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."
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.