The Bills could have had Michael Vick?
blog by Ben Kirst • August 17, 2011 @ 9:00pm
According to a GQ article that is coming out this week (written by the generally entertaining Will Leitch), Michael Vick did not want to play for the Philadelphia Eagles when he was released from prison in 2009. Deadspin.com is reporting— after ignoring GQ’s embargo request and publishing teaser quotes from the story early —that Vick was set to come to either Cincinnati or, yes, Buffalo:
“I think I can say this now, because it’s not going to hurt anybody’s feelings, and it’s the truth… I didn’t want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options.”
Those two teams wanted him and would’ve allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced—and granted league approval—to sign with Philly. ‘And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation.’”
I am going to assume that the National Football League wanted Vick in Philadelphia for the following reasons:
1.) It was better for Vick to be a backup rather than a starter and not spend a year getting flattened as he relearned the game. Michael Vick getting scraped off the floor of The Ralph probably wouldn’t have helped anybody.
2.) Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb could provide a more stable situation that Dick Jauron and Trent Edwards. Between Vick and Terrell Owens—who signed with the Bills in March 2009—the possibility of the situation turning into a circus was very real.
3.) Philadelphia is a bigger market with a more relevant team. Buffalo was (and is) basically an NFL afterthought.
Remember the 2009 season, though? The Bills went 6-10, including such memorable gut-punches as:
- the 25-24 Monday Night loss to New England that resulted in horticultural vandalism at the Leodis McKelvin residence.
- a 27-7 loss to New Orleans in which the offense did not do a goddamn thing - the lone Buffalo TD pass was thrown by P Brian Moorman. This was a 3-point game until the Saints rammed the ball down the Bills’ throats in the 4th quarter.
- a 6-3 loss to Cleveland, courtesy of another awful offensive performance and a sweet Roscoe Parrish fumble on a punt return.
- a 31-10 loss to Houston in which the offense, like the Saints game, did nothing—the lone TD came on a reverse by Terrell Owens and yet the Bills still led by 1 point going into the 4th quarter.
- a 41-17 loss to the Titans when—does this formula seem familiar? - the Bills scored a fluke TD (Fred Jackson pass) and the offense otherwise sputtered but still went into the 4th quarter tied 17-17 before the team collapsed. Hard to be an effective defense when you basically have four downs to rest up before getting pounded again. AND THIS BUFFALO DEFENSE CREATED A TON OF TURNOVERS.
- an 18-15 loss to Jacksonville, iced on a late 4th quarter TD pass by David Garrard. No TDs for Buffalo in this one!
- a 6-point loss to the Jets; a 7-point loss to the Pats; the launch of the Brian Brohm era.
That’s 8 losses predicated mainly on horrible offense (not the Brohm loss to Atlanta—that was a 31-3 shellacking). If Vick were even close to being the once and future star he was and is, and the Bills, won, say, half of those games, they go 10-6 and make the playoffs.
They possibly win the division (NE won with a 10-6 record).
They knock either the Jets, Patriots or Ravens out of the final six.
Seeing as how the Ravens whipped the Patriots and New York dropped the Bengals in the wild card round, it is easy to imagine that Michael Vick could have dramatically—DRAMATICALLY—changed the direction of football in our fair city.
Imagine the story line if Michael Vick went back to Atlanta as a Buffalo Bill, a playoff berth on the line.
Imagine the story line if the Buffalo fans found the good in the heart of this dog-menacing scoundrel.
Imagine the story line if Michael Vick and TO led Buffalo and its ball-hawking defense back to the playoffs and…and…
Never mind. Not worth the regret.