- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Former Atlanta coach Dan Reeves, the man who drafted Michael Vick and coached him early in his career, addressed the quarterback's future on Sirius NFL Radio and had some pretty interesting comments.
It was pretty similar to what Reeves told his former radio partner Bill Rosinski (and we'll have some good news on Rosinski's latest venture very soon) and me when the three of us got together the night before a game in Tampa last season.
Reeves said he believes Vick can make a successful return to the NFL if the quarterback can stay focused solely on football.
"I have not seen him face to face," Reeves said. "I think that's the important thing. You need to sit down and talk to him. I do think he has the ability to, no question about it, because Mike had a tremendously big heart. He is very compassionate; he feels for people; he does help an awful lot of people -- his family, his mother.
"One of the things that got him in trouble is he couldn't break the ties from guys that he grew up with, feeling that, 'Oh, you know, I can't all of a sudden turn my back on friends that I had.' And that's probably one of the poorest decisions that he made because those guys certainly weren't looking out for the best interests of Mike Vick. But yeah, I don't think there's any question. He's a good guy, and in my opinion, and I said this when it happened, that there's no way. It has to be drugs or alcohol. Something has to be involved in it because Mike Vick, in his right mind, could not do those things."
Reeves also shot down the opinion of a lot of people that Vick should come back at a position other than quarterback.
"Well, first of all, I think Mike Vick's a quarterback," Reeves said. "Everybody talks about if he comes back he needs to be a running back. I don't believe that. He has great speed and quickness and those types of things, but Mike had a hard time learning how to slide to protect himself because he gets to going so fast that he doesn't have great body control. But I think he has tremendous ability to throw the football, has a great release, a very strong arm, sees the field very well. I just think you have to, within in the West Coast offense or whatever offense you use, and most everybody uses a lot of the same plays, there are certain things that Mike Vick does and does extremely well within the passing game and certainly creates a lot of problems for the defense.
"We tried to utilize the things that he did well in college and then build on the things that he was comfortable with in practice, and I don't think it's very complicated. I think the guy is an extremely talented young man and you just use the abilities that he has and that's plenty. You don't have to try to make him something he's not."