Michael Vick: ‘There’s no question this is a blessing from God’

Wednesday's Philly Daily News: Arf, arf.

Wednesday's Philly Daily News makes the obvious joke.

Philadelphia – Michael Vick arrived in Atlanta knowing the Falcons would someday be his team to run. He signed with the Eagles last August assured of nothing except a paycheck and a chance. But there he stood Wednesday, ringed at his locker by a media throng 50 members strong, a sign bearing the words “Walk Your Talk!” above his head.

There he stood, again an NFL starting quarterback.

“I’m very gratified to have this opportunity,” Vick said. “I’m very humbled by it.”

And that, it must be said, is how he seemed. This isn’t the cocksure No. 7 who came to the Falcons looking to revolutionize his position. Too much scar tissue has formed, the bulk of it self-inflicted. Michael Vick is 30 now, and he has been to jail. There was never a guarantee that he would work another day in the only league that matters, let alone run another team.

“Plenty of times,” he said, “I doubted I’d have [this] opportunity.”

But now he does. In a move that left the Philadelphia media in high dudgeon, Eagles coach Andy Reid announced Tuesday night that he was promoting Vick over Kevin Kolb, whom Reid had insisted was his starter no matter what.

On Wednesday at the team’s practice facility, Reid was roasted for what were cast as a series of lies. That was OK, Reid said: “I can handle this.” And there was, he maintained, a greater point: “This is nothing about Kevin Kolb. This is all about Michael Vick and the way he has played the game. He has played as outstanding as any quarterback in the league to this point.”

Vick took over for a concussed Kolb and rallied the Eagles in an opening loss to Green Bay. Last Sunday he started and generated 35 points in a narrow victory over Detroit. He has looked like the Vick of old, only better.

Reid: “Michael Vick has surprised all of us with his play. I’m proud of him … He has busted his tail working at some of the things he wanted to get better at doing — like feeling pressure and subtly moving away but staying in the pocket, like scrambling but keeping his eyes downfield and making the throw.”

The elder Jim Mora, father of the Falcons’ then-coach, wondered on radio if Vick was “a coach-killer.” Among more nuanced offensive minds, Vick has long been regarded as the most tantalizing figure in the sport — the fastest quarterback ever with one of the strongest arms in the sport. Bobby Petrino was so besotted by Vick that he told an associate the 2007 Falcons would average 30 points a game, but that chapter, alas, went unwritten. Vick was indicted before training camp and never played a down for Petrino.

And now it’s Reid, long regarded as one the game’s great schemers, who has Vick at his disposal. “I didn’t appoint him [the starter] for one week,” the coach said. Indeed, Reid has invested a huge amount of political capital in this stunning choice. If Vick fails, Reid might fall.

Will Vick fail? “I know what I can do,” he said. “But until you get out there, you’re not sure you can make the plays you’re capable of making.”

Many will see Vick as the villain, the confessed slayer of dogs. (I cringed when a reporter asked Reid if Vick “would be kept on a short leash” in Sunday’s game at Jacksonville.) But the man has paid his debt, and he has it within him to write a truly stirring redemption song.

Said Vick: “I always reflect on things that happened in the past. A lot of situations could have been avoided. I put myself in those situations.”

Also this: “Everything I’ve been through has made a stronger individual. I’m trying to rise like the phoenix.”

Then this: “There’s no question this is a blessing from God.”

Having known Michael Vick for nearly a decade, I can say that he as a younger man never felt anything could go wrong. He knows better now. I believe he will do everything in his power to make this second chance go right. I believe he’s going to make it after all.

212 comments Add your comment

jon

September 22nd, 2010
1:46 pm

vick is a con man

September 22nd, 2010
1:47 pm

Anyone who would do what conVIC has done to a dog has a basic personality flaw….the kind of flaw that we see serial killers have as children. He is always going to have that flaw even if he hides it for awhile. Vick is a con artist and Philly Fans will be sorry they backed him.

ATLBravos

September 22nd, 2010
1:49 pm

good luck MV7. Everyone deserves a second chance

vick is a con man

September 22nd, 2010
1:56 pm

So I guess osama bin laden deserves another chance too? How about Hilter while your at it?

jon

September 22nd, 2010
1:57 pm

so Vick is a con man, if you did something wrong.. would you deserve a 2nd chance… He has worked hard to get to this point. there is a word is yiddish…. Rackmanous….

