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Michael Vick

With Donovan McNabb playing down the road in DC and unproven Eagles QB Kevin Kolb at the helm, former Pro Bowl QB Michael Vick has an excellent opportunity to again become a starter in the NFL. That is, if he can stay out of troubleís way.

Vickís recent brush with the law following his 30th birthday party jeopardized his second NFL opportunity, and his freedom. While it seems that Vick was not directly involved in the shooting of a partygoer, reportedly Quanis Phillips - the co-defendant in Vickís dogfighting conviction, Vick showed very poor judgment in having an open-to-the-public birthday celebration in his hometown. Part of Vickís parole, and reinstatement into the NFL, was an absolute ban on contact with known felons. Phillips is obviously a known felon. By having the party in his hometown, the probability of people showing up who Vick should not associate with was high. Letís face it, some haters may have shown up solely to get Vick in trouble. One would hope that two years in a federal penitentiary would have forced Vick to have better judgment. After this party, Iím not so sure.

The Eagles took a giant leap of faith and made a bold move in signing Michael Vick last year. It was a surprise move that many Eagles fans and those who have followed the organization for a while never thought would happen. Though not an Eagles fan, I applauded the signing because I felt all along that Vick should be given another chance in the NFL. The Eagles organization has publicly stated that Michael Vick was forthcoming with details of the shooting and they are not going to release him. Whew! If what they say is true, I am relieved. Hopefully this party wonít end Vickís NFL career - Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to make a determination as to whether Vick violated his reinstatement agreement. We also donít know of the legal ramifications. If Vick didnít have anything to do with the shooting, as he insists, then his reinstatement and parole should not be revoked.

Michael Vick is an exciting player. Even with an over two year hiatus from professional football, Vick as a backup is much better than some of pretenders who pose as starting NFL quarterbacks. At 6í, 215 lbs, heís agile, quick, and a playmaker, with plenty of highlight-reel material. Letís be clear, his pass completion percentage needs to increase dramatically, as does his accuracy, both of which were problems the first time around. However, with the right coaching and right attitude, Vick can actually catapult further into superstardom.

Having Tony Dungy as a mentor is fantastic. Now, more than ever, Vick really needs to listen to Dungy. Further, and most importantly, Vick has to cut loose any and all poor influences in his life, before it is too late. Iím rooting for Michael Vick to have a breakout year both personally and professionally and silence all the naysayers and haters. Go #7!

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