NEW YORK (CBS Local) — Michael Vick has one of the most complicated legacies in NFL history. The former Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons quarterback was one of the best players in the league, came a game away from going to the Super Bowl, and also went to prison for his involvement in a dog fighting ring. Director Stanley Nelson dives into all of this in the new ESPN 30 for 30 documentary called “Vick.”
The film shares details of how Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid helped Vick become an Eagles quarterback.
“Donovan McNabb talked about how he hosted Mike [Vick] when he visited Syracuse when Mike is trying to figure out what college to go to,” said Nelson in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “He knew Mike from when Mike was in high school. Donovan talks to Mike and sees Mike’s sincerity and says if you’re willing to change, I’m willing to help you change.”
Vick signed with the Eagles in 2009 and eventually became the starter once McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins and Kevin Kolb got injured to start the 2010 season. Former Eagles coach Andy Reid is interviewed in the documentary and he gave Vick a second chance despite how much controversy the signing created in Philly.
“Andy Reid is an incredible human being and he took the chance on Michael,” said Nelson. “He had one of his sons talk to Michael and he said that this guy is sincere. They gave him a chance and in some ways it was low risk in football terms because he was the third string, but it was high risk because there was this vitriol that’s coming towards Mike. People were protesting and saying how can you give this guy a second chance. To Andy Reid’s credit, he did.”
One of Michael Vick’s greatest moments as an NFL player came on Nov. 15, 2010 when he lit up the Washington Redskins and accounted for six total touchdowns in a 59-28 victory on Monday Night Football.
“It was in so many ways unexpected,” said Nelson. “He gets the opportunity and takes advantage of it. As people say in the film, he might be a better quarterback than he was in his heyday in Atlanta. He was now studying the playbook and looking to throw first. He became a much more complete quarterback and took advantage of the second chance.”