Michael Vick was billed as a revolutionary talent at the quarterback position when he came out of Virginia Tech as a Redshirt-sophomore.
Enamored with his cannon arm and elite elusiveness, the Atlanta Falcons traded up in the 2001 draft to select Vick number one overall.
But Vick never quite lived up to his potential, and got sidetracked by a prison stint pertaining to an illegal dog-fighting ring. Now retired, Vick offered an interesting perspective on how Colin Kaepernick can get back in the game.
Vick said Kaepernick needs to clean up his image, starting with a haircut.
From the New York Times:
Does Colin Kaepernick want a job as a quarterback in the N.F.L.? Michael Vick said he thought a haircut would help.
“The first thing we got to get Colin to do is cut his hair,” Vick said on “Speak for Yourself” on Fox Sports 1 on Monday. “I don’t think he should represent himself in that way in terms of the hairstyle. Just go clean cut. Why not?” Kaepernick currently wears a very full Afro.
“Perception and image is everything,” said Vick, a retired quarterback who rehabilitated his own career after serving time in jail for involvement in dogfighting. “I love the guy to death, but I want him to succeed on and off the field, and this has to be a start for him.”
After six years with the San Francisco 49ers, including a Super Bowl appearance, Kaepernick finds himself in need of a job. But no team has signed him, though plenty of journeyman quarterbacks have found work. Some commenters say the reason is not his play, but his activism.
Before N.F.L. games last season, Kaepernick knelt, in protest against racism and police brutality, during the playing of the national anthem. That decision proved unpopular with a portion of fans, and perhaps also the largely conservative N.F.L.
Others claim that teams are primarily concerned about Kaepernick’s apparently declining skills. Still, quarterbacks without stellar statistics, like Mike Glennon and Josh McCown, have landed jobs.
Others point to Kaepernick’s athletic style, which has never quite caught on in a league that values quarterbacks with big arms who sit in the pocket. “That style of quarterback, everybody thought was going to take over the N.F.L.,” the former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana told USA Today’s For the Win last week. “The league has figured out how to defend it.”
On Tuesday, Kaepernick posted a definition of Stockholm syndrome on Twitter, the notion that captives often start to identify with their kidnappers. Kaepernick did not elaborate further, but that did not stop plenty of people from speculating that it was a veiled shot at Vick.
Vick responded by ensuring his advice didn’t come with ill will.
Kaepernick’s response comes off as immature when Vick was sincerely offering advice on how he can get back in the NFL.
But that doesn’t seem to be Kaepernick’s goal at this point. He’s more concerned with virtue-signaling and invigorating radical leftists.
The biggest problem with Kaepernick’s message is he hasn’t proposed any solutions. He hasn’t moved past platitudes like dismantling “the system.” And replace it with what?
Kaepernick will have plenty of time to ponder that question in the fall.