Michael Vick Might Have Followed His Coaching Dreams if Not for Former All-Pro WR Cris Carter

Article Highlights:

  • Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick strongly considered following Andy Reid into coaching
  • Vick played for Reid on the Philadelphia Eagles from 2009-12 before briefly joining his staff in 2017
  • Legendary Minnesota Vikings receiver Cris Carter convinced Vick to walk a much different path

When we tend to think about NFL alternate universes and what-ifs, the idea of former Atlanta Falcons star quarterback Michael Vick becoming the next great offensive-minded head coach likely doesn’t come to mind. In fact, you may have not even known that the four-time Pro Bowl selection considered a career in coaching.

Yes, a time did occur when Vick, who spent 14 seasons in the NFL and inspired a generation of quarterbacks, strongly thought about taking his talents to the sideline. If you’re curious about what could have been, you should take it up with Minnesota Vikings legend Cris Carter.

Michael Vick spent part of 2017 as a coaching intern with the Chiefs

In hindsight, the most significant move involving a quarterback that the Kansas City Chiefs made in 2017 was drafting Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes. Chiefs coach Andy Reid made another, and easily-forgotten, quarterback-related addition that summer when he brought Vick on board as a coaching intern.

When training camp began, there stood Vick — who retired after spending the 2015 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers — in a bright red Chiefs shirt and hat. The Madden NFL 2004 cover athlete earned the opportunity through The Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, which provides chances for former players to spend a preseason learning alongside a team’s coaching staff.

According to The Washington Post, Vick “connected” with Mahomes and Alex Smith, then entering his final season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback, during the summer. However, things changed when Carter, a co-host on FS1’s First Things First, called Vick and gauged his interest in appearing on the show as an NFL analyst. 

After speaking with Reid, the retired quarterback halted his coaching dreams and signed with the network. Reid also put Vick in touch with legendary NFL broadcasting figures Chris Berman and John Madden to trade ideas and feedback with them.

Vick never looked back (well, except once) after following Carter to FS1

Since joining Fox, Vick has gradually climbed up the broadcasting ladder and is a mainstay on Fox NFL Kickoff, an extension of the network’s popular Fox NFL Sunday pregame show. As of publication, Vick hadn’t left Fox for any other opportunities with NFL teams.

However, Vick did set his sights on coaching professional football at one point. In April 2018, the Alliance of American Football’s Atlanta Legends hired Vick as the team’s offensive coordinator. Originally, Vick would have filled that role under Brad Childress, who briefly worked with him on the Chiefs in 2017.

Neither idea came to fruition. Childress resigned a month before the season started. On the eve of the AAF’s inaugural kickoff, Vick suddenly stepped down from his coordinator role and transitioned to an administrative position in February 2019.

Unfortunately for Vick, the AAF ceased operations in April 2019, two weeks before the regular season would have ended.

Vick could have become the next great offensive mind from Reid’s coaching tree

Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson (L) and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid in 2017.
Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson (L) is a member of Andy Reid’s coaching tree | Jamie Squire/Getty Images

On the one hand, Vick is still only 41 and has plenty of time to consider coaching if he so chooses. Then again, he’s comfortable in the broadcast booth and told The Post he appreciates how much time he gets to spend with his family.

We can only wonder, though, what would have happened had Vick stayed in coaching in 2017. No one is saying he’d be a position coach, let alone a head coach right now, but he’d be 41 and possibly climbing up the coaching ladder.

Reid has had numerous offensive-minded coaches become head coaches over the last two decades. Childress spent five seasons as the Minnesota Vikings’ head coach and led them to NFC North titles in 2008 and 2009. Pat Shurmur, Reid’s former quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia, has struggled as a head coach but led elite offenses as a