Bradley’s Buzz: Michael Vick returns with a shovel pass

I laughed at this line from John Gonzalez in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “We’ve been held hostage by the Great Vick Debate for two weeks.” And I thought: “Two whole weeks? Poor dears!”

As you know, Michael Vick is now an Eagle, and he made his first appearance for his new franchise Thursday night. And this spawned the sort of Vick back-and-forth’ing we Atlantans have come to regard as Standard Operating Procedure. The NAACP had promised some sort of rally outside Lincoln Financial Field, but apparently it never really developed. Gonzalez counted more media personnel than supporters and wrote this:

“People are still taking sides and shouting, but it is lame sound and fury signifying that principles don’t really matter as long as the media give you the 15 minutes you desperately crave. Who needs courage or convictions when there are soapboxes to stand on and bullhorns to shout into and spotlights to court?

“It’s all so reflexive now with Vick. Love him. Hate him. Doesn’t matter. Just make sure you’re loud about it and you have a captive audience when the screaming begins.”

The anti-Vick lobby wasn’t at full force, either. So reported the Associated Press in this dispatch on SI.com: “Three protesters held a sign saying, ‘Murderers are not role models,’ with an image of a dog and a bloody paw.”

So the scene wasn’t the carnival we recall from PETA protests at Flowery Branch and outside the courthouse in Richmond, Va. That’s hardly surprising. The threat of mass protests has long been overblown. It would have been a different matter had Vick not served nearly two years in federal custody, but he did. And that changed the dynamics. Most folks now just want to see the man play football. Speaking of which …

Bob Brookover of the Inquirer reports the Eagles deployed Vick on their third snap. He was, Brookover writes, greeted warmly. The key Vick quote:

“I didn’t think it was going to be that positive. I really didn’t know what to expect. I was running out there on the field and I was listening to see what the reaction was going to be and I was very pleased. I really didn’t expect that reaction, but I was very thankful.”

And how did he look? Pretty good, writes Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News. Vick “lined up as the quarterback in the Wildcat formation all five times, completing four of four passes for 19 yards and running once for one yard.” (Vick’s first completion was a shovel pass. His best pass was a laser to Hank Baskett for a 13-yard gain.) Domowitch also quotes Eagles coach Andy Reid thusly:

“We were just trying to get his feet wet and get him used to the speed of the game again. I wanted to get him five to 10 snaps and get him back into the swing of things. I wanted him to work with the first group, and we got that accomplished.”

For the record, Vick lined up at wide receiver on one snap, which was overridden by a penalty. He was done before halftime. And the whole thing, writes Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News, was a bit underwhelming:

“For fans of controversy – real controversy, not just conversation – Michael Vick and his re-entry into football society continues to disappoint. If this keeps up for much longer, we might actually stop talking about Vick and start talking about how lousy his new team has looked this summer.”

(And for those who haven’t yet viewed the video highlights, NFL.com has every play here.)

121 comments Add your comment

Ivan

August 28th, 2009
10:56 am

Whew! Glad that’s out of the way now. Finally, we’ll be talking about the Falcons…….right?

Jross1981

August 28th, 2009
10:59 am

Yeah, so just purely Falcons now, right???

Pi$$onaDawg

August 28th, 2009
11:03 am

What a great start for Vick. hahaha. I was great when McNabb told the coach it is time to call it quits and get back to normal football. McNabb doing the Cut Throat move to Reid on the sidelines. Priceless. Why cover Vick on the outside? If he isn’t getting the ball he just stood there and didn’t even try to block or run his cover guy away from the play. VICK is still LAZY.

Pi$$onaDawg

August 28th, 2009
11:05 am

Falcon Fan from Bama

August 28th, 2009
11:10 am

Too much emphasis put on Vick’s return by national media. You guys are trying to spin his return into some type of world changing return. The Worldwide Leader is now trying to bring a wedge between Vick and McNabb. Let the guy catch a break.

The Real Falcon

August 28th, 2009
11:25 am

Bubba

August 28th, 2009
11:33 am

For the love of Pete, can you PLEASE stop writing about Vick?!

