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Vick

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With 20/20 hindsight, it's easy to wonder if the Bills and Bengals should be upset about the possibility Roger Goodell and the NFL steered Michael Vick to the Eagles. But in 2009, the goal was to return Vick to the league, not to make him a star, writes Dan Graziano. Blog

Michael Vick credits the Philadelphia Eagles with making him a better quarterback. But he was not at first convinced that Philly was the best place for him to resume his football career after nearly two years in federal prison, he told GQ Magazine for its September issue.

In an interview, the Eagles quarterback said the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills initially seemed like better options. Those teams wanted him and might have made him their starting quarterback, while the Eagles, at the time, already had an established veteran starter in Donovan McNabb and a starter-in-waiting in Kevin Kolb.

That was well before the Eagles traded McNabb and Kolb got hurt, setting the stage for Vick's remarkable comeback.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth ... I didn't want to come to Philadelphia," Vick told the magazine. "Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options."

More Vick

Michael Vick is the subject of the next issue of ESPN The Magazine, which goes on sale Aug. 24.

In it, The Mag's David Fleming looks at how Vick transformed the Eagles last season and examines if he can do the same for the NFL. Also included are Fleming's examination about how Vick's crimes still divide fans, plus Seth Wickersham's behind-the-scenes story about Vick's days in federal prison.

"My situation is clearly not a black and white thing, it was a respect and a disrespect for the law thing," Vick told The Mag.

He also address people who still hate him because of his role in dog fighting.

"I dismissed those people the first day I got out of prison," Vick said. "There may still be masses of people who feel that way. Just don't put it in my face. Because I will take the initiative to put it back in your face. They can continue to say this is phony or fictitious, but they should focus on something more productive and positive."

But Vick was convinced, after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL officials, that the Eagles were the best choice. "And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation," Vick told the magazine.

Vick told GQ he was always confident in his athletic ability to play quarterback. But it was in Philadelphia where he became a better football player, he said.

"The problem was that I wasn't given the liberty to do certain things when I was young. The reason I became a better player was because I came to Philly," he said.

In the GQ interview and in another with ESPN The Magazine, for issues scheduled to go on sale Aug. 24, Vick said he needed a change of scenery after six years with the Atlanta Falcons, the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2001 from Virginia Tech.

"I had lost confidence and was losing my love of the game. Football wasn't fun anymore," Vick told ESPN The Magazine. "If I had stayed in Atlanta, I'd be a year or two away from retiring."

"In the NFL, schemes make great quarterbacks," he added in the ESPN The Magazine interview. "I love Atlanta, but I wish now I would have been drafted by the Eagles."

It has been widely presumed that Vick's 21 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to financing a dogfighting ring altered his perspective. But Vick told GQ that prison wasn't where he decided to make changes.

"No ... I had changed my life long before then. I was just with the wrong team at the wrong time," Vick told GQ.

"I was turning the corner. I was cutting my braids off. I was changing my life. I wanted to live the life where football and family were the only things that mattered. I was ready to do it. I felt like time was running out on my career. I needed focus," he said, according to GQ.

So, would he still be an elite quarterback if he'd never went to prison or was never discovered to have been involved in dogfighting?

"Only if I had gotten traded to the Philadelphia Eagles," he told the magazine. "They never tried to change me."

As a Falcon fan that alway supported Vick. I am deeply sadden and fell phucked over my this article. If we don't go hard when we play them on Sept. 18, this article....well I can't even put it into words because I am very upset.

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Saw this earlier, but refrained from posting in this forum because I pride myself on not posting Vick stuff here lol.

The fact that the NFL steered Vick to Philly when both Cincy and Buffalo wanted him to start it pretty messed up.

m2Falcons and wallace francis like this

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I should have refrain from posting it to. I should haven't even read the article, but being a woman I had to go snooping anyway. Now I am really speechless beyond words. I guess now, I wished you would have went to San Diego or whoever wanted him then.

m2Falcons likes this

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Saw this earlier, but refrained from posting in this forum because I pride myself on not posting Vick stuff here lol.

The fact that the NFL steered Vick to Philly when both Cincy and Buffalo wanted him to start it pretty messed up.

If indeed Vick was steered to the eagles i am very upset with that. There should be no authority in the NFL that has any impact what so ever on the actually competition aspect of the game. I dont get this. I would like a few more details before i get too worked up but i do not like the sound of this.

m2Falcons likes this

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Ahhh.....good to see Vick coming back to form. Vick can choke on his mouth piece for all I care. The Falcons gave him a 130 mill. contract and tried all they knew to do to make him successful, he made the path he walked in while in Atlanta. What happened to that humble Vick? I saw on tv at during the iggles pre-season game Vick talking smack and flexing his muscles. His day is coming.

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Been saying for a minute Goodell is drunk with power. Philly was the best move for him but the "steering" that I heard about this morning on ESPN...I don't like that at all.

