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 Post subject: CAN VICK, MORA COEXIST? per profootballtalk.com
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 2:10 pm 
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Interesting article.

http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm

CAN VICK, MORA COEXIST?

In the wake of a stunning fall from Super Bowl contender to at least seven losses and no shot at the playoffs, there's very good reason to believe that Falcons coach Jim Mora and starting quarterback Michael Vick cannot coexist on long-term basis.

Apart from the chronic efforts of Mora and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp to make Vick into the kind of quarterback that he isn't and will never be, Mora soon might realize that Michael also isn't, and never will be, the kind of leader who can take a team to the top of the NFL mountain.

Here's Exhibit A. Following Saturday's overtime loss to the Bucs, Vick offered this explanation regarding the impact of the blocked field goal following the recovery of a Tampa fumble early in the fifth quarter: "It kind of put everything in perspective, like maybe this just ain't our year."

In contrast, when a reporter asked Mora whether the blocked field goal made him think that "it just wasn't meant to be," Mora said: "That's a loser's attitude, and I would like to think we don't have a whole lot of losers in the locker room . . . . People like that don't accomplish much in life."

Ouch.

Though the two quotes weren't identical, with Vick saying it "ain't our year" and Mora reacting to whether "it just wasn't meant to be," Mora's message is that folks who say things like it "ain't our year" or it "wasn't meant to be" have a mindset that regards losing as a product of fate, not the consequence of a failure to perform. The difference is that people who don't recognize winning and losing as something over which they have total control will more often than not find a way to will themselves to defeat.

The other thing that Mora might find troubling is the shot of Vick smiling and yukking it up with Chris Simms and other Bucs players immediately after Tampa stuck a knife in the heart of the team's season. Kudos to the guy in the FOX trailer who promptly cut to an image of defensive tackle Darrell Shropshire standing on the sideline with a "What the f--k just happened to us?" look on his face.

Shropshire is a seventh-round rookie who didn't play at all until the seventh game of the season, not the face of the franchise and one of the highest-paid players in the game.

Because of his salary and his stature in Atlanta, Vick won't be going anywhere any time soon. As a result, our guess is that Mora might soon be thinking about his next career move, especially in an offseason in which there are plenty of other teams who would love to have a guy like Mora on the sidelines.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 3:19 pm 
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Good ol' Pro Football Talk.

I'm really waitiing for them to get some insider source on the Falcons. They've consulted league sources for other teams, but almost all of the discussion on the Falcons have been speculation on the part of the site owner, Mike Florio.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 3:34 pm 
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Yeah a lot of times they'll have links to articles and things, but then they'll come up with their own stuff too. It will be an interesting off season though. We need a lot of help in a lot of places and not a lot of cap room. Who knows what will happen?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 4:00 pm 
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This thought has crossed my mind at times since Mora was hired.

This is my take on the subject.
Auther Blank is above all a business man and he will make the decision that best serves his interest. He has openly stated many times that his goal is to bring a Super Bowl win to Atlanta. To do that he has to have an entire team and coaching staff working as one to accomplish the task necessary to take the next step. He has also stated that he likes to hire people who know their jobs and then let them perform their duties. In that light I think Vick loses if he wants to challange Mora for control of the locker room.

Now, statements like those mentioned are probably a little out of context in that both were trying to deal with the fact that their season was basicly over. Mora leaves no doubt however that his stated goal is to be a Super Bowl winner. He had only to look across the field a few weeks ago to realize how fleeting a coaches job is if he does not win ball games. His statement is exactly what I want to hear as a fan, there is no place for a defeatist attitude on the team. Remember that he has played probably the 1st or 2nd toughest NFC schedule this season, 3 Monday night games-all three wins, the first ever Thanksgiving day game in franchise history- also a win, and a Sundy night game againt the hottest NFC team in the league- a loss; all of this following a 5 week preseason which statred in Tokyo a week after training camp started. Never once have I heard him make excuses for his losses.