FALCONS SORRY

August 28th, 2009
11:33 am

ALL HATERS! MV THE MAN IS BACK! AND HE IS READY FOR ACTION! ALL THE HATERS HAVE DONE ALL THEIR HATE TO BRING DOWN THIS MAN! BUT HE IS STILL STANDING! HE STILL STRONG! AUTHUR BLANKS TRASH IS ANOTHER OWNERS TREASURE! A SUPPER BOWL TREASURE THAT IS! A WISE MAN WON SAID THAT THE LONGEST HARDEST JOURNY BEGIN WITH BUT A SINGLE STEP! THE FIRST OF MANY MANY STEPS RESULTING IN TOUCH DOWNS TO COME! LACE UP YOUR NIKES AND GET READY TO RUN UP DOWN ALL AROUND AND RIGHT OVER THE HATERS AND OTHER NFL TEAM MIKE! # 7 TOOK HIS FIRST STEP BACK LAST NIGHT AND MADE HIS FIRST LITTLE SHOVEL PASS! AFTER WHAT HE WENT THRU HERE IN ATL WHO COULD BLAME HIM FOR NOT TRUSTING HIS WRS! THE EAGELS RECIEVERS DONT DROP EASY PASSES LIKE THEY DO HERE ON THE SORRY FALCONS! EVER BODY LOVES A WINNER AND THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE JUST HIT THE JACK POT! LOVE HIM OR HATE HIM BUT YOU NEVER BE ABLE TO IGNORE HIM! # 7 IN YOUR PROGRAMS AND #1 IN YOUR FANTASY LEAGUE EAGELS FANS! BOOK YOUR PLAIN TICKETS AND YOUR HOTELS FOR MIAMI IN JANUARY NOW AND BEAT THE RUSH THE SAME WAY # 7 WILL ALWAYS BEAT THAT PASS RUSH EAGELS FANS!

Jenni13

August 28th, 2009
11:37 am

I’m not surprised Vick completed the “shovel pass” so well…he’s had a ton of practice shoveling graves for all the dogs he tortured and murdered.

Mark Bradley

August 28th, 2009
11:41 am

Today’s next post, since you asked: 5 reasons to feel confident — yes, confident — about the Falcons.

Tired of Dumb Vick Fans and Glad Matt Ryan is Here

August 28th, 2009
11:42 am

Vick went 4-4 for 19 yards and 1 yard rushing-with one completion going for 13yards. His fans will now crown him back from the grave. I wonder what they would say if Brett Favre came back, goes 4-4 for 19 yards…they’d say he’s awful.

I thought the 3rd preseason game was supposed to be the most like the real deal before the season opener. If so the Eagles fans shouldn’t be to happy.

Smart move taking the ball out of Mcnabb’s hands, the Eagles offense did not score a Td until after MV7 was off of the field. Andy Reid and Brad Childress have both signed their walking papers gambling on Vick and Favre.

Jamaal=Bust

August 28th, 2009
11:57 am

when is this fabled “SUPPER BOWL”…it’s about lunch time

Jamaal=Bust

August 28th, 2009
11:59 am

also what kind of tickets are “PLAIN” tickets? Do they allow you see the whole game, or just the boring parts in between the plays?

Mark Bradley

August 28th, 2009
11:59 am

I don’t think Andy Reid is in any danger. Brad Childress is a different story.

Ted Striker

August 28th, 2009
12:03 pm

With 3 columns a day throughout the week, there’s time enough for the Falcons AND Vick. But hey, I’m just Ted Striker — what do I know?

On topic, however, here’s the gold in this particular column: “It would have been a different matter had Vick not served nearly two years in federal custody, but he did. And that changed the dynamics.”

I read that and I thought — I knew the dynamics had changed but until this very moment I’d never realized what the difference was. Kudos, Mark. Your work remains quality, even in this new-fangled world of quantity.

Gatorzone

August 28th, 2009
12:04 pm

I love Falcons Sorry, who else could come up with such humor. This guy is priceless.

Mark Bradley

August 28th, 2009
12:05 pm

Why, thanks, Ted. Hope you’re feeling well.

