Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hall of Fame Induction: Michael Vick

So, let me get this straight: Michael Vick had a great game, and now he has reached his potential. He put together a fantastic day passing the ball and running the offense. And now, all the concerns about his accuracy, touch, decision making, setting his feet, ability to make reads and run through his progressions without giving in to his basic instinct to take off…all these things are out the window, right? Vick is now THE man? His potential is finally reached. One afternoon. That’s all it took?

The media sure seems to think so. Seems his entry into the pantheon of great QB’s is now uncontestable, based on this week’s game against Cincy. Now, there is no disputing Vick’s talent. No underestimating his potential. However, there is also no avoiding the fact that his inconsistency precludes him from being indoctrinated as a premier QB. At least at this point in his career.

Vick has moments. He has games. There are periods of time in which his potential is unleashed full throttle and all the moons are aligned. And Vick looks amazing. This is not even in question. What is in question; is the coronation of Vick based on one of these moments or games. Let’s face it, there are two hallmarks to great QB’s: consistency and winning. You have to perform to a high level the overwhelming majority of the time and you have to WIN, baby. You must do these things, or there is no way you can be considered “elite”. Talk about any of the greats of the game that stepped under center, and these two things characterize their performance. You can pull out stats from specific games and you can measure his potential and tout his athleticism and his game breaking ability. But you can’t honestly call Vick a consistently high level performing winner. You may argue this, and even point out specific awe inspiring plays or tremendous games. For every one you point out, there is a counterpoint; a lousy decision or a lousy performance. Consistent is still not a term that can honestly be applied to characterize Vick’s play, at this point.

When Vick puts together a few 16 game seasons in which he has 10-12 high level games. Then his place among the elite QB’s can become a relevant discussion. Until then, there is a new QB in Dallas that just had his first start and looked good. Let’s get on his bandwagon and put his jersey up on the Ring of Honor next to those of Staubach and Aikman. I’m sure someone in the media is already suggesting it.

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