Vick is Comeback Player of the Year

Posted Jan. 17, 2011 @ 4:55 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

We'll be talking about the fourth-quarter comeback against the Giants for years. We'll look back and marvel at what Michael Vick did to the Redskins on a Monday night, throwing for four TDs and rushing for two, executing with near-perfect precision.

And yet ask Vick, the PFW/PFWA Comeback Player of the Year, and he'll tell you the Packers game was his best. No, not the Week One contest in which his wild ride this season started with 175 yards passing and 103 rushing after Kevin Kolb got hurt before halftime.

The playoff game. The one the Eagles lost, with Vick getting sacked three times and getting intercepted on his final throw.

"Honestly, it might sound crazy, but (the Packers game) I just felt so much confidence," Vick told PFW. "I was just so in tune with everything: the protection, the blitz, where it was coming from, all my progressions, where everybody was supposed to be lined up.

"I was just so in tune with the game and that's why I am still hurting. I just feel like everything was supposed to go our way."

Vick's story has been well-chronicled. His imprisonment and suspension from the NFL was one of the most-followed falls from grace. He was said to be made the example of what commissioner Roger Goodell did not want in the league from a personal-conduct standpoint.

But a funny thing happened. Vick came back better than ever. Not just as a player, where he set career highs in passing yards, TD passes, interception percentage and TD runs. But also as a man, as a responsible adult and as a teammate.

Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said that transformation started with Vick's hard work before the 2009 season.

"Right when we acquired Michael, he would spend 20 minutes before practice and 30 minutes after practice every day — with few exceptions, even in training camp," Mornhinweg said. "He was trying to be the best quarterback he could be, trying to learn how to play the position at the highest level."

Vick appreciated the time he got to focus just on football, without all the outside forces pushing inward, but he credits Mornhinweg for cracking the whip early.

"It was something I probably never would have done on my own," Vick said. "It gave me a sense of what I needed to do to get back into playing shape. Each and every day I could see the progress, getting better and more confident in myself."

It was hard not to notice the difference.


Pro Football Weekly's annual awards issue (dated Jan. 23) is on sale now, featuring All-NFL, All-Conference and All-Rookie teams, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Executive of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year — all selected by PFW editors and contributors along with members of the Professional Football Writers of America — as well as a Golden Toe Award selected by PFW editors only. The print edition also contains a preview of the draft outlook for the first four teams to make selections in April, as well as previews of the two conference championship games. The print edition is available at retail outlets around the country and also online at, where you can purchase a print copy or an electronic (PDF) version.