Bringing Some Much Needed Perspective to the Vick Discussion

Bringing Some Much Needed Perspective to the Vick Discussion

The chatter for Michael Vick is so loud, so resounding, you might start to believe the Eagles actually came back to defeat the Packers this past Sunday. In fact, Rod Woodson thinks they did. What happens if Vick wins again, the Hall of Famer asked hypothetically last night on NFL Total Access. He probably just misspoke, but it's hard to tell when virtually every analyst in the world is anointing Vick the Eagles' savior.

The hype machine is out of control, and with Vick the likely starter this Sunday, it's only going to get worse. It's as if logic has been thrown entirely out the window. Forget about Kevin Kolb's first half, if you can. What makes Vick the right quarterback for the Eagles, regardless of who we're choosing between? We already know what we're getting with number seven, and I promise you it's not all that it's cracked up to be.

Has everybody completely forgotten? Michael Vick wasn't even a very good quarterback when he was a superstar in Atlanta. Sure, he was an extremely exciting and popular player bordering on celebrity status. The problem is some of the same experts calling for him to start in Philadelphia were probably ripping him back in 2006.

Vick never developed as a passer. In six years with the Falcons, his completion percentage was 53.8. He only threw for over 2,500 yards once, all the way back in 2002. Over his final four seasons, his touchdown to interception ratio was 53 to 41. Career quarterback rating: 76.2. Most important, Atlanta only won more than nine games once. If any other player in the league had those numbers, they would have been glued to the bench before long.

Vick's saving grace has always been he is dangerous on the run. Nobody can deny he's won his share of games carrying the offense on his back. That only gets a team so far though. When better defenses took that option away, Vick's limitations as a passer were exposed, ultimately leading to losses more often than not. Look no further than the 2004 NFC Championship game. Vick was helpless against the Eagles' defense, rushing only four times for 26 yards while going 11 for 24 passing with 136 yards, four sacks, and an interception.

The question has been framed, "Which quarterback gives the Eagles the best chance to win," and the responses are overwhelmingly Vick. Simply put, the next running quarterback to take his team to a Super Bowl will be the first. If that's the eventual goal, history suggests the correct answer is not Vick.

He's also one step away... from prison, that is. I'm not one of those people that believes Vick should still be punished for mistakes of the past. His crimes were particularly heinous, but he served his time and deserves the opportunity to reclaim his life. And again, I also don't believe Vick did anything inherently wrong when he held a public birthday party during the off-season. (Stupid, yes.) However, the incident that occurred illustrates the next point perfectly.

Michael Vick only has to mess up once, even in a very minor way, and everything comes crashing down. If it doesn't get him thrown back in the slammer, it might be enough for St. Roger Goodell to deliver a lengthy suspension anyway. Vick is doing and saying all the right things now, but as his profile increases from becoming a full time starter again, so does the likelihood that trouble will find him. The Eagles aren't about to hand the keys to their organization over to somebody whose situation is so fragile.

But what if he beats the Lions? Let me pose this question another way: does anybody actually expect the Eagles to lose to the Lions?

If Vick can't squeeze out a victory in Detroit, he doesn't deserve to start anywhere, much less here. No disrespect to the Lions, but they are clearly outmatched on paper. Even with a week's worth of preparation for a mobile quarterback, they shouldn't be able to stop Vick or the Eagles' offense strictly speaking from a personnel standpoint.

So what does it mean if Vick beats the Lions? Is that really the measuring stick for a starting quarterback in the NFL? I have a hard time accepting the notion that Kevin Kolb deserves to lose his job because the backup picked up a W against one of the worst franchises in football.

Frankly, Vick is not a long term solution for the Eagles. Is he good enough to start in the NFL? Absolutely. Would it be wise to pin Super Bowl aspirations on him? Not at all. Kolb could wind up being a bust, but there's only one way to find out. Vick, on the other hand, will always be Vick. That's never been good enough before, and there's no reason to believe it suddenly is now.

Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids

usa-brian-carroll.jpg
USA Today Images

Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Brian Carroll tied it in 92nd minute and the Union escaped with a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids in a showdown of the Western and Eastern conference leaders.

