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Vick was a good QB


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Please wake me up when another QB throws for 250 and runs for 100 in the same game this season.


Here's an article on biased reporters:



Sunday, May 24, 2009


Mike Vick Was a Good QB: The Stats that Stats Didn't Give You

If you listen to (or watch) Mike&Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio, then you can’t help but be in love with Rob “Stats” Guerra, the zealous board operator who runs the board for the popular sports talk radio program. I actually had the good fortune of meeting Stats while I was at ESPN, and he is an extremely great guy and person, and it’s a shame I never really got to know him in my time there. Nevertheless, in reading his latest “Stats Don’t Lie” column, I already know that if I ran into him again, I would have a serious bone to pick with him.


In his recent post on ESPNRadio.com, Stats wrote about how he the stats prove that Michael Vick was “all flash and no substance” when he was last seen playing football in the NFL. In fact, he argues that Vick was actually getting worse, and points to his trialing win-loss records of 11-4, 8-7 and 7-9 in his last 3 years. He also brings up good points about Vick’s fumbling problems (36 fumbles in 3 years) and his trailing interceptions (13 per year). However, what he fails to do is point out the stats and evidence surrounding them that say Michael Vick was actually a very good player in the NFL.


First, while Michael Vick’s completion percentage fell off from 2004 to 2006, it didn’t exactly go cliff-diving. Vick’s completion percentage went from 56.4% in 2004, to 55.3% to 52.6% in 2006. However, even if you want to consider that a significant drop, consider this, Vick had one of the worst receiving cores in the entire league those last two seasons. His best pass-catcher was his tight-end, Alge Crumpler, as his receivers were absolutely horrible. Roddy White was a rookie in 2005 and not even a full time starter in 2006, and Michael Jenkins—well, he’s never amounted to much of a dependable receiver at all. Those two, along with the rest of the Falcons wideouts, were notorious for dropping balls in 2006, which led many a reporter to ask Vick if he had any confidence in his receivers anymore. So if you’re going to point to Vick’s trailing completion percentage as a knock on him, please consider who he was throwing to as well. Not to mention, it’s not as if other notable quarterbacks haven’t had completion percentages in that range


Stats also used Vick’s 13 picks per season as reason to believe Vick was not that good of a player. However, he doesn’t tell you that Vick’s 3.4% interception rate (the more accurate measure of interceptions) in 2006 isn’t really bad in comparison to other starting quarterbacks, and that Vick’s career interception rate is only 3.0%. Nevertheless, have you heard of a few people named Carson Palmer, Kurt Warner, Eli Manning, Brett Favre, Tony Romo or even Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger? They all have career interception rates of over 3.0%, and I only named the good starting quarterbacks, never mind the ones that start and aren’t any good! Also, Big Ben and Romo both have interception rates (3.5% and 3.6%, respectively) worse than Vick’s 3.4% in 2006. So if Stats wants to use Vick’s interception rate to disprove that Vick is a good player, he might need to go beyond just the 13 picks per season and really look at the “stats.”


Next, Stats pointed to Vick’s 12 fumbles per year as a knock against Vick’s talent. However, he makes that argument without giving any insight as to how Vick’s fumbling problems have impacted his team. First, Vick’s fumbles are one of the many stats (along with touchdown passes and touchdowns scored) that Stats fails to point out as things Vick improved upon during his last 3 years. Vick went from fumbling 16 times in 2004, to 11 times in 2005 to just 9 in 2006. Stats also tries to negate Vick’s rushing ability by saying that his fumbles negate it. However, from 2004-2006, Vick only fumbled 12 times while rushing the ball—the other 24 fumbles were the result of sacks. In comparison, Adrian Peterson, who I’m sure Stats would love to have on his team (as would anybody), fumbled the ball 9 times while rushing the ball in just ONE season. Not to mention, among Vick’s 9 rushing fumbles over his last 3 years, he only lost possession of the ball 4 times in those 3 years.


