Michael Vick Wins Comeback Player of the Year

Written By Bob Cunningham On Saturday, February 05, 2011
Michael Vick, who recently finished in second place to Tom Brady for Offensive Player of the Year, will be awarded the Comeback Player of the Year by the Associated Press.

Several organizations hand out awards every year, but only the AP's awards are recognized by the NFL.

Vick becomes the first Eagles player to ever win the award.

Comeback Player of the Year is usually awarded to guys who had breakout seasons after returning from some sort of injury -- a la Chad Pennington and both times he has taken home this award -- but Vick's circumstances were obviously a bit different and had some wondering if he should even be eligible for this award.

As we all know, Vick was not injured and forced to leave the game. It was jail time that forced him out of the spotlight and required that a comeback be necessary. Not only that, but 2010 was not even Vick's first year back in the league.

I'm only playing devil's advocate, but it's not a bad argument to make for those who don't feel Vick is deserving ahead of guys like Brian Urlacher and E.J. Henderson who embody what the award was actually created to recognize.

But Vick's season is hard to ignore. Many people wrote him off during the 2009 season because he looked slow (well, slow in comparison to pre-2006 Vick), hadn't been on a football field in two years, and fell to third on the depth chart behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb.

Something else that could go forgotten years down the road and kept alive only in the minds of those who witnessed this season or future trivia buffs is the fact that Vick opened the season as the backup to Kolb, and was only given a chance as a result of Kolb's injury in Week 1.

If you think I'm crazy, go ahead and ask 10 football people you know (born 1973 or later) who started the majority of the games at quarterback for the 1972 Miami Dolphins and I bet maybe two or three say Earl Morrall and the rest incorrectly say Bob Griese.

After watching Vick's season closely and the miraculous things he did on the field, I don't believe there was anyone else more deserving of this award. He not only came back strong, he looked better than he ever has at any point in his career, including the time he was the face of the entire league.

Hopefully his encore performance in 2011 includes a Super Bowl ring to put next to this award.

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