Carroll ran underneath Fabian Herbers' high-arching header and slotted the finish under goalkeeper Zac MacMath from close range.

The Union (5-3-5) responded only 5 minutes after the Rapids (8-2-4) opened the scoring on Sam Cronin's header in the 87th minute. Cronin made a deep run to connect with Marlon Hairston's cross from the right flank, redirecting it into the far corner of the goal.

Both Dillon Powers and Luis Solignac had shots crash off the crossbar for the Rapids after the 70th minute.

The Union extended their unbeaten streak to seven while the Rapids stayed unbeaten in their nine home games this season.

Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

052816-salisbury-post-webbestvideo3_1920x1080_694933571725.jpg

Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

NEW YORK -- Chase Utley hit a grand slam and a solo homer after Noah Syndergaard threw a 99 mph fastball behind his back, and the Los Angeles Dodgers went deep a season-high five times in routing the New York Mets 9-1 on Saturday night.

In a scene that seemed inevitable since October, Syndergaard was immediately ejected following the third-inning pitch -- almost certainly his shot at retaliation against Utley for the late takeout slide that broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last year's playoffs.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari tossed Syndergaard, sending Mets manager Terry Collins into a rage, but no trouble ensued between the teams. A longtime New York nemesis, Utley raised one hand slightly in the direction of the Dodgers' bench to keep teammates calm -- and later answered by doing all sorts of damage with his bat.

Kenta Maeda (4-3) shook off an early line drive that appeared to hit him in the pitching hand and threw five shutout innings for the win. The right-hander yielded two hits, both in the first, and snapped his three-game losing streak.

Adrian Gonzalez homered and had four hits for the Dodgers, who spoiled the Mets' 30th anniversary celebration of their 1986 World Series championship. Corey Seager and Howie Kendrick also connected, all after Syndergaard was gone.

Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares homered in the eighth for New York, long after the outcome was decided.

The stoic Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since Tejada was injured. The Mets -- and their fans -- were incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules this season designed to protect infielders in what some call the Utley Rule.

But the Mets had not tried to retaliate until Saturday night.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard's first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman's back by a considerable margin.

Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected after screaming at Hamari and pointing in his face during an animated argument. The manager was finally escorted back toward the New York dugout by another umpire.

After waiting near the mound with teammates for some time, Syndergaard walked calmly to the Mets' dugout without showing any emotion as the crowd cheered him.

Logan Verrett (3-2) entered for the Mets and, with a vocal contingent in the sellout crowd of 42,227 urging him to hit Utley with a pitch, eventually threw a called third strike past him. But then Utley homered on Verrett's first pitch of the sixth to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Booed all night, Utley added his sixth career slam off Hansel Robles in the seventh, giving Los Angeles a 6-0 cushion with his 38th career homer against the Mets.

In the series opener Friday night, Utley was greeted with loud jeers and derisive chants. He had four RBIs in a 6-5 loss, including a three-run double that tied the score with two outs in the ninth.

Where are you now?
Tejada was released by the Mets during spring training and signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, who designated him for assignment Saturday.

Trainer's room
Dodgers: RF Trayce Thompson exited in the fifth with lower back soreness. He was replaced by Yasiel Puig, who hit an RBI single off Verrett in the sixth.

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores (hamstring) went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his fifth rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. Before the game, Collins said it was reasonable to think Flores could come off the disabled list Sunday.

Up next
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday night against 43-year-old Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44). Kershaw, coming off a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati, is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 starts against the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA in May -- including a three-hit shutout of New York on May 12 at Dodger Stadium. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has struck out 55 and walked two this month.

Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

080213-raudabaugh-slideshow-uspw.jpg
USA Today Images

Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

The Soul fell on the road to the Cleveland Gladiators, 63-49, at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.

The loss was just the second of the season and the first away from the Wells Fargo Center for the Soul. Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh completed 25 of 44 passes for 342 yards and seven touchdownsi in a losing effort.

The Gladiators were led by receiver Quentin Sims, who finished with 10 receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns, and signal caller Arvell Nelson who completed 22 of 36 passes for 307 yards and seven touchdowns.

Next week, the Soul travel to Jacksonville to take on the Sharks on Saturday, June 4. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports and 97.5 The Fanatic.  Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.