Michael Vick got some great news Wednesday: Rob Vito, the CEO of Unequal Technologies (the outfit that's providing Vick with his new Kevlar flak jacket to protect his ribs), made this promise in an interview with ESPN.com's Darren Rovell:"I guarantee (Vick) will not get hurt."
That's... well, something since Vick has a history of doing just that. He's played a grand total of 12 snaps in the preseason and was injured twice. Vito doesn't qualify his remark but we're assuming his proclamation comes with one tiny disclaimer: "Vick won't get hurt... if he's hit anywhere on the Kevlar flak jacket." It's only eight little words but we feel safe in writing that the vest wouldn't have prevented the injury to his thumb in the preseason opener against the Steelers. It also leaves Vito open to criticism should Vick go down again, something that fans and media almost expect given his style.
Either way, Vick sounds like he's willing to try anything.
"I really can't explain what goes into the type of material," Vick told the Philadelphia Daily News earlier this week. "I'm just trying something different -- that's all I can tell you... It's Kevlar. I'm looking forward to it... to give me more protection and just to see what comes out of it. It's going to be custom fitted and fitted to protect all across my sternum, across my ribs. I think it'll be a better fit."
The jacket is bigger than previous models but Vito says that because of advances in technology, it won't limit Vick's mobility due to extra bulk or heft. And while Unequal Technologies claims that its product will do something for the Eagles' most important player that conventional protective football gear couldn't, there's one troubling question: if true, how did Vick sustain a rib injury against the Patriots a week and a half ago?
Pretty simple, really. Despite having an endorsement deal with Unequal Technologies that goes back several years, Vick wasn't wearing the flak jacket against New England.
Interestingly, ProFootballFocus.com, an advanced stats site that follows the NFL, took a look at why Vick gets hit so much more often than other quarterbacks. The verdict: the offensive line isn't terrible, and Vick doesn't get hit on drop backs at a rate substantially higher than the rest of the league. But when a play breaks down and he takes off running, that's when he gets in trouble -- and hurt.
"If the Eagles want to protect their $100 million quarterback, they will have to push him to be more conservative and accept he won't give them the same playmaking abilities that have made him such a phenom," PFF.com's Khaled Elsayed writes.
And, you know, making sure Vick actually wears the vest.