to shove this horseshit down my throat every 10 or 20 minutes.

"Vick eludes the pass rush ... he's looking downfield ... finds Jackson on the seam and it's another Eagles first down! What a throw by this young man who has really turned his life around!"

"You're right Bill, you know, I talked with Andy Reid last night, and not only has Mike been a model citizen in the locker room and on the practice field, but he's been involved in countless community service efforts throughout the city of Philadelphia. He's really a great young man who just happens to have an unfortunate past."

"Exactly. You can't say enough about the character and integrity of this dog-murdering psychopath. You know, if my 30 year old son had tortured dogs as a means of recreation and lied about it after being caught, he'd be in a mental hospital. But not Mike Vick. He's a true hero to kids out there who want to learn a lesson about community service!"

Okay, so maybe I'm getting way off on a Vick-hating tangent here. But I had a point. And it was something like this: Michael Vick might be a good quarterback, but he's a terrible human being. Really a true scumbag and one of the most despicable human beings in the world. And this is the point ...

Success at the quarterback position rarely coincides with leading a repulsive lifestyle.

Guys like Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, John Elway, Joe Montana ... they all have something in common. They're good human beings. Happily married. Class acts. The kinds of leaders that teammates want to follow. Smart, dedicated, honest, loyal. They may be ruthless and calculating on the field, but none of them are killing dogs in their backyard.

Kevin Kolb is that kind of guy. He's a married man with two young daughters who could have played college ball at Texas or Oklahoma, but instead went to the University of Houston so he could play for his high school coach. Kolb enjoys boar-hunting in New Jersey and is an unashamed Christian.

Check out this interview with Kolb that he did with a local Houston student ministry. He's the classiest quarterback you can imagine. He talks about putting things in perspective, resisting peer pressure, marrying his high-school sweetheart, and the importance of his faith. It's an unbelievable interview with a genuinely good person.

These two quarterbacks could not possibly be any more different.

How can Andy Reid possibly choose Vick as his starter. He truly has no decency. I lost a lot of respect for Reid with this decision. I know it's his job to win football games and that's it, but come on. Have some decency. Draw the line somewhere.

Here's the bottom line: If the Eagles want to keep the dog-killing psychopath at quarterback and keep Kolb on the bench, that's just fine. The Lions will gladly take Kolb off your hands.


  1. I'm not in any way disagreeing with you.... but I do want to pose this question-

    At what point has Michael Vick paid for it? When can he be done and put it behind him? Killing dogs is a horrible thing; but so are any numerous things that you or I did. I'd rather forgive than hold it against him.

    That being said... I think it's a mistake and will end up hurting Philly in the long run.

  2. yeah it's a tough line between forgiving him and holding it against him.
    i think i can do both at once. i agree that he's "paid his time" in jail and deserves to be forgiven. but i don't think he's genuinely changed as a person. i think he's still a dog-killer at heart. i could be wrong. but i know Kolb seems like a great guy.
    it's interesting stuff ...

  3. I'm pretty sure you changed your picks in horrible fashion and then removed the offending blog post...

  4. i have no idea what you're talking about ...