Friday, August 14, 2009

The Argument for Michael Vick in Denver

I wrote this as one of my regular columns before Vick signed with the Eagles but didn't use it. There's some good lines in it so I didn't want it to go to waste.

O.k. before everyone starts freaking out, I do not endorse what Michael Vick did to land himself in the slammer for the last two years. It was deplorable and brutish and speaks volumes to his arrested state of development as a human being. If I was hiring him to baby sit my kids (or dogs), he’d be way, way down on the list. But Michael Vick is being courted by various NFL franchises (depending on who you ask), not for his kid watching ability but for his skill at grabbing a football and running very, very fast with it into the end zone. That right there is reason enough to put him to work on your favorite team. The cumbersome baggage that comes with him? Not so much.

As of now, Vick is “conditionally reinstated” into the NFL which means he can sign on with a team and play somewhere around the sixth game of the season. Any team signing him will not only take on paying the felon, but it will take on the scrutiny and firestorm that will come with him. That team, ladies and gentlemen should be the Denver Broncos.

I can see beefy NFL fans everywhere pausing to take the chicken wing out of their mouth long enough to exclaim “not on my team!” when the name Michael Vick is brought up. If the horrific animal abuse Vick served time for wasn’t so ghastly, it would be hilarious to point out how the very meat centric world of NFL football can’t stand this guy. Look, here’s a tip: if you’re being asked by a local news crew about how much you hate Michael Vick, try to step away from the succulent rack of ribs you are basting in the Mile High parking lot so they don’t end up in the shot.

If you remember how Michael Vick single handedly burned the Broncos at home back in 2004 (threw for two TD’s and rushed for 115 yards) then you’ll know why any team with a shaky QB situation should be lining up for this guy. Any team with a pretty good QB situation should be at least giving it some thought. Here’s why: The Broncos QB’s will be under enormous pressure to perform, not only through the season but from the very first game. I think Kyle Orton will flourish under Josh McDaniel’s tutelage, but can you imagine throwing someone as fast as Vick back there to compliment Orton?

The Wildcat is a gimmicky football formation that came into vogue last season and went out of vogue as soon as superior defenses had enough with such shenanigans. In a nutshell, the Wildcat utilizes direct snapping of the ball to a running back who then takes off for glory. It worked for awhile because defenses wouldn’t know who was getting the ball: a speedy running back or the guy who throws it. With Michael Vick thrown into the Broncos mix, you not only have one of the faster people in the league getting the ball, but one who can throw it as well. Put him and a legitimate starting QB like Kyle Orton out there and you might just create so much confusion, the Broncos will forget they are supposed to suck.

Teams are supposed to say the right thing to their fans, and the public mood right now dictates they say Michael Vick is not wanted on their particular squad. But we all know winning trumps most bad behaviors. The Broncos can and will win more games with a weapon like Michael Vick lurking back there whether he’s the QB or not. Does winning trump his bad behavior? Probably so. But take the hot dog out of your mouth before you answer.

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