As far as YKW's comments...I don't take it personally and I don't disagree. Once Mora (moreso Knapp) got here it was just another factor that made the whole thing destined to fail. People love the story about how he's changed, etc., but any QB would have been in much better shape when your playcaller is Andy Reid or Morningweig as compared to Greg Knapp. That's just the truth.

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The reason why you became a better player is because you are on a better TEAM Vick. As far as the rest of it, **** the feelings mutual. I felt like giving up on the Falcons my **** self if they continued on with Vick. So in the end I guess I owe him a thank you.

What's his twitter? :lol:

KeepItCrispy and m2Falcons like this

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Oh so it was the scheme's fault for not making him a great QB and not the fact that he admittedly never studied film and didn't bother to get better in general. :angry:

thats right. he didnt try when he was with the falcons. he was a lazy piece of crap. now he is with the eagles he thinks his s**t dont stink and he thinks hes the greatest ever.

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wtf. Vick is not remorseful.

My link

The first time Michael Vick(notes) talked about the dogfighting that cost him two years of his life in a federal penitentiary, it was February of 2010, and he was opening up for a TV show called the Michael Vick Project. Back then, Vick made it seem as if the man who ran and financed a large Virginia dogfighting operation called Bad Newz Kennels was someone out of his own body.

"I was living a double life," he said then. "The dogfighting operation was getting bigger, and it was spiraling out of control. I would fly home to Virginia every Tuesday on my off-day, just to check up on my dogs and fight the dogs."

[More on Michael Vick: Did the NFL push him to the Eagles?]

The remorse may still be real, but judging from quotes that hit the internet on Wednesday, Vick isn't quite as penitent about what he did. In a brilliant story written by Will Leitch of Yahoo! Movies for GQ.com, Vick talked more about the cultural aspect of the dogfighting trade, and how some folks just wouldn't understand where it comes from.

"[The media is] writing as if everyone feels that way and has the same opinions they do. But when I go out in public, it's all positive, so that's obviously not true … You got the family dog and the white picket fence, and you just think that's all there is. Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it's wrong. But people act like it's some crazy thing they never heard of. They don't know."

As William Burroughs once said about another matter, this is a thin tissue of horse[bleep]. There are obviously thousands and millions of people who have to live in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and a great many of them manage to wake up every day and avoid the temptation to fight, torture, electrocute, and kill dogs.

Incredibly enough, Vick then made himself out to be some kind of innocent victim in the whole sordid episode.

"I think that's accurate," he told Leitch, when asked of some people couldn't possibly understand that part of black culture. "I mean, I was just one of the ones who got exposed, and because of the position I was in, where I was in my life, it went mainstream. A lot of people got out of it after my situation, not because I went to prison but because it was sad for them to see me go through something that was so pointless, that could have been avoided."

Vick then talked about his experience in prison, and the perceptions of him that he thinks are misplaced. "For a while, it was all 'Scold Mike Vick, scold Mike Vick, just talk bad about him, like he's not a person,' " he says. "It's almost as if everyone wanted to hate me. But what have I done to anybody? It was something that happened, and it was people trying to make some money."

Back to the money thing. In January of 2005, Vick signed a $100 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons that guaranteed him a then-record $37 million. The investigation that brought Bad Newz Kennels down and eventually took Vick to prison didn't happen for more than two years from the day he signed that contract. Vick wasn't hurting financially, nor was anybody close to him.

And this may be the most amazing takeaway:

"I miss dogs, man. I always had a family pet, always had a dog growing up. It was almost equivalent to the prison sentence, having something taken away from me for three years. I want a dog just for the sake of my kids, but also me. I miss my companions."

Companions? I'm guessing the dogs didn't see it that way.

The general consensus about Vick is that what he did was horrible, but also that he paid the price. Now only did he lose his freedom for two years, but he lost tens of millions of dollars and had to start over in the NFL. But the unspoken condition was that Vick would never try to publicly excuse and rationalize what he did, and that's what makes these quotes so troubling. This will set his perception back with a lot of people, and we may wind up including the league office in that discussion.

m2Falcons likes this

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He would have had the same motivation problem no matter which team drafted him.

He was a dumb thug

A talented thug, but still a dumb thug

Maybe prision changed him a little

HolyMoses likes this

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He would have had the same motivation problem no matter which team drafted him.

He was a dumb thug

A talented thug, but still a dumb thug

Maybe prision changed him a little

Prison changes alot of people.

YoungHeezy likes this

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Being intellectually honest about the whole thing and taking the emotion out of this stuff - I think Vick is right. He would have been better from the "get-go" as a FOOTBALL player if he would have been drafted by Philadelphia Eagles over the Atlanta Falcons(not getting into the off-field stuff).

The Falcons were a "run-first" team with a "run-first" QB in Michael Vick. While Dan Reeves is a HOF coach, we all know how conservative his schemes were. When Jim Mora came to town he brought arguably one of the worst offensive coordinators in the game in Gregg Knapp.

Its no coincidence that Vick has developed as a passer with Andy Reid as his head coach and offensive guru.

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