JayDawg

September 22nd, 2010
1:58 pm

I’m glad I picked him up and started him on my fantasy team last week… Thanks ried for starting him again this week haha….. GO DAWGS!

bigdawg

September 22nd, 2010
1:59 pm

No, it’s not! It’s the natural progression for you, Mike, to do what you do best and earn a living at it. There is no diety who had anything whatsoever in your fortunes – good and bad! It was all done by you and those who have been your support group these past few years! If there were a god, I’d hope he’s more concerned with Afghanistan and the Middle East than a friggin’ football player!

Dirty Jacket

September 22nd, 2010
1:59 pm

You sick Bradley? I usually expect a dramatic, know-it-all, world-is-ending title associated with your articles. Still never gonna read the vomit you write, but props for normal title. Proceed with your verbal diarrhea as you were.

vmguru

September 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

I can see where this topic/blog could get out of hand real quickly. I hope cooler heads will prevail. I guess Mark will have to keep this blog “on a short leash” too. Sorry – couldn’t resist Mark.

Looks like you are on double duty this week – Braves and Eagles. Thanks for the good work.

bigdawg

September 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

Forget Vick! Let’s bring back Matt Schaub!

Brock

September 22nd, 2010
2:01 pm

Vick is a great football player. Human being? eh

Keith

September 22nd, 2010
2:01 pm

Enter your comments here

bigdawg

September 22nd, 2010
2:02 pm

Hey “vick is a con man?” I guess you led a perfect life. Gee, I wish I could be like you!

Great Falconi

September 22nd, 2010
2:02 pm

Mark Bradley has written a truly stirring redemption song of positive PR copy for Vick.

Yippee.

lefty fielder

September 22nd, 2010
2:03 pm

“but for the grace of God . . .”

DHD

September 22nd, 2010
2:03 pm

A third Vick article for the Vick loving AJC reporters? Wow…you are exceeding my expectations for you. Can a fourth one be far away?

rekingball

September 22nd, 2010
2:04 pm

Preacher in the house!

Keith

September 22nd, 2010
2:04 pm

There is alot of NFL players who have gotten a second chance to play and I never hear a word about what they did. I love animals but they are not humans get over it.

bigdawg

September 22nd, 2010
2:05 pm

Please leave your gods out of sport!

rekingball

September 22nd, 2010
2:07 pm

If Vick is still playing when the Falcons meet his team, I hope the Falcons can put some punishment on him, and force some of those turnovers.

joe

September 22nd, 2010
2:07 pm

I hate that he did what he did, but he paid his dues to society…so for his sake and his train wreck of a family’s sake, I hope he turns it around and goes on to be an upstanding individual who uses his influence for the better…and stays humble and thankful.

Tired of it

September 22nd, 2010
2:08 pm

Why is this news? Reid has made a career out of screwing non-black QBs (just ask Jeff Garcia). He chose McNabb over anyone and everyone and now he’s going to do the same with Vick. Hey Andy, do Kolb a favor and trade him NOW. Trade him to anyone else, just don’t make him sit on your segregated bench. I’ve been an avid Vick hater because he’s a scumbag off the field. He has been playing well, and I hope he proves me wrong. That doesn’t make what’ happening to Kevin Kolb any more fair or any less racist.

rekingball

September 22nd, 2010
2:08 pm

God bless the Falcons.

Chuck Sheen

September 22nd, 2010
2:13 pm

Glad Vick has another chance. He is so much fun to watch. Also, glad I picked him up in my fantasy league….

GTBob

September 22nd, 2010
2:14 pm

I hope he fails and the Eagles fail with him. He legally deserves any chance afforded to him but that doesn’t mean that I have to support him. He is a pretty sorry human being and set the Falcons franchise back a few years because of his own selfishness. If the Eagles want this criminal as the face of their franchise, then more power to them. Let them dig their own grave.

jon

September 22nd, 2010
2:14 pm

The one time I’m 1st, i get no kudos!!!! LOL

ajc

September 22nd, 2010
2:16 pm

Georgia football players get locked up…blog is closed. MV7 sneezes,…BLOG OPENED FOR BUSINESS!!!

ByteMe

September 22nd, 2010
2:16 pm

Felt like you needed to throw the crazy blog-commenters a bone today, eh Mark?

MV7

September 22nd, 2010
2:19 pm

TOAST TO MIKE VICK!!!!! Congrats sir and keep proving them wrong!

MV7

September 22nd, 2010
2:21 pm

@ Tired of it are you tired of tea bagging….yeah white Andy reidis a reverse racist….How stupid do you sound. @ GTbob..” I hope he fails” ….heard that before

Terrell in The A T L

September 22nd, 2010
2:27 pm

Everybody that truly love Mike Vick!

