Matt Ryan is Good, But Not Michael Vick Good

Vick took himself down. Now Ryan will run the show in ATL

Vick took himself down. Now Ryan will run the show in ATL

It’s not Matt Ryan’s fault. Don’t blame him.

He’s just a rookie, a good one, no doubt. And Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank (along with, yeah, rookie head coach Mike Smith) made the right call in naming the Boston College grad starting QB for the 2008 season.

But he’s no Michael Vick. And if Blank is expecting the young nor’easter to make this city forget about Vick, well, don’t blame Ryan if that never happens.

Because it won’t. Not for a while. Not in this city. Not in ATL. Not to fans who embraced the Falcons in droves, in large part, due to Vick.

It’s a bit foggy but if you can shake the ugly images of the last couple of years – the images (and fact) that landed Vick in federal prison – you might recall how Vick lifted football to heights in this town the sport had not seen since, what, Steve Bartkowski? Jeff George? See what I mean?

Sure, Vick was flawed. (I’m still talking on the field.) He was all feet and too little arm for the purists. But for Atlantans, he was theirs. He was them. He was skilled. And yet he was his own man.

Michael Vick refused to fit into someone else’s mold of a QB – as stubborn and wrong-headed as that tact may have been. He kept screaming, “I am a quarterback!” even as many tried to slot him elsewhere.

He took Atlanta to the playoffs twice, reaching the 2004 NFC championship game, to lose to Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles. To many, it was not enough. But to Atlantans, Vick was still theirs, flaws and all.

Then he let them down.

Now, after blips of mediocrity – named Leftwich and Harrington – Matt Ryan is trying to become theirs.

It won’t happen soon, and it’s not his fault. He’s a solid talent and he earned the top nod. He’ll play well in some games, and like a rookie in others.

But he won’t replace Michael Vick. Not in some hearts. Even the broken ones.

Photo courtesy Getty images

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9 thoughts on “Matt Ryan is Good, But Not Michael Vick Good

  1. Bobby says:

    I am 26 years old, only 2 years younger than vick, i was also a african american high school and college football player for a divison 1 football team. Michael Vick was the first African to be drafted number 1 overall as a QB. To me he represented a young african who was proud to be african and played his style of qb. You could tell that many european americans didnt like vick simply because he was a african who treated the image of a qb, the last holy grail of the european in football. Vick 72 tds only 52 ints, and 25 rushing tds. when u add that up its 96 tds 52 ints. Vick was a QB with very few weapons and without Vick on ATL they would sink…. Fact of the matter was the Falcons were that good and still are not, but it was this Michael Vick who change the way the NFC south drafted and played defense. Zach Thomas once said before the Falcons beat them in ATL… “Before this game for all the crap they give Mike, the only thing we talked about was Michael Vick, and in this league when they are talking about you, you have something, that kid is a great player no matter what anyone says, people dont plan for average quaterbacks…. Falcons beat Miam 27-17 and after that game Vick said ” I am a quarterback”… Donovan McNabb said that black qbs face a different critisim and they do its true.. but in America people are just tryign to prove they arent racist, they could careless if they did.. Vick was flaw but he was young. He wasnt a woman beater, didnt do major drugs other than weed… How many presidents have talked about doing COKE… Vick is 28, and hopeful they allow him to return as QB, this kid paid too big a price

    • Fuze says:

      Shut up kid. No one cares that he’s black. He’s just a good quarterback. Stop making everything about race. Are us “european Americans” (haha) the racist ones or are you who roots for Vick primarily for being African American the racist. I bet you also voted Obama for economical issues not color, right? If we’re going to cure racism we have to free it from our minds, that especially goes for you ^^ black victim from above…

  2. Tom says:

    I think Michael Vick was a tremendous athlete, but not much of a quarterback. No one fought over him for their fantasy teams because his performnaces were statistically poor for a starting QB. The only times Atlanta put up big QB stats was when Vick was hurt and Schaub started. Vicks’s fame came from media hype rather than QB excellence.

    • Noah Hamby says:

      vick sucks and he will go back to his cocky self after this year. OH AND THE FALCONS ARE 12-3 THEY ARE PRETTY DAMN GOOD.

  3. Emre says:

    I don’t care whether Vick or Atlanta’s QB is white or African; Vick may be the first African to be drafted #1, but the fact is we (i.e. football fans/viewers) are used to QBs of all ethnicities. The important thing is the bottom line: playing well and winning games. And that is what Matt Ryan is doing. I like Matt Ryan’s style better than that of Vick, and I think he throws the ball better too. Now I sure hope that Vick is able to get back in the game, but Matt Ryan is our QB at Atlanta and I’m really happy about that.

  4. Michael who? says:

    WOW! You couldn’t be any more wrong! As a long time Atlanta resident, I saw the disappointment that each Falcon fan felt when Michael Vick became a criminal. We thought, “Oh no – no one will ever replace him…”

    Enter Matt Ryan.

    At the time of this post, he has 10 TDs to 5 Ints and is quite possibly the most impressive rookie QB I’ve ever seen. Vick Schmick.

    He’s old news – He’s like the old abusive boyfriend whom you dumped after he beat and abused you one too many times. You thought you would never get over him, then you meet the real Mr. Right and you realize you couldn’t have been any more wrong.

    Give me Matt Ryan any day. Nobody cares about Vick any more.

  5. Bill Moore says:

    First of all, Vick is not African. He is American. Secondly, he didn’t refuse to allow anyone to make him play QB a certain way, rather he was incapable of being a pocket passer and like most mobile QB’s the league caught up to him.

  6. Very nice Atlanta Falcons information. I hope to be in Atlanta for a game this summer.

  7. Noah Hamby says:

    Michael Vick fumbled the ball every 3 plays he is going to have this one year then go back to the same exact Michael Vick as he was at the falcons before he WENT TO JAIL!!!

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