More to add from the always inflammatory Pro Football Talk:
VICK'S SHOULDER IS FINE, SUPPOSEDLY
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons quarterback Mike Vick underwent an MRI on Wednesday. The stated purpose of the procedure was to give the team's new medical staff a chance to get an update on the status of an injury Vick suffered in a game against Carolina last season. The Falcons claim that Vick is fine (except for, you know, the periodic outbreak of painful blisters on and around Little Ronnie Mehico).
We don't buy any of it, frankly. In fact, it's fairly clear to us that the Falcons' position is a deliberate attempt to take the sting out of a new SI article, which reports that Vick had an MRI due to lingering soreness in the shoulder.
Look, NFL teams lie about the health of their players. Especially the superstars. In Atlanta, Vick is the show -- and the team guards him like a bottle of booze at Betty Ford.
So if the word gets out that Vick's shoulder might be ailing, the team might as well paint a bull's-eye on the left shoulder of Mike's jerseys.
The other problem is that, if there's a lingering problem deep inside Vick's throwing shoulder, he might be even more inclined to pull the ball down and run. Even with a healthy shoulder, there's a concern that Vick (who's generously listed as six feet, no inches tall) is too short to spot receivers downfield. When, the theory goes, Vick gets enough daylight to spot an open wideout, he's also got enough room to run -- and run he does.
Why else would the team be suggesting that Peerless Price is the problem? Sure, everyone knows that Price is this decade's Alvin Harper. But every time that Vick pulls the ball down and runs is one less chance for Price to have a ball thrown his way.
The only exception to this trend is tight end Alge Crumpler, who gives Vick a target that he can see over the offensive and defensive linemen. Still, even Crumpler might see less balls this season if Vick is trying to protect a gimpy shoulder.
It's no small issue for the Falcons. If Vick's already limited passing skills are limited even further in 2005, defenses will have an easier time keeping Atlanta's offense in check.
And the Falcons can forget about a return to the Super Bowl in 2006.
I like Pro Football Talk for the reasons why they consistently blast Vick. They aren't afraid to say the things that media personalities would be fired for. How many announcers have publicly said on-air that Vick is a mediocre QB? None. There have been some "analysts" that have some disparaging comments from the studios, but most people won't say anything negative about Vick.
Of course I don't know anything else about this story, since this is the first I've heard of shoulder soreness since December, but they do have a point. The Falcons gain nothing if they admit that Vick is having shoulder problems. So to a skeptic and cynic, you can see their point of view.