THE MAN is back on the field and back TV! And what we need to do as a community is come together to show our support and our solidarity and our love for the special human being that put this city on the map!

Let’s everybody put on your #7 jerseys Falcons or Eagles and let us all show all the haters that we all know and remember who the real face of football in this city is and remind Arthur Blank of all the people who remember what he did to the greatest athlete in the history of this whole state!

When we go out and about this week while showing our support for Mike by wearing our jersey let’s all do the following together to show we are united and that we are strong.

* When you go out to the mall to do your shopping walk as slow as you can so that all the haters will be stuck behind you and they will see that 7 IN THEIR FACE! They will remember who they REAL QUARTERBACK is!

* You go into one of them stores and start singing out loud about #7 while wearing your jersey or however you feel lead to do. There ain’t nobody going to take away mine or your right to free speech. Make all them haters know how you feel!

* If you go to the movies be sure to say your love for Mike loud and proud during the movie so all the haters won’t be able to enjoy the movie and will have to sit there and think about what this city lost.

* When you get out on the highway don’t use your turn signal when you make turns or change lanes so all the haters will be confused about where you going – You will be just like Mike do when he dodge line backers and won’t no body be able to guess where he will zig zag next.

* When you got out to get you some lunch back your ride into as many parking spaces as you can so all the ignorant haters won’t have nowhere good to park.

* After you have your lunch in your ride and throw your bones out the car window be sure to get to to arrange them so they spell out MV7 and so all the haters will see it and be forced to RECOGNIZE! when they walk by and see it.

Together we are strong! And we can send a message to EVERYBODY that MV THE MAN is back and he is to take care of business! Show all them sorry people that just want to hate on Mike for NO REASON whats up!

WE LOVE YOU MIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PBR=America in a Can

September 22nd, 2010
2:33 pm

MV7 did do a horrible thing but he has paid more in time, salary, & public hate than some NFL players that have killed innocient people by drving drunk. It was a blessing in disguise him being out of Atlanta because we have a quarterback of the future now with Matt Ryan. A dog is no-where in compairson to a human being….. please people get a life

Schgirl

September 22nd, 2010
2:33 pm

Watching Kolb and Vick during training camp, there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t in awe of Vick’s athletic ability. Kolb looked scared, inexperienced and very unimpressive out there. What Vick did is horrendous but he paid his due — let him be. You don’t have to like him, just let him do his job, which he is very good at. I can’t wait to see him play – everyone deserves a second chance — Go Vick!

vick is a con man

September 22nd, 2010
2:33 pm

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHhahahahaah….I rest my case!

mountain_jim

September 22nd, 2010
2:34 pm

Thanks Mark for using your intown opportunity to go visit MV and personally report this story.

I hope Philly plays soon at times other than when Falcons play, so I can watch to see how he does. Good luck MV7, except in a few weeks when we come around.

What's Important

September 22nd, 2010
2:38 pm

Mark, I’m glad you have known Vick for a decade and can judge his sincerity so well. Too bad since you are such a good judge of what is and what is not Mike Vick’s real feelings and know so much about him that you didn’t advise him a couple of years ago that dog fighting was a bad idea. What the heck do you think he’s going to say when asked about this chance: The fat head coach standing on the side is worried about his job so he decided to sell his quarterback (Kolb) down the river. No wonder McNabb was always looking over his shoulder. Sell-out Andy was always there.

wxwax

September 22nd, 2010
2:39 pm

Vick is playing better now then he ever did as an Atlanta Falcon.

His speed is back. And his throwing is more accurate and better timed.

He’s just flat-out a better QB now than he’s ever been before. They say in Philly that he’s been putting in the hard work: coming early, leaving late, getting his body in better shape, studying film, working with coaches; in short, all the things he never did in Atlanta.

I was glad when Vick left Atlanta. He was bad news, a quitter, undisciplined, hung out with a bad crew.

But I’m equally glad to see an apparently humbled and hard-working man making the most out of his second chance.

I hate to admit it, but I’m rooting for the guy.

Jesse Stone

September 22nd, 2010
2:45 pm

so God gave Kevin Kolb a concussion?

count_schemula

September 22nd, 2010
2:50 pm

I have mixed feelings. If you stop and think about what really went down on the dog farm, it chills. If you stop and think about how he screwed the Falcons as an organization and Blank as a man you have to be suspect. However, he sat in jail as he went from $100m man to probably broke or worse and it really does seem like this rocked him to the core and he is essentially a changed man. He did the crime and he did the time, so, part of me is def rooting for him.