Lastly, and I can’t believe this, but Stats used Vick’s record to prove that Vick wasn’t a good player. I really thought he was being sarcastic once I got to this part of his piece. Vick’s record of 26-20 in his last 3 seasons, while not remarkable, is probably better than what 95% of all NFL quarterbacks could give you. Granted, I’m including backup QBs when I suggest that percentage, but Stats’ argument is that he doesn’t think Vick’s play is worthy of him playing in the NFL again, not just being a starter. Thus, it’s important for me to point out that even “horrible” completion percentages and a “litany” of interceptions, Vick was still better than just about every backup quarterback in the league.


And even if you compared Vick’s last years with a 56% winning percentage to the rest of the starting quarterbacks in the league, one would easily find that Vick wins more games than half of the quarterbacks in the NFL. Yet Stats doesn’t even think he should play again based on his winning percentage?


Come on, there are a lot of things I have read about Michael Vick’s possible return to the NFL. Some people think that legally Vick shouldn’t be allowed to play. Some people think morals should derail Vick’s return. And some people think financial reasons should stop Vick from playing again. But I haven’t read or heard one person, other than Stats, suggest that Mike Vick can’t play based on his performance level in his last 46 games with the Atlanta Falcons. I have heard people suggest that Vick may not be the same guy he once was and because of that, perhaps he won’t be able to play. However, not a single football-analyst out there has suggested that if Vick is the same player he was during his last 3 years in the league, that somehow he won’t have a positive impact on a football team.


Stats is indeed the only person I’ve heard go on record with such a statement, which is perhaps why he should stick to running the show, and let people who really know about the game of football be the ones making the assertions.

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So what's the point here? He's perfectly adequate? 31 teams passed on him, and one took him basically out of compassion. Andy Reid felt for the guy and decided to give him a second chance. I would trust the collective judgment of all the NFL teams in the league -- dozens of coaches who know the game better than any of us -- over a reporter who wants to turn Vick's horrible stats into something slightly more palatable. Given the pressure to win, obviously there would be a bidding war if there was any confidence he could lead a team to the promised land.

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:wacko: A Michael Vick apologist posting Michael Vick apologist dribble.


And who gives a flying flip if someone throws for 250 and runs for 100? What the hell does that have to do with anything. I guess I'm more hung up on the fact that he bred dogs, put them in rings, watched them maul each other, and killed the ones he didn't like. Shallow me I guess.

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I guess I'm more hung up on the fact that he bred dogs, put them in rings, watched them maul each other, and killed the ones he didn't like.

But you shouldn't be. I think one would have to be a hateful and bad person to do what he did and truly feel that the remorse he feels stems from the fact that his choices led to some pretty massive consequences. However, I don't pretend to think that the NFL doesn't have it's share of bad dudes. Being a good guy is absolutely not in the job description. In fact, one could argue that it's something that could get in the way.


As he has now served his debt to society, the only thing that should matter now is whether or not he can help a team on the field. It is unfortunate that he just happens to be skilled in a very high paying profession, but that's not his fault and doesn't make his job any more important than most others (in fact it's far less important that almost all of them), nor is it a job that we should expect those who do it to have high moral standards.


If Vick was to get hired as a teacher, I'd be outraged, because this vile excuse for a man would be charged with teaching our children. Instead, he's being given the monumental task of advancing a pigskin down the field, and, if we're going to put scum to work, that seems like a fine job to give them.


As you can tell, my ambivalence towards Vick has nothing to do with toleration. Rather it has everything to do with having learned better than to expect much from sports figures. Hell, anyone famous.


You've got famous athletes and coaches, who are testosterone-addled, hyper-entitled, and sheltered from consequences their whole life.


You've got movie stars who are basically beautiful people who are usually stupid and wildly neurotic.


You've got politicians who have nice hair and essentially lie for a living.


Yet, for some reason, these are the people we expect to be the standard bearers for appropriate behavior. It is the height of lunacy.

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I'm not saying that Vick wasn't an exciting player. I'm saying that other QBs were able to obtain reasonable passing yardage that exceeded 200 yards where Vick hardly ever did.


People fail to mention that Atlanta was the #1 team rushing offense. Why would a QB need to put up Manning numbers on a team like that? Doesn't sound like a team player to me. His total yards were usually 300, which would be the same amount of yards obtain by a QB who never ran. Do NFL teams get bonus points if the QB throws for yards instead of runs?

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