If the Lion King taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t trust anyone named Scar.
It also taught us, though, that you have to put the past behind you. And right about now, the rest of the world would do well to remember the teachings of Timon. They would do well to remember that it is not 2002 – that it is 2014, and the Michael Vick they’re so eager to see sign with the Jets is a decade and a prison stint removed from the one who was the world’s most electrifying player.
Indeed, the 2014 Michael Vick is a shell of the one we watched then.
Now 33-years old, the quarterback has fallen victim to Father Time’s cruel voodoo. He’s no longer the dynamic force he once was. He’s slower, he’s less quick, he’s less agile and – having refused to adjust his playing style to his depleting ability – he’s writing checks his body can no longer cash.
Michael Vick has never been able to read a defense, and he’s always held onto the ball too long. A decade ago, though, his athleticism helped him escape from the jams those two less than desirable traits got him into. Today, the would-be tacklers he dodged then are making up for lost time, connecting again and again with rib-breaking – literally – fury.
Over the last three years, hand, rib, hamstring, and head injuries have cost Vick multiple games each season. In 2011 he played in only 13 games; in 2012 he managed only 10 starts; and last year, injuries contributed to his missing nine contests.
With the immaturity that lead to those injuries and cost him those games, costing his team so much more.
In the 13 games played in 2011, Vick turned the ball over 24 times. In 2012’s 10 games, he amassed 21 turnovers. In 2013, his seven starts featured an additional seven interceptions and fumbles combined. That’s an average of 10 starts a year, and almost 2 turnovers per start.
Ask yourself, are those the numbers of a would-be future quarterback? Or even a QB of the present?
They’re the numbers of a QB whose once thrilling past is coloring our opinion of the future and causing us to ignore the harsh truth of the present and bleakness of the future.
Michael Vick is no longer a dynamic player whose legs overcome the numerous mental deficiencies in his game. Slower and more susceptible to the bigger, stronger, faster defensive players of today, he’s just a brittle, oft-hit, once electric talent who fails to process coverages, plays far too little and turns the ball over far too much when he does.
And that’s not what you want from a starting quarterback in 2014.
In the past, Michael Vick was great. But it’s time to put the past behind us.
Author: Joseph White
Joe Bianchino is a writer, producer, and radio host located in upstate New York. He is a life-long New York sport fan, Chelsea supporter, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBNTS. Email him at Joe@noticketsports.com.