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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Michael Vick: Elite Quarterback? Not yet. Amazing Athlete? Definitely

The 2010 NFL season certainly had its share of twists and turns.  The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to make it all the way to the Super Bowl despite their starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, serving a four game suspension for off the field misconduct.  Tom Brady had a season for the record books on his way to becoming the league's MVP.  And the league had an ongoing battle with helmet to helmet hits, concussions, and their long term effects.  Yet none of this was more surprising than the play of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.  Many people had written off Vick, who had returned to the league in 2009 after being gone for 18 months due to his part in an intrastate dogfighting ring, as being too rusty to be an effective   Heck, I must admit that I was skeptical about whether he could return to the form he once had in Atlanta after such a long hiatus.  Yet Vick's tremendous play last year, while certainly far from music to animal activists' ears, is a testament to a man that has to now be considered one of the greatest athletes of the last 20 years.  He is certainly not yet among the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, such as Manning or Brady.  For that he probably he needs at least one Super Bowl ring.  But it is truly amazing that someone who spent the better part of two years away from the game of football could perform at such a high level.  Especially when many questioned whether he could ever return to his old form after being away from the game.  Well, he hasn't quite returned to his old form, yet the new Michael Vick might yet be even more dangerous.

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