Dear Philadelphia, Give Vick a chance

As the news broke last night during the Philadelphia Eagles 27-25 loss to New England in the preseason opener, shock seemed to be the prevailing emotion from the media who seemed to be blindsided by the signing.

Listening to ESPN Radio 950 AM, Eagles’ fans seem outraged at the signing. Host Dan Schwartzman, one of the disappointed masses, referred to Vick as “the ultimate boogeyman” numerous times throughout the broadcast.

Now lets step back and analyze this just a little bit.

Michael Vick made a mistake. Numerous mistakes for that matter. What he did was heinous. He was caught, spent time in jail, was out of the NFL for two years, and was forced to file for bankruptcy. By no means do I condone what he did; I am appalled that someone could do that to a living thing.

But he paid a hefty price. Not only did he lose most of his money, he was away from his two children for 20 months and missed the birth of his daughter. He was disciplined within the legal system of the United States and by the National Football League. He did his time in jail, in a halfway house, and on house arrest. He is still on probation and still isn’t eligible to play a regular season game.

One of the most respected coaches in the NFL history, Tony Dungy, will be guiding Vick. Dungy, along the Eagles, is going to catch a lot of heat if Vick slips up off the field. If you think Dungy is okay with putting his reputation on the line for Vick without being confident he has changed, I would reconsider.

Now from a football standpoint: bravo, Andy Reid. A team packed with offensive weapons at the skill positions just got more potent. The Eagles are poised to shock the NFL with schemes created by offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and head coach Andy Reid. A team that can mix Donovan McNabb with Vick in the backfield is going to be lethal. Defensive coordinators are going to be playing roulette trying to bet which one to focus on. No NFL team has seen dynamic quarterbacks like this on the same team at the same time. The Dolphins have it, somewhat with Ronnie Brown and Pat White in the Wildcat formation, but Vick’s arm takes it to another level.

Granted Vick has a long way to go before he is back at 100 percent. Vick was a tremendous athlete in Atlanta, albeit just an average quarterback. But Vick also used the West Coast offense in Atlanta, and is somewhat familiar with what the Eagles are going to be running. Plus, according to SI.com’s Peter King, he is going to be getting help from former West Coast QB and current Eagles assistant coach Doug Pederson.

Why not sign Vick? He has done his time and paid his price. Everyone deserves a second chance….

-Stephen Dolan ’12

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