Jamaal=Bust

August 28th, 2009
12:07 pm

I agree Mark, Childress is either going to be fired by mid-season with a sub 500 record, or he will be the coach of an amazing team. I for one think it’ll be the sub 500. You can’t seriously put all your eggs int he basket of a broken down QB. Brett is not the QB he was 3 or 4 seasons ago, not even 2 seasons ago. What you saw last season is what you will see this season. Yes, he finally has a running game, but he’s still Brett and still thinks he has the arm he had 5 years ago to fit the ball in between 2 defenders.
As for Vick and the Eagles. I give it one season before McNabb has him booted out. You can;t honestly expect McNabb to allow the Eagles to have another big name QB ont he roster when he had to lobby forever just to get a renewed contract. I bet he wishes he would have become a FA and joined Chicago. It would have saved the Bears some draft picks, but now Philly just an implosion waiting to happen.

Curious

August 28th, 2009
12:09 pm

Can someone explain to me why every black person in the ATL is ecstatic that Vick is back and every white person is disgusted that he got this “second chance”, that none of us would have gotten in our “normal jobs”.
Why is there a racial divide on this, similar to when OJ was found Not Guilty? Why is race even an issue here? I would despise Tom Brady the same way if he did the same haneous acts Vick did.

Ivan

August 28th, 2009
12:09 pm

wow..lol

Plain Tickets??
Supper Bowl??
Journy??
A man won said.
and….Eagel Fans.

Now I see why you keep this guy around. It’s almost like watching Jerry Springer.

athensdawg

August 28th, 2009
12:11 pm

three things I’d like to see the over/under on…

1. Time until there is a QB controversy in Philadelphia instigated by a certain well known backup QB.
2. Time until Limbaugh makes some comment about Donovan McNabb and Vick being on the same team.
3. Time until MV does something else to sabatoge his “comeback.”

Tired of Dumb Vick Fans and Glad Matt Ryan is Here

August 28th, 2009
12:18 pm

Mark, I disagree with you about Andy Reid not being in danger.

His contract is up in 2010 if this year is a disaster (remember they were just in the NFC Championship game without Vick last year). If this thing goes south Jeff Lurie, who has a history of not signing players with issues, will have egg on his face.

By the way did you see Vick admit to attempting to run to excite the crowd as opposed to handing off the ball to LeSean McCoy and did you see McNabb complain about not having any rhythm and telling Marty Mornhingweg to stop with the Vick experiment? Reid is definitely has put himself in danger.

Ted Striker

August 28th, 2009
12:18 pm

Mark, I’m fine as wine now. (Hey, there might be a correlation).

Luisa

August 28th, 2009
12:20 pm

I’m happy for Mr. Vick. Those who can’t seem to let the past be the past have no life. This man is out there trying to make a living for him and his family and I am sure he is not sitting up late at night worried about what you think of him. He admitted he made mistakes, he served his time and now he has moved on…WHY can’t you?

M Anthony

August 28th, 2009
12:21 pm

Really sad that whatever MV does this hate is going to continue. I guess there is a segment of this society who are just ate up with hating this black QB. A co-worker told me is just the poor ones with all the hate. You dont see Bill Gates running around talking about MV. He is right, if you got anything going you dont worry about this kind of stuff.

Robin Starr

August 28th, 2009
12:25 pm

I “MURDERED” my dog! So what? He was a worthless, dumb, blind mutant. I don’t care what you losers that worship me think.

I called for Vick’s head but what is going to happen to me? NOTHING!!!!

I’m not a black quarterback making millions. Nothing happens to “US” people – we are above the law. Sure I **wink** **wink** miss my dog. Are the cameras still rolling?

Anyway, I hate that dog murdering Vick – oops so did I :)

Anybody want some hot dogs :)

Robin Starr

August 28th, 2009
12:32 pm

BRADLEYSORRY

August 28th, 2009
12:36 pm

MARY BRADLEY WE GOT OUR OWN TEAM HERE THE FALCONS IF YOU GONNA BE MISSY VICKS BOY GO TO PHILLY JUST GO ANYWAY FALCONS GOING TO THE SUPPER BOWL THIS TIME NOT YOUR WIFE VICK!

how2fish

August 28th, 2009
12:37 pm

He has a new team and a new chance for a career….its the American way…now on to Falcon coverage please.

BRADLEYSORRY

August 28th, 2009
12:39 pm

For the rest of you guys, sorry. It’s hard to copy greatness like FALCONSORRY. The tears of laghter just keep screwing up the keyboard.

Hey Mark, this IS the AJC, not the Philly-Mike Vick telethon. We can get Vick news elsewhere. If you don’t have anything Falcons to write, then don’t write. On second thought, just don’t write either way.