What's Important

September 22nd, 2010
2:54 pm

Count_schemula, Vick is not broke, he hid enough money before he filed for bankruptcy to last a while. His creditors however, are out of a lot of money that will never be paid back by Vick, no matter how much he makes in the future. If he is so broke, maybe he can take those earrings out and sell them, since he is such a changed man he certainly doesn’t need those anymore, since he has learned what is important in life. He might also want to think about marrying the mother of his children if he is turning his life around. Just a thought.

UGABugKiller

September 22nd, 2010
2:55 pm

Sociopaths are beings without empathy, without ethics, without morals, without guilt, without a soul.

Sociopaths find joy in the pain (emotional, physical, sexual) of other living beings.

Vick killed animals who would not fight for him in a pit, and he hanged them, electrocuted them, shot them, beat them with a crowbar, bashed their heads in with a cinder block, and most disturbingly, used his 200lb muscular frame to hold a 75lb dog’s head under water to drown them.

And he inflicted all of this pain and anguish and death while smiling and laughing and cutting up with Q and Marcus whomever else.

THESE ARE THE ACTS OF A SOCIOPATH.

A sociopath has only one true emotion, one true need – SELF PRESERVATION.

They will lie, cheat, kill, do whatever it takes to survive. They will sublimate their ego. They will appear contrite even though they are incapable of feeling contrition. They will do all of the emotional queues needed to fool all of the soft-headed bleeding hearts, all to get what they want and need to survive.

Congratulations, Mark. You and others have been taken in by a narcissistic sociopath.

The “black American enablers” (as Jason Whitlock calls them) just love this man because he can run fast, and although they should be ashamed, they never will be. These are the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world. They’ll never be a positive force for good.

But you Mark, you’re supposed to be smarter than to fall for this con game.

I hope every time you’re standing in front of this man, you imagine him in the dirt, using his whole body to pin and hold the head of a pit bull too meek to kill for his entertainment under water to drown it, laughing and joking with Q about how hard the animal fights back to live.

I want you to think of that, and this sick, twisted, EVIL man you’ve let con you.

He has evil in his heart, Mark. People like this, people who are sociopaths, DON’T CHANGE.

They simply adapt and survive.

Gen Neyland

September 22nd, 2010
3:00 pm

Not a blessing, especially in Philly. A second chance from Satan is more like it…

Love the new PC term.."FOR NOW"

September 22nd, 2010
3:01 pm

VICK will fall on his face once again in about 2 weeks. He’s played good “FOR NOW” because D-fenses did not prepare for his style of play (ball-hog). Remember kids….ONCE A THUG, ALWAYZ A THUG. Yeah, that’s right.

Hindu Elvis Pimp

September 22nd, 2010
3:06 pm

UGABugKiller…..Spot on……You are not alone in your observation that Vick is a sociopath.

The rest of you retards will see…..Vick will do something dumb……Just wait.

jimmymack

September 22nd, 2010
3:10 pm

i wisk vick the best in everything.he was over prosecuted and tried by the media.if it had someone else they would have been tried in a state court and been sentenced to probation and a fine.

vick is a con man

September 22nd, 2010
3:10 pm

Great post UGABugkiller….Once I was Blind….

Najeh Davenpoop

September 22nd, 2010
3:11 pm

“That doesn’t make what’ happening to Kevin Kolb any more fair or any less racist.”

This made me laugh out loud literally. I hope you are being sarcastic.

Reid Adair

September 22nd, 2010
3:11 pm

Great post, Mark. If he has put that behind him and changed his life, that’s good for him. Again, best of luck to him any week other than Oct. 17 and if the Eagles face the Falcons in the playoffs.

Falcons Accountant

September 22nd, 2010
3:12 pm

Forget society, has he paid back his debt to the Falcons? A real man would.

count_schemula

September 22nd, 2010
3:12 pm

His creditors were stupid businessmen. They loaned a QB money to open a wine store and a car rental business. That’s stupid. If he don’t like baby momma, he should not have to marry baby momma. I have not heard anywhere that he is not taking care of his kids, and you know that would be sports page 1 in Philly.. His sense of style is his thing. Athletes are coddled as they rape and beat azz and cheat classes from high school on. Nothing new there. If you like sports, you accept these things, within reason. If we didn’t there would be no sports. Bankers rape and cheated classes too. The only reason they did not beat azz is because they couldn’t. Humanity is some nasty shizz.