I said yesterday that I was proud of Mike Vick for pulling himself together and making a pledge to work with his receivers on his own this offseason if there’s a lockout and team facilities are not available.
Vick admitted that when he was in Atlanta he didn’t work hard enough to learn to be a great quarterback. Now he is. As a denizen of this city (even though I’m not a Falcons fan) I appreciated his honesty.
You see, Vick changed his whole game this season. His talent got in the way, like with Tracy McGrady, until he decided to stop it.
Look at Peyton Manning. In my opinion, he’s just as gifted as Vick or McGrady (in different ways of course, but you get the idea.) However, what is Manning known for?
Living at the team facility.
With a lockout close at hand people are starting to wonder what great players like Peyton Manning will do without a place to train in the offseason. Manning has made household names out of COUNTLESS receivers. Why? Because, when nobody was paying attention, he was throwing thousands of balls to these guys.
Jacob Tamme was just some no-name tight end last offseason, but when everyone around him went down on the Colts he was there to step-up. Why? Because Peyton Manning busts his tail and had already thrown to this kid months before.
Peyton didn’t allow his talent to get in the way. He just worked past it.
You see, if we say that guys are “too talented” then we’re really saying it’s ok for them to be as good as they were when we first heard their names. So, if you’re a Colts fan I don’t think you’d be ok with Peyton only being as good as he was his Senior year in college. Am I right? That doesn’t get you to the playoffs or win a Super Bowl.
I hope Peyton Manning (and the 24/7 coverage the NFL gets anyway) will help put a stop to this “too talented” thing. Guys should look at people like Vick (in his contrition) and Manning (in his infinite work ethic) and say, “Hmmm. I should do that or I’ll waste my prime years in Houston like McGrady did.”