On Michael Vick and 'Hero Ball' complex

September, 11, 2012
9/11/12
2:52
PM ET
Former Patriot Tedy Bruschi, who's now an NFL analyst for ESPN, was on Colin Cowherd's radio show today and spoke about quarterbacks. One of the quarterbacks about whom he spoke specifically was Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles, and he explained the reason he can't rate Vick among the top 12 quarterbacks in the league.
"Vick has this complex to me, it's called Hero Ball. It's something he tries to play, and I'm not high on him because he hasn't gotten better with that. Hero Ball, meaning, you talk about it in basketball where somebody tries to take over an entire game, doesn't pass, goes up, layups, dunks, jump shots, all of that stuff, playing Hero Ball. I think that's what Vick does on the football field. ... He's got a Hero Ball mentality, and it's a complex he needs to overcome."

I don't know. I think Vick is fine taking underneath stuff when the safeties are playing as deep as they were in Cleveland on Sunday. My issue with Vick is that I still don't think he sees the field the way the elite quarterbacks do. That may even be part of the reason the safeties play so deep -- in order to force Vick to make decisions on a shorter field where he doesn't always see the open man. I can see where Tedy's coming from, and certainly there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that Vick still needs to learn when to run out of bounds or throw out of bounds or crumple up and take a sack instead of trying to extend a play. But for me, that's only part of the Vick problem, and I'm not sure it's the one that nearly got the Eagles beaten Sunday. Vick still needs to focus on more of the details of the quarterback position, from footwork to decision making to where his eyes are looking from second to second. And I think the alarming thing about Sunday is that it didn't offer evidence that he's been doing as much work on that stuff as we've been led to believe he has.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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