At a time when most coaches, General Managers, or owners who are addressing publicly the question of whether their respective teams will make a run at quarterback Mike Vick suggest that a relationship isn’t in the offing, the ever-vague Bill Belichick offered up some of his patented ambiguity on Thursday.
“Michael is an outstanding player, you know, hasn’t played in a couple years,” Belichick said, per Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald. “But right now, our focus is on our team and our player, trying to get the New England Patriots ready. That’s where my attention has been. But exactly where he is right now, I don’t know.”
You’ll notice it’s not a “no, not now” or a “no, not ever” from Belichick. Using the same word-parsing that Belichick applied two years ago to the rules regarding the videotaping of defensive coaching signals, all Belichick really said was that he’s not aware of Vick’s current geographic location.
Meanwhile, Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald is convinced that the Pats will make a run at Vick, based on Darlington’s belief that the Patriots wanted to land Pat White in round two of the 2009 draft.
We’ve previously heard a rumor or two linking Vick to the Patriots. The sticking point, if there’s mutual interest, could be that the Pats will want a multi-year deal, and that Vick would prefer a one-year arrangement, which would allow him to pursue a starting job elsewhere in 2010.
Others believe that Vick is destined for New England. LaVar Arrington, formerly of the Redskins and Giants, said during our spot on his new D.C. radio show that he thinks the Pats are the odds-on favorites to get Vick, given that Belichick can provide the right structure — and that the fan base will be inclined to get in line behind the team.
Hey, even if acquiring Vick would end up being a distraction, the Pats proved a couple of years ago that they tend to thrive when they occupy the center of attention for not-so-good reasons. Indeed, in the aftermath of Spygate, they only went on to win every game of the regular season.
Of course, the ultimate irony of a Vick/Pats marriage would be that Belichick would have to collaborate with one of his primary antagonists of the past seven seasons — former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who is serving as a mentor and advisor to Vick. Though the relationship isn’t quite at the Belichick-Mangini level, Dungy’s comments in the wake of the 2007 cheating scandal likely haven’t been forgotten by Belichick.