Vick Story Takes Another Strange Twist: Might Be Suspect
By Lance Epstein
Every day, minute and hour, the story seems to change on Eagles quarterback Michael Vick's involvement in a shooting that took place outside his 30th birthday party.
In the soap opera, "The Days of Our Vicks," a new juicy twist has developed as Virginia Beach police and spokesman Adam Bernstein have changed their stance on Vick.
"Right now, we don't really have a title for him," Bernstein said.
When news of the shooting was first reported last Friday, Vick was “not a person of interest” in the case. Since that day, Vick, his attorney Larry Woodward and former teammate Roddy White have being caught in a lie about what time he actually departed his birthday bash due to Club Guadalajara's video surveillance. Furthermore, more evidence has surfaced and eyewitnesses’ accounts have altered their stance.
In addition, facts have shown Quanis Phillips, a co-defendant in Vick's dog fighting scandal, was inside the club and was later removed for causing a disturbance. It is still unknown if he was invited to the party or managed to sneak his way through the door. However, Phillips received his invite and RSVP’d before hand than Vick is in violation of his probation by hanging out with ex-cons.
Nevertheless, the Virginia Beach police will not classify Vick as a person of interest or even a witness just yet, but it is starting to look like they are headed in that direction.
"We didn't know anything," Bernstein said when referring to when the incident was first reported. "Since then, we have viewed this video. And more people have come forward, giving information."
While the police do not know how to exactly classify or what title to give Vick in this investigation, the Eagles are probably feeling the same way about him with their organization. What title can they give a man that is on probation and has his federal probation officer in Norfolk (VA.) examining his part in the shooting.
And it is not just his probation officer investigating him; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is also paying very VERY close attention to the situation. Even if Vick's probation officer finds him to be off the hook, Goodell might not and could punish him for violations of the player conduct code.
Before reinstating Vick into the NFL, Goodell stated to Vick that he was going to be under the microscope. Lying to the police about leaving the scene of the shooting way before the incident occurred, being in a location where things could go wrong and putting the NFL in a bad light could lead to an indefinite suspension.
Yes, that is a harsh punishment for Vick since he might not have had anything to do with the shooting when all is said and done. However, Vick had the knowledge that the entire world was watching his every step. Vick could not afford the slightest mistake or slip up. Instead of using that valuable information and keeping a low profile, he put himself into a bad situation.
So what do the Eagles ultimately do? Should they rely on him and call them their backup and "Wildcat" quarterback? Do Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman assume he is no longer flying with the Eagles and call him a free agent? Can the franchise just walk away from the Vick saga behind and pick up a veteran quarterback to replace Vick? Is it really that easy?
Even if Vick manages to escape punishment by the NFL and the United States government, the Vick experiment should be over in Philadelphia. It is not because of a lack of talent. It is because the Eagles franchise cannot trust that Vick. He is not dependable and they cannot monitor him 24 hours a day.
More importantly, they cannot afford to put all their eggs in Vick's basket and allow him to be Kevin Kolb's backup. Currently he is the only quarterback on the roster besides Kolb with NFL experience. If Kolb happens to struggle or get injured, the Eagles would be forced to rely on a guy that was given a second chance in life and the NFL, but risked it all for a birthday bash at a nightclub.
A Craigslist description of that the Eagles need out of a backup quarterback would say reliable, dependable, knows a west coast offense, makes smart decisions and is intelligent. Each day it seems that former Eagle Jeff Garcia is closer to filling that description and receiving the title Eagles No. 2 quarterback.