Jay Prince

August 28th, 2009
12:39 pm

Michael Vick is Philadelphia’s hero. What more can you say.

barbara

August 28th, 2009
12:52 pm

Haters get over it Mr. Vick is back baby.

GT Brill

August 28th, 2009
12:54 pm

Question: I am thinking the starters are going to play a full half tomorrow against the Chargers ? And then barely at all against the Ravens in the final pre-season game ? I want Ryan playing as little as possible against the Ravens. Vick getting carted off the field happened right in front of my section that year in preseason, so I get bad vibes anytime we play the Ravens in a preseason game.

DK

August 28th, 2009
12:56 pm

I’m no Vick hater and think his punishment was way too harsh for the crime. I hated losing him and always wished that he’d return. That said, I’m beginning to believe that losing Mike may be the best thing that ever happened to the Falcons. We wouldn’t have Mike Smith who seems to be the best coach the Falcons have ever had. We probably wouldn’t have had the high draft choices we had in 2008 that helped us so much last year, including Ryan who we would have passed on if we still had Mike. I believe Ryan will probably be considered the best QB pick up since Marino and Elway before all is said and done. Would Petrino have wanted Michael Turner? Who knows?

Mike’s run last night looked bad. Two years older and two years of lost conditioning seems to have taken a toll. I wish him luck, but my focus is on the Falcons. Now that he’s clearly gone and on another team, I hope that we can stop talking so much about him.

All I'm Saying Is...

August 28th, 2009
12:57 pm

MV Bottom Line: Did the crime and did the time….and paid a high price too…finally it has apparently sunk in and now he can get on with salvaging what’s left of his name and career.

LET’S GO FALCONS!

Bad News

August 28th, 2009
12:58 pm

It must be really tough being Matt Ryan. Art Blanks made him the richest rookie in Falcons history, made him the “new face” of the franchise, started a huge marketing campaign, cut Mike Vick. This is his city right?

Lets look into this further.

-He has not sold out a single game without sponsors

-He has not won a playoff game

-He has not made the pro bowl

-There are more Eagles #7 Jerseys in Atlanta than #2 ones

-ESPN is sucking up to Vick like a puppy dog

-NFL Network breaks in with live plays of Vick (only)

-The Commission personally ask the Eagles to sign Vick

-Art Blank Visits Vick just days after leaving prison

-Vick is the last qb to win a playoff game in Atlanta

-The Falcons will not make the playoffs in 2009

-The Falcons have the 4th toughest schedule

I could go on and on, but I think you guys get the picture – he must be under tremendous stress that will only get worst, starting this weekend.

I have even read where some of you guys really think the Falcons can beat the Redskins – very delusional. First of all, in 2008 the Redskins were number 5 in the NFL in total defense. Thats tough enough as it is, but then they add Albert Haynesworth, who is unquestionably the most difficult defender to block 1-on-1.

Now throw in the rookie lineman/linebacker Orakpo, who is being regarded as the biggest impact rookie for the season. You guys must be drinking some really “holy juice” with your forecast for a playoff season in 2009.

The only addition on offense was really Tony Gonzalez, but he is not the solution, because this is a “total” team effort. The tight end position was really not the problem, the problem was in the redzone, where the falcons finished 22 out of 32 teams. Ironically, Joe Flacco & the Ravens finished 12 out 32 teams.

Why is this comparison of Ryan & Flacco significant in the redzone? Because in the redzone, the spacing is shorter and the coverage is tighter, with smaller passing lanes. You have to have a strong throwing arm to have success in the redzone and Flacco has way more zip on his passes than Ryan.

I think there is still lots of anger towards Vick, so much so, you guys want Ryan to succeed so bad that you are living in fantasy land, thinking they will beat teams so much more superior that it is suicidal thinking.

That’s just on the offensive side. The defense is an even worst case scenario. The defense has lost all leadership & lost 5 starters, with very little replacement.

There is very little depth, especially at the running back and wide receiver positions. If White or Turner happen to get injured, this team could resemble the 2007 version.

I think you guys need to stop with all the blind hatred to Mike Vick because he is gone and in a much better place, with a brighter future than the Falcons are in right now.

