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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Time is now for Vick

From Kanye West and Rep. Joe Wilson to LaGarrette Blount and Serena Williams, we've seen our fair share of apologies in the last few weeks. All of these figures have had their time in the spotlight.

But a different apology comes to mind entering Week 2 of the NFL season. Will the Philadelphia Eagles give Michael Vick a fair chance to compete? Things have certainly changed since last Sunday's season opener.

On Tuesday, Vick was officially cleared to practice with the Eagles and is eligible to return to game action Sept. 27. This comes following Donovan McNabb's fractured rib last Sunday and the subsequent signing of veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia. Garcia and backup Kevin Kolb will probably be ahead of Vick on the depth chart entering Week 3, but that doesn't mean the Eagles can't include Vick in their offensive plans.

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I know I'm not alone when I say that Michael Vick was deserving of the punishment he received for his involvement in dog-fighting and animal cruelty. Vick's actions were sickening.

However, I think it would be unfair to say that Vick got off easy with his 23-month jail sentence. He lost millions of dollars and had plenty of time to reflect on his poor behavior. Furthermore, Vick will likely never be able to completely repair his reputation, especially since animal-rights activists may never forgive him.

The actions of the figures I mentioned at the beginning of this column cannot compete with the magnitude of the crime Vick committed. But that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a second chance to not only receive a spot in the NFL, but also significant playing time, especially given the current circumstances surrounding the Eagles.

Since his signing, Vick has been thoroughly apologetic, winning a lot of support from his new teammates and the Eagles organization. He knows this will be his last chance. Vick was one of the more talented players in the NFL less than three years ago, and as a fan of football, I'm curious to see whether he still has what it takes to be successful.

Of course, there are still plenty of on-field factors that will determine how soon Vick gets a chance to prove himself, one being that he hasn't played quarterback in a regular season game since December 2006.

Kolb, on the other hand, has played in only eight career games. Garcia is a seasoned veteran and a smart signing, but hasn't played in the Eagles system since 2006. Vick showed signs of promise in the preseason and has been present at Eagles camp since August. At this point, shouldn't he be in the mix?

The Eagles took a big gamble on Vick and have already received backlash and protest from many organizations. Despite this, the franchise has stood firmly behind its decision, a commendable attitude.

Without a doubt, McNabb is the team's starting quarterback when healthy. But now, with McNabb's status in jeopardy, I feel it would be a shame for the Eagles not to give Vick a chance as quarterback or at least some time in a proposed wildcat offense.

It seems to me that McNabb's injury has paved the way for a rare opportunity, one that many pro football fans would take an active interest in. The Eagles are already in an unconventional situation, so why not promote a player with tremendous upside and everything to prove?

Some advice to the Eagles; take a chance on Vick while you still can. When his time is over in Philadelphia, he might actually show you what he's capable of, this time as the opposition.

Think Vick should stay parked on the bench behind Kevin Kolb and Jeff Garcia? Let Matt know at mfox2@wisc.edu.

 

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