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Will the refs ever treat Michael Vick fairly?
Michael Vick is probably the most fascinating quarterback in the NFL to watch because of his running and passing ability, which often places referees in the difficult situation of deciding on whether to let him absorb extra hits or allow him to try to escape defenders with the possibility of making a big play.
Underprotect or overprotect, treat him like a running back or a passing QB that is the question? These are the type questions referees have to determine when Vick steps behind center.
And does the stigma of being a convicted felon or a dog killer play in the minds of referees?
What we do know for a fact is that Vick and Reid have voiced their displeasure that the gifted QB has taken his fair share of hits without repercussion.
The Steve Young Curse
The worse thing that has happened to Vick since his arrival in Philly was being labeled as similar or to having better potential than Steve Young by Marty Mornhinweg. Young was the quarterback who made amazing plays on the field, but his playing style led to numerous injuries and concussions, which prematurely ended his career. The same fate appears to be awaiting the current Philly signal caller.
Unfortunately, his refusal to learn how to effectively and properly time his slide will likely shorten his NFL career. He is going to be another casualty of the “I Did My Way” or “Nobody Can Tell Me How To Play This Game” syndrome, which has brought down many players.
Reality Of Not Being Top 5 Quarterback
Personally, I think Vick is the most electrifying quarterback in the NFL. And after signing two $100 million dollar contracts, owners around the NFL seem to agree. However, with limited playoff success he has not yet definitively catapulted himself into being a top five quarterback. What does that mean? It happens in every sport, the top players are protected by referees, while others have to earn the respect before receiving the same treatment. Until, Vick can win more playoff games, he will continue to take much more punishment than Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and a couple of others.
Will Robert Griffin III Help Vick?
Until Robert Griffin III, NFL officials have had no one to compare Vick’s unique skill set to. Although, RG III tends to pass more, his overall athleticism should give the world a better barometer if NFL officials are being unfair over quarterback protection.
Similar to Vick, RG III does not slide — if he elects not to throw the ball away — expect to see him take quite a bit of punishment throughout this season. It probably will help NFL officials evaluate Vick a little differently now that RG III has arrived on the scene.
Superbowl Win Changes Everything
If Michael Vick does not play well this season, Andy Reid will be fired.
If for some reason, he gets injured again this season, it will solidify the reality that he does not know when to effectively slide and that he’s probably not the right quarterback to lead the Eagles’ organization going forward.
The team will be forced to take a seriously look at trading the 11-year veteran, if he does not hold up this season. However, if the quarterback can shock the world, avoid injury, and win the Superbowl, he will earn the respect and garner more protection oriented calls from the officials going forward, which could factor in on the length of his career because winning truly is a cure all.
Regardless of what we say, we all have our very own stigmas regarding things in life. We’re human. It doesn’t matter if you’re a referee for NFL, a clerk at the grocery store, or a police officer. We base our judgements on perception, some topics are talked about while others are taboo to even bring up.
If we take football out of the equation and answer this question. Does a referee treat Vick differently because he’s a convicted felon and a known dog killer? No one really knows or will admit to it.