Now Vick is a great talent make no mistake but his future is secure, so where; really; is his motivation? He is sitll immature in some areas IMO, wins and losses don't mean as much to him as say someone like Shropshire who will no doubt struggle to make the roster in 06. To flippently say "this just ain't our year" has got to cut players like Dunn, Kerney, Coleman, Finnerin, and many others to the bone. I think Vick does have somewhat of an attitude problem in that he thinks only he can get the Falcons to the Super Bowl. That was true in Reeves last season and probably true last season but this season I honestly think Vick cost us the chance at some wins. His refusal to leave the pocket at times because of his perceived lack of respect from the media no doubt cost the Falcons some games.

Now as far as the coexsistance of Mora and Vick, winners learn to coexsist. If they can, then I look foward to many seasons of a Mora coached Vick led Falcon wins. If they can't then Vick will be a mighty attractive trade lure for the Falcons in an effort to find players who will bring the attitude necessary to win close games in Tampa and dominate teams like the 05 Packers in Atlanta.

I don't look for Blank to choose Vick over Mora in any struggle for leadership of the Falcons. Yes superstars puts butts in seats but coaches build winning fanchises and remember Blank is looking to build a winner.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 5:30 pm 
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You questioning Vick's motivation is laughable at best. That is one of a handful of guys on this team who go out there & truly risk it all & do everything they possibly can to lead this team to wins. If Mora challenges Vick as the unquestioned leader of this team then he will be the one to lose. Vick isn't the one "possibly" insulting the coach, it is the other way around. Mora Jr. better go back & look at what happened to his dad when his dad criticized the play of Peyton Manning.

Vick is far from a problem on this team and it is really getting on my nerves to hear our coach say he doesn't like to see vick smiling after a game. What do you want him to do? Go back to the locker room & do a Donnie Moore impersonation? It's just a game and while it may be Mora's livelihood, it is Vick's legacy that is at stake everytime this team takes the field and if you, or Mora, or anyone else think that isn't the most important thing to every player then you should listen to some of the Hall of Fame speeches given at this year's ceremony.

Dan Reeves only criticized Vick because he was going to lose his job & he said things out of panic to try & make Vick come back although the team was already like 2-8 or something ridiculous. If you think Reeves wouldn't take Vick back in a heartbeat then you are fooling yourself. Very few players have ever done more with less talent around them than Vick did in 2002.

I mean I respect peoples' opinions & sometimes I do disagree very strongly, but this stuff about Vick is starting to piss me off to no end. It's like nothing he ever does will be good enough. If he wins 2 Super Bowls people will say he should have won 3 and Brady is so much better than Vick. It's an absolute joke.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:27 am 
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Fu(k michael Vick. i have posted on here months ago how he does not appear to even be paying attention to Knapp on the sidelines when Knapp is trying to show him formations on photos. i have also posted on this board how mike refers to himself in the 3rd person and he needs to get his sh!t straight. he has done none of the above. my wife gave we tickets to the carolina game 17 rows from the field for Xmas. i smiled at her and told her i love her. what i really was thinking is fu(k "michael" Vick. he had the look of defeat on his face before the CHI game. yukking it up with Tampa's players right after the game is unnaceptable.

well, atleast i get to root for the Hawks now. up yours Vick!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:04 am 
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Well let me add that I think there are things Vick does need to work on, but looking at Knapp's still shots is not one of them. Nor do I think it matters what we think about his look before the Bears game and how he acts when the game is over.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:49 am 
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Vick is a playboy. He is not a leader. He's the guy that gets the stats and looks great doing it. I remember the MLB commercial that went "Chicks dig the long ball." Well the NFL digs Vick and as long as that is always truth Vick will always get God status even if he doesn't merit it.

