The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Vick 2.0

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Donovan McNabb is a proven winner. He's led the Eagles to five NFC title games and he's been to a Super Bowl. He comes with no off-field baggage, and, for a time, he was the face of a wholesome, respected brand, Campbell's Soup.

In contrast, when Michael Vick led the Atlanta Falcons he displayed amazing ability that made fans say "wow!" But, he was also inconsistent and erratic. Off the field he had several brushes with the law and his antics were fodder for late night talk show hosts. He was the Whitney Houston of the NFL. (The Saturday Night Live Weekend Update segment on Vick's airport marijuana bust is priceless.)

But Vick 2.0 is in a better situation today and he is the quarterback I'd want throughout the rest of the season. He's performing on the field, he seems to have patience in the pocket, and passing seems to be his first option. Even though he's 30, he wasn't being chased by defensive ends for two seasons so his odometer is closer to that of a 28-year old.

Most importantly, he has a far better supporting cast in Philly than McNabb has in D.C. LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek are all young, talented weapons that make a quarterback look good. Philly's defense isn't too shabby either.

Some animal rights protesters are not happy that Vick returned to the National Football League. There are no shortage of shrill voices who think his participation is a stain on the NFL. For both football fans and non-football fans alike, success for Vick doesn't mean convincing everyone in the room that he has changed. A percentage of Americans love Vick no matter what he does. And a percentage will never love Vick. It's the undecideds in the middle he needs to convince with his performance and his behavior.

This weekend's matchup is likely to be a ratings bonanza, hyped even more than the Manning Bowl. But what will make it genuinely interesting is that both quarterbacks have something to prove. I expect Vick's motivation to perform -- to prove the doubters wrong, and to repay the faith Jeff Lurie, Andy Reid, Tony Dungy, and the Philly Faithful have placed in him -- is the greater of the two.

By Jason Maloni  |  September 30, 2010; 12:18 PM ET  | Category:  Donovan McNabb , Jason Maloni , Michael Vick , Philadelphia Eagles , Quarterbacks , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Which QB do you want now? | Next: McNabb = History, Vick = Future

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