We made the case a couple of weeks ago for a potential connection between the Steelers and quarterback Mike Vick.
But we shelved that theory after Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette strongly opined that Vick won’t be wearing black and gold.
In a subsequent Q&A, Bouchette was even more blunt: “I thought I made this plain on Sunday but for those who missed it I will
tell you straight out that there is no chance the Steelers will sign
Vick, ever. Never.”
The clarity of Bouchette’s views persuaded us that Bouchette had been told by someone in a prominent position of authority that Vick won’t be a Steeler, but that the source also told Bouchette to couch that notion as the product of his own thought.
That said, the door remains open. According to Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, coach Mike Tomlin did not say on Tuesday that the Steelers aren’t interested in Vick.
“If people are capable of helping us win, we’re going to have a level of
interest in those guys,” Tomlin said. “I’m never going to discuss free agents individually. I
don’t think that’s appropriate. I think that that conversation could be
endless. We do our due diligence on guys that have a professional skill
level and of course [Vick] is one of them.”
(Curiously, the Post-Gazette made no mention of Tomlin’s words in this regard, and the video of the press conference on the newspaper’s web site omitted any reference to Vick.)
Unless Bouchette will be proven to be flat-out wrong, our guess is that Tomlin is trying to help Vick (and, in turn, Tomlin’s former boss in Tampa, Tony Dungy) by creating the appearance that the Steelers might be one of the teams poised to sign him.
That said, if Charlie Batch breaks a collarbone on Thursday night, Vick could be on the “first thing smoking” to Pittsburgh.