Why am I not excited?

With all the Calvin Johnson-to-Atlanta buzz that has intensified this past week, why am I not as excited as I should be to get possibly the greatest receiving prospect to ever come out, and the consensus No. 1 player in the draft?

I’m sure it has everything to do with Michael Vick, and little else. I’m a believer that the QB makes the WRs, not the other way around. I won’t deny that having a great receiver certainly helps, but the great QBs can build up WRs of average talent. A good case is what John Elway did with two journeymen receivers in Denver in Ed McCaffrey and Rod Smith. When his career is over, Smith is going to be a Hall of Fame candidate. Not bad for an undrafted receiver. Now, obviously Smith himself had a lot to do with that, but I don’t think Rod Smith would be where he is today, if it had been Brian Griese or Hugh Millen as the Broncos QB when he started out.

I’m not trying to bash Vick, just saying that his record of working with receivers is not too exemplary. Case in point, last year at this time we had been hearing for weeks how Vick was working so hard on building up his relationship and rapport with Roddy White and Michael Jenkins, and how both were poised for breakout years. Well, any such rapport that had been built in the off-season, evaporated very quickly once the regular season began. The drops certainly had a lot to do with that. But I think if the rapport had been as strong as the Falcons P.R. people had led us to believe, those drops wouldn’t have occurred, or at least would have been dramatically less.

Jenkins basically admitted as much not too long ago about how difficult it was playing with a passer like Vick because you don’t know what’s going to happen. If having a good rapport with your QB means being on the same page, then Jenkins is suggesting that the rapport is weak.

It remains to be seen if Vick can build a strong relationship with Johnson. He has done so with Finneran and Crumpler, but I’m sure it helped that when Vick took the field as a Falcon for the first time in practice way back in 2001, Finneran and Crumpler were probably the first two players he threw to since all three were second stringers back then. All those that have followed, just haven’t been able to get access in that seemingly exclusive club of receivers Vick trusts: Willie Jackson, Jenkins, White, Peerless Price, Dez White, etc.

Will Johnson be different? If talent was the only thing that had to do with it, then certainly he would. But it takes more than talent.

If the Falcons do ship their three top picks in the draft to move up and get Johnson, I can’t really complain. He is the best player in the draft. But considering the $28-30 million we are going to have to guarantee in his contract, and that Atlanta doesn’t seem like the ideal place for a young receiver to develop, I’ll be far from ecstatic.

If the Falcons passing game shows significant improvement this year, then it will probably have less to do with the relationship between Vick and Johnson, and more to do with the one between Vick and Petrino.

About the Author

Aaron Freeman
Founder of FalcFans.com

8 Comments on "Why am I not excited?"

  1. tI totally disagree with you here. I understand you don’t like Vick. You have made that very clear in the past but when Vick delivers very catchable balls and the receivers drop them than there is something wrong. Right or wrong? Also how come, following the 2 games against the Steelers and Bengals, in the game against the Lions dispite the mistakes made by Vick the receivers dropped anywhere between 6 and 10 passes after dropping maybe 2 in the 2 previous games. Was that also Vick’s fault?

    Now that I have said that I also agree that I do not want the Falcons to break the bank and trade up for CJ considering that we have so many holes to fill.

  2. I’m not blaming Vick for the receivers’ drops. But Jenkins comments after the season clearly show that there is a lot to be desired on the development of his relationship with our WRs. QB-WR rapport is a two-way street, and if it fails, both sides are culpable.

    The point I guess was just why is Johnson going to work when Jenkins and White have not? Sure, his hands are better. But is he any smarter than either of those two WRs, is he going to be able to figure out Vick when so many others have failed?..,

  3. Why I got one thing to say in response to that. Name 1 receiver that consistently put up pro bowl numbers before or after playing with Vick?

    You can’t because there has been no receiver to do it. I don’t blame that on Vick.

    The only receiver that had a good year was Peerless Price in his free agent year and than was given that huge contract by the Falcons. Yet he only has that 1 year to fall back on and he benefited from playing across from Eric Moulds. Any other year Price had about 50 catches.

    The Falcons haven’t had a huge threat at receiver since Tony Martin.

  4. Well Willie Jackson went from 81 catches with Aaron Brooks to 18 with Vick. Dez White had better numbers with Jim Miller than he did with Vick.

    It’s not like Atlanta is devoid of talent at the position. Jackson, Price, and White were all decent to good starters elsewhere before coming to Atlanta. Jenkins and Roddy White were good enough to be considered 1st/2nd round picks by most experts, but both look like 5th rounders on this team.

    I just look around the league and see players like Brady, Brees, Palmer, Favre, etc. and they have 6th and 7th round picks playing like Pro Bowlers for them (e.g. Driver, Houshmandzadeh, Colston). So it makes me wonder, why not Vick?

    The WRs have to play better, first and foremost. But at the same time, I do think there is plenty of room for improvement on Vick’s end as well.

  5. I’m not saying Vick is perfect I am just saying when you pass only 400 times a year and your receivers drop over 40 passes is ridiculous.

    In no way did I not blame Vick when he deserved it. As widly inconsistent as Vick’s passes can be at times when he finally gets the receiver a catchable ball they have to catch the ball because Lord knows Vick half the time has no idea where the pass is gonna end up. That was my only beaf.

    Also I feel that White nor Jenkins was worthy of a 1st round pick and hated when we drafted them.

    Vick hasn’t had a Randy Moss, Torry Holt, Steve Smith, Chad Johnson type talent a receiver.

    P.S. I am glad you can back up your points.

  6. True, Atlanta NEEDS some reliable hands to haul in passes. But Vick is so lacking in leadership – can I say that enough? His on-field and off-field life are mirror images. QBs do certainly inspire the level of play for the whole team. Look at the guys who led the dynasties of the 70’s and 80’s – they rose and fell on the QB not WRs. Great talent is not enough when the character is so very questionable.

  7. BTW – is there a receiver in the league or NCAA who WANTS to come to Atlanta? Calvin Johnson was very diplomatic while totally clear that he in no way wants to be suited up on either Vick’s left or right. That says it all. Deal Vick away – please.

  8. Both Randy Moss and Terrell Owens have said they would love to play for the Falcons and have both tried to get traded to the Falcons.

    P.S. If your gonna say such crap at least state your name.

Comments are closed.