Do I think Vick is the reason we are not playoff bound? No. Do I think that we need a true leader on offense? Yes. The offense does not have a leader.. Crumpler has tried and failed; Vick is a leader by default and doesn't want to be; Dunn nor Duckett have any desire to be the leader; we don't even have a leader on the offensive line. But the problem with this team is not the offense. The problem with this team is a very porous defense when Hartwell is out and a swiss cheese secondary when Hall is out. That is the reason why the Falcons are not playoff bound.

The fact that this team lacks one resounding voice... A Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher if you will is the reason we won't go to the Super Bowl and/or win it. I've made a post damn near identical to this one before. I like Jim Mora Jr. and he is a fine coach I do wonder about his assistants. Donetall went from good to bad and Knapp went from OK to horrible. I do have to wonder how Knapp could work with Jeff Garcia and a little with Steve Young and have those great performing teams and then get Michael Vick and watch his offensive play calling spiral into oblivian. Was Jeff Garcia better then Vick? Was Terrell Owens and/or Jerry Rice that great? Who knows but we do know that the magic isn't here in Atlanta. It's not a bust but it isn't great harmony like we all thought it would be.

But beyond everything else the thing that concerns me the most is that Vick is not mentally tough. He gets rattled by the press (constant bitching about not being a pocket guy so he becomes on and says "i proved you wrong!"), he gets rattled by the weather (Chicago), he seems to be rattled in big games. You can get into Vick's head and completely mess with his game. If Vick takes a big hit he becomes erratic. If Vick can't shake that we are in deep trouble.

But this team need a true leader. A leader that can manage both sides of the team and someone that people will listen too and respect. That guy could be an offensive lineman, tight end, linebacker, corner, whatever. The one reason I liked Warren Sapp is because he ran his mouth but he could back his talk up and he had the respect and attention of every play on that Tampa squad. We need a Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp, or even Chad Johnson personality on this team. We need a mouth because right now Atlanta has no mouth and they have no mean side. Hell we don't even have a mantra. Baltimore & Chicago will layout bone rattling hits, St. Louis is the greatest show on turf, Carolina & Tampa are among the ultimate defenders.

What is Atlanta? Well... Atlanta is the Vicks.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:06 am 
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First of all, great post dirty. I couldn't have said it better myself. Our leader is Alge Crumpler right now, but he has been saddled with that reluctantly since Vick wants to lead by example. I think Hartwell could be that guy if his play could command that respect, which it seems it may not. The person who I noticed get better in the brunch down the stretch was one Michael Jenkins. I think he could take that role if he continues to improve and becomes more vocal as he does it. Still, that is a bit of a stretch. Hall definitely could be the team's leader but I am not sure how Vick would respond to that.

It's a tough position to be in when your marquee' player does not want to be a leader though, and that player can trump the leader at anytime & ruin team chemistry. The Eagles would be the a good example of that as their best player took the role of leader upon his arrival in Philly (T.O.) and their marquee' player ran him out of town when he didn't like what the leader was saying...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:44 pm 
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You could even add McNabb to that statement Comp. McNabb has been a fairly reluctant leader in Philly as well. Look at how Philly fell apart when they didn't have Trotter against us. Trotter is a far greater leader then McNabb is.

Hartwell could still be the leader we need. He has a mouth and he knows when to run it. But since he has been out with an injury he can't talk and he can't really be with the team. Hartwell may still be our Ray Lewis but he can't do a whole lot from the sidelines with an injury. As a matter of fact I haven't heard anything about Hartwell and how his rehab is going (same goes for Mathis and Beck).

I personally can't drop too many judgements on anyone but the offensive line and secondary. But I think we really have to realize that this team doesn't have that much talent. If you break it down we have a decent amount of all-pro players and then there is a giant step down from "Great" to "Average" to "Scrubs." After the last game of the season I'm going to make a giant Dirty's Opinion Post. Maybe I should make it a column for Pudge :). I seem to have opinions that don't run with popular opinion on this board.

