Was Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick inadvertently disrespected by Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III? Apparently some Eagles fans feel that is the case after an RG3 interview with the DC press took place at the end of April.
A mini “Twitter-ruption” (okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I did say “mini”) took place recently amongst some Eagles fans who felt their star QB Vick was slighted by the new savior of the Redskins.
This is the text of the tweet, that was being re-tweeted around, that supposedly quoted RG3 when he was asked his thoughts on being compared to Michael Vick:
“That’s an honor but I’m a throwing QB who runs really fast.”
Now, that could certainly be perceived as a slight when taken in the context of: “Hey RG3, what do you think about being compared to Michael Vick?” And his first and only answer was “That’s an honor but I’m a throwing QB who runs really fast.”
In that context, one could take it to basically mean that RG3 thinks Vick is merely a running quarterback and isn’t known for being a passer. However, here is the actual quote taken from a transcript of the conference call RG3 did with Washington area reporters (courtesy of Rich Tandler’s Real Redskins Blog):
On the comparison between him and Michael Vick:
“If anyone says you’re comparable to Michael Vick, that’s an honor first of all. But talking to Coach [Mike] Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan, his son, today, they say I’m a throwing quarterback who just happens to be really fast.
So that’s what I think is a great comparison. Guys that my dad made me watch growing up, you know even if I didn’t get to see them play were Roger Staubach, I know that’s a bad name around here, but Fran Tarkenton, Kenny Stabler, Randall Cunningham, all those guys and Steve Young.
Guys that can move the pocket a little bit, but also took care of what they were supposed to. You don’t want to be one dimensional, and I definitely focused on that in college, and hopefully I can continue to do that in the pros.”
Obviously, the first paragraph is the key statement. Does that sound as bad as what was being quoted on Twitter?
The quote making its rounds on Twitter left out the words between “but” and “I’m” (That’s an honor but talking to Coach [Mike] Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan, his son, today, they say I’m a throwing QB who [just happens to] runs really fast).
So in essence, he’s saying that the Redskins’ head coach and offensive coordinator have told him he’s a throwing quarterback and not a running quarterback (though just happens to run really fast).
And of course that’s what a coach would tell a player such as RG3. Everyone believes that QBs should be passers first and use their running ability as a supplement. It’s important for coaches to reinforce that notion to quarterbacks who are categorized as “running QBs” so that they develop the mentality to pass first, run second.
However, usually nothing good ever comes after the word “but” when making a statement: “You look great honey, but…” – “The food was really good, but…” – “I was going to give you a nice raise in pay, but…”, see what I’m getting at?
So, in this context when RG3 said: “That’s an honor, first of all. But…”, it could still be taken as somewhat of a “diss” to Vick just because of that simple word “but.”
I’m sure that RG3 did not intend any disrespect by his comment. He seems like a nice young kid with a good head on his shoulders and a bright future ahead of him. If anything, it tells me that he wants to deflect being pigeon-holed as just a running quarterback.
The interesting part of this story is how people interpret statements and react to these types of things.
Even though he didn’t intend it to be a slight towards Vick, could it still be considered a slight? Can words ever be malicious without actual intent behind them? I don’t think so, but when you’re in the public eye, every word you say can be scrutinized to the Nth degree.
Personally, I don’t think RG3’s comment is a big deal. In normal conversation with your peers it wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow most likely.
But (there’s that word again), perception is a funny thing. Ten people could hear the same statement or witness the same event and there could be ten different perceptions of it.
Therefore, there are some people who would take RG3’s comment differently than others.
The only thing I can denote from his comment is that the first thing that comes to his mind when thinking about Michael Vick, is that he’s known more for his running than his passing.
And to be honest, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind too. I like Vick and hope he leads the Eagles to the promised land, but I’ve always viewed him as a better runner than passer.
My hope is that this year, I’ll get to see Vick as a “throwing QB who just happens to run really fast.”