If the Falcons don’t make the playoffs this season, how patient do you think Art Blank will be with Coach Smith, The GM & Ryan? It will be 5 whole seasons since they have won a playoff game.

Mary

August 28th, 2009
1:00 pm

The Atlanta press needs to stop reporting on this dog killer. He’s not part of the local area anymore. Thank God. It’s trash journalism. Focus on local teams and any NATIONAL newsworthy events.

Bat Masterson

August 28th, 2009
1:08 pm

I don’t have any empirical evidence to back it up, but I believe your first paragraph is wildly off the mark.

Bat Masterson

August 28th, 2009
1:09 pm

Whooops that was for : Curious
August 28th, 2009
12:09 pm

Boo Boo

August 28th, 2009
1:10 pm

I watched The Soloist last night on DVD. I liked the part where they were letting-go reporters at the LA Times. But, then I saw how Mike Vick is like the down-and-out, schitzophrenic homeless person from skid row, who was made a star by a newspaper reporter … like Mark Bradley. I cried. Now I understand where you are coming from Mark. When’s the book coming out?

Mac

August 28th, 2009
1:11 pm

You gotta feel good throwing into the hands of a receiver named Baskett, don’t you?

Bad News

August 28th, 2009
1:11 pm

Mary

Do you support Robin Starr (CEO SPCA) in Virgina?

You know, the woman that wanted to crucify Mike Vick for dog killing.

You did hear about her pet being roasted to death and caused kidney failure in her car right?

midnite

August 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

Coach Killer, Team Killer, Dog Killer, and now QB Killer. McNabb will despise Vick by mid-season and Philly implodes. 4/4 19 yds heck John Parker Wilson puts up better numbers.

Trina Hodges

August 28th, 2009
1:24 pm

I hope that when Vick and the Eagles come to town, they stomp all over those country Falcons…beginning with that wimp Matt Ryan. I guess the whites are happy because they have the team back as a plantation with the white masta (Matt Ryan) leading the share croppers.

P.T. Laron

August 28th, 2009
1:25 pm

I agree with a few other posters: Enough with the endless stream of Vick articles and opinions. He is no longer a Falcon, and really hasn’t been one for more than two years. Regardless of whether he is a great quarterback or just a gifted athlete, his departure turned out to be a good thing for the Falcons, so let’s focus on the team and the drama surrounding it as the regulary season nears. And I agree almost everyone deserves a second chance and hopefully Vick won’t mess his up – except for when it is one the field against us.

Atlanta Native

August 28th, 2009
1:28 pm

I am a dog owner and love dogs. Those of you who are still upset with Vick, I ask you this: What do you think about everyone lauding Ted Kennedy? He killed a human! Go picket his funeral and leave Vick alone. Vick sickened me, but I believe he learned his lesson and he showed contrition for what he did – to the dogs and to his employers. Kennedy never showed a bit of regret or contrition about leaving Ms. Kopeckne (sp?) while he sobered up.

BY the way, the bigotry (I will not use the word racism if I can avoid it, as it has been rendered meaningless as of late) is rather disgusting. Blacks who hate whites for being white and whites who hate blacks for being black are generally ignorant under achievers who contribute little to society, are themselves failures in the eyes of their peers or themselves and need a scapegoat to look down on to make them feel better about their sad, empty little lives.

Dean

August 28th, 2009
1:28 pm

The past is the past. All I care about is Sept. 12 thru Jan. 3, 2010. And beyond.

jeb

August 28th, 2009
1:29 pm

You have stated “He Still Looks The Same And You Are Still Writing About The Same.” MICHAEL VICK..MAKE THOSE HATERS YOUR MOTIVATORS….MICHAEL VICK….

Dink

August 28th, 2009
1:33 pm

Mark:

Off the subject but here’s a prediction that I thought would make you smile. As Keith Jackson likes to say, Whoa Nellie!

http://msn.foxsports.com/cfb/pgStory?contentId=9984450&GT1=39002#sport=CFB%20Season%20Previews&photo=9984906

jeb

August 28th, 2009
1:34 pm

MICHAEL VICK IS NO LONGER IN THE ATLANTA AND YOU STILL HAVE NOT SOLD OUT THE DOME…GO BUY THE TICKETS TO THE FALCONS 6-10 SEASON THIS YEAR..