by Matt Bowen
January 20, 02010
Why not Michael Vick in Ralph Wilson Stadium next season?
I was surprised when the reports surfaced about Chan Gailey taking over in Buffalo, but now that it is officially a done deal there is no need to spin his hire one way or another. He is the head coach of the Bills and now the team needs to move on, prepare for the off-season, free agency, the draft and spring practice.
But, more importantly, they need to find a quarterback for Gailey’s offense.
It is no secret that owner Ralph Wilson wants a long-armed quarterback who can throw the ball down the field. He was the one who wanted an offensive head coach, and now that he has that in Gailey, why not give Michael Vick a look for the 2010 season?
If not, then give me another answer on the roster right now. Trent Edwards? Ryan Fitzpatrick? They have already proven that they cannot get it done in the AFC East. A rookie? That is the wrong way to go, because Gailey needs to win and he needs to win next season.
But, to do that, he is going to have to beat New England, the Jets and Miami. This division is stacked with talent and coaching, and with Gailey being the new coach on the block, he needs a QB that can make plays and a QB that has the arm to play in the weather of western New York.
I can’t see any way that the Eagles bring Vick back and pay him the money he is owed next season to continue to act as a gadget player in the Philly version of the spread option. He is too good of a player for that and too good of a quarterback to be wasted lining up in the wildcat.
Vick needs a team that is going to allow him to become the starting quarterback, and the Bills do have some talent at the skill positions when we talk about WR Lee Evans and RBs Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch. Yes, the offensive line is a patchwork job, but with free agency and the draft, Buffalo can address those needs.
And it is not a bad idea to have a QB like Vick who can make some plays with his feet when protection breaks down—because he is an athlete.
But, is it too big of a signing for Buffalo? I don’t think so, because for all of the heat we tend to shovel onto Wilson, he did take a chance with bringing Terrell Owens to town last off-season. A total bust? Not really. As for the quarterback situation, the firing of Dick Jauron and the firing of offensive coordinator Turk Schonert didn’t help matters in the production of T.O. in 2009.
With a new head coach there will be a new staff in place, and with a full off-season under Gailey, I don’t see why the Bills don’t at least entertain the idea that Vick could develop into the starting quarterback in Buffalo for the foreseeable future.
Is it risk to go after Vick? Of course it is, but the same can be said for every draft pick, every free agent and even every coach you bring in. There is always a chance that it won’t work out and it will be labeled as a “bust.”
But, if you are the Bills right now--a franchise that hasn’t been to the post-season since 1999 and has suffered thirteen straight losses to New England--it might be time to take on that risk.
The Jets and the Dolphins are in a position to overtake the Patriots as the kings of the AFC East and for Gailey to be successful—and for Wilson to get what he wants on the field—the quarterback position must be the top priority in Buffalo.
In my opinion, the answer is Vick.
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