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Holloway: Time to move on from the Vick era
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This week on Writer's Block: Brent and Jon discuss Vick's possible return to the NFL
Michael Vick is back in Virginia. It’s only a matter of time before he’s back in the NFL.

For his (former) team, it probably couldn’t happen soon enough.

The Atlanta Falcons had the misfortune of opening organized team activities Wednesday, the same day the former franchise quarterback was released from jail in Kansas to serve out the remainder of his sentence at his Virginia home.

Falcons coach Mike Smith came close to cringing as he was pelted with questions about a player he’s never coached. Matt Ryan, who ably assumed the face-of-the-franchise role as a rookie quarterback, obliged reporters too, giving his take on a teammate he never had. Like everything else thrown his way, he took it in stride.

The Falcons still hold the contractual rights to Vick, but owner Arthur Blank has made it clear when he’s inevitably re-instated into the NFL, his football future won’t be in Atlanta, making it all the more obvious the team has moved on in every way possible.

They’ve overhauled everything from the front office to the front seven. They’ve created a new, winning identity.

Unfortunately, it seems too many of us haven’t followed their lead.

It’d be easy — and truthful — to say the various media that cover the team are responsible for fanning the dying embers of the Vick Era flames. But the reason why is more of a chicken-and-the-egg conundrum.

The mention of Vick’s name lights up the phone lines on sports talk radio. The sight of it in a headline draws more clicks than any other sports or news story on the Web site. TV, radio and newspaper reporters may be overhyping the story, but they’re only submitting to the will of the consumer.

The question is, why can’t we all move past this now-soiled period in team history?

Yes, Michael Vick was a fabulously talented player. Yes, he invigorated a fan base that was slogging through the post-’98 doldrums. He was unique, electrifying, exciting, and more. He was a Pro Bowl quarterback that went on the road and won in historically hostile environments in the playoffs. He may be the only quarterback that will ever rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.

But we should also remind ourselves that a running quarterback has never won football’s biggest prize.

Tom Brady, Ben Roethilisberger, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning. Those are the quarterbacks that won the last six Super Bowls. I doubt any of them could beat John Abraham in a foot race.

And judging by the admittedly small sample size of one season, Vick’s been replaced by a better quarterback, and brighter days than the franchise has ever known are within reach.

Electrifying doesn’t win at quarterback in the NFL. Save that for the backs and receivers.

Quarterbacks that win focus on playbooks more than posses. Smart coaches win. Good drafting wins.

Check, check and check.

The Falcons will be fine. Hopefully, Vick will too.

It’s hard to believe all that talent has deserted him in the two seasons he’s been away from football, and I hope he finds a venue to make good use of it — unless he’s a real wiz with a hammer at his new construction gig, that venue is probably the NFL.

His crimes were as jaw-dropping as anything he ever did on the football field, and there are sure to be many who will do whatever is in their protest sign-toting powers to keep him from ever amazing us again. But I’m not without sin, so I won’t be casting any stones. He’s served the time given him under the laws of this country and that’s enough for me to wish no more ill upon the man.

But the focus on this fallen hero takes time, energy and headline space away from his former team. So take a cue from the Falcons and move on.

If you still want more of the former quarterback, here goes: Michael Vick, Michael Vick, Michael Vick.

Isn’t that enough already?
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