Michael Vick may disagree, but his ranking on NFL Network’s “The Top 100: NFL Players of 2012” is well-deserved.
In an interview with Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic, the elusive quarterback voiced his opinion on the ranking which pegs him behind players such as return specialist Devin Hester, rookie Patrick Peterson and unproven, oft-injured rusher Darren McFadden.
“Yeah, it’s a joke. I mean, I won’t say where I need to be, I let my peers and everybody else decide on that. Maybe it was voted on by the peers, but I just disagree. I know how good I am and what I bring to the table for my football team and the things I can do on the football field sometimes can be uncanny but I give a lot of credit to my coaches and the people around me.”
Vick’s displeasure is evident, but his ranking is not unwarranted.
After a surprisingly outstanding year as a passer in his first season at starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010, Vick fell back down to Earth with a rather audible thud this past season. In typical fashion, Vick battled injuries throughout the course of the year while watching his passing numbers slip, touchdown numbers plummet and his interceptions rack up.
After posting 30 total touchdowns and throwing just six interceptions in 2010, Vick reverted to a much more familiar player, tallying just 19 touchdowns while tossing 14 interceptions in 13 games played.
His impact was miniscule in comparison to the lift he gave the Eagles in 2010 and as a result, Philadelphia finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs despite four straight victories to close out the season.
His overall numbers were better than much of his NFL career, but his inconsistent play was reminiscent of his days in Atlanta, which surely factored into Vick’s ranking at No. 70. The reality is, MV7 was a quarterback coming off a mind-blowing career year and as 2011 showed, he may never be able to replicate that season as a passer again in his remaining tenure as an NFL quarterback.
Is Vick better than some of the men posted in front of him? You can certainly make the argument, but over the course of his career, he is nothing more than an average quarterback with unique talents that separate him from the pack. At the same time, his jaw-dropping abilities have cost him a lot of time on the gridiron and thus, can often times make him a risk more so than a reward no matter who he is playing for.
But Vick is a fierce competitor, and it would be foolish to think he will not use this as fuel to terrorize opposing defenses in 2012.
Vick plans on using the dismal ranking as motivation to be something better (h/t NFL.com):
“If that’s what they felt and based on what happened last year, then I got to deal with it,” he said. “It’s motivation, so thank you because they’ve motivated me to become a better player this year so I have that in the back of my mind as I go out and play this year as well.”
With a plethora of offensive weapons, Vick and the Eagles will compete for the NFC East crown in 2012. Ultimately, Philadelphia’s success relies on the arm and legs of their lethal gunslinger.
He showed what he was capable of in 2010. If he can harness that type of offensive prowess again this upcoming season, Vick will make quite a few detractors unhappy victims to his awe-striking domination.
His unacceptable ranking will provide solid motivation for Vick to be better in 2012, however, history says the game-changing quarterback is much more likely to live up to his No. 70 ranking and career’s worth of average performance.