*Side: I think Vick would really feel better if someone else stepped up and said "I'm the leader" even if that person is DeAngelo. That way Vick can go back to his game and not worry about the moral of the team.

**I thought you were going to jump on me for the earlier post Comp :)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 10:55 pm 
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I didn't mean to imply that Vick dosen't care whether the Falcons win or lose. I just ment that he still has alot of growing up to do. He has been the "man" in Atlanta since 99 and for good reason, he was the best player on a very bad team and he won alot of game for the Falcons. Yet, he still needs to realize that he can't do it by himself, instead he has to realize that others around him can and will complement his talents with their own, given the chance. He often reacts to a lack of respect shown him by the press concerning his abilities, showing that it hurts his pride to be thought of as less than a good QB in the NFL. This is a good thing because it motivates him and makes him want to prove them wrong. In the same light he has to make sure that statements he makes, like the ones he made following the Tampa loss don't do as much hurt to his teammates. As the leader of this team he has to show team unity in the public light no matter how he feels. Yes the defense has been the reason of a great many problems and this is obvious to all of us including Vick but you don't make statements following a dramatic defeat that in any way shifits attention from your own performance. You take the blame "if necessary" and move on. Then, you as a team leader deal with the reasons for the loss within team confines. In my opinion Vick hasen't matured to the point to where he can handle this responsibility, and I am not saying that he won't or can't, I'm just saying that he isn't there yet. I think we all thought Vick was the deliverance of this team; and I still feel that way; it's just obvious that his development as the leader of this team still has a ways to go.

The original subject of this thread was about Mora and Vick coexsisting, I personaly don't think there is any rift between them but they both must work together to lead this team to a Super Bowl victory.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:59 am 
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Well, PFT got it right on the tone of Mora's comments in their quote. But I went to AF.com and listened and saw Vick's comments/body language.

If you look at the context in which Vick's statements came, you wouldn't expect their "opposing views" to create a rift. I think this article from PFT is more a case of a misquote.

My gauge of Mora's comments:

Basically, it's right there in the quote. But Mora thinks losers try to shift responsibilty of losing onto something other than themselves.

If you listen to all of Vick's comments in the press conference, he doesn't really do that.

Also when you look at the fact that Mora has been one of Vick's most steadfast supporters whenever criticism is thrown #7's way. When you look at how other head coaches have address issues with their QB, some like Parcells don't exactly throw them under the bus, but they don't exactly pull them out of harm's way.

This is just a case of PFT trying to rile things up like they always do. I think Falcon players, Vick, and Mora will all take this article and each other's comments with a grain of salt. No dissension in the locker room, not that type of situation.

As for Vick's leadership skills, I think if you are once again trying to compare him to Peyton Manning in this regard, you are comparing apples and oranges. Vick will never be the sort of leader that Peyton Manning is. He just leads in his own manner. Manning, Favre, Carson Palmer, Roethlisberger, McNabb, McNair, Kurt Warner, Vick, etc. all lead in their separate ways. I'm not saying Vick is absolutely perfect as a leader, I think he has definite room for improvement, but I'm not giong to say because he isn't like one of those other guys makes him a bad leader. As I said, they all lead in separate ways.

I wouldn't ask Vick to mimic any of those guys in terms of how he leads his team. If I was going to ask him to mimic those guys in any way, it would be to use as much practice time as some of those guys do in order to get a good rapport with the WRs. I don't think he tries as hard as those other guys to get on the same page with his receivers, and I think that's holding him back a lot.

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 Post subject: Maturation
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:07 pm 
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I think that Vick still is maturing as a quarterback. It took McNabb 4-5 years before he turned into the great passer he is today. The fact of the matter is that Vick can't hit the backside of a barn right now in his career. He is one of the worse rated Qb's in the league not to mention his efficiency. Give it about a year or two and we will see "Superman" for what he truely is. He will be great. No one takes into account that he plays in the same division as some of the best pass rushers in the league. Rice and Peppers have been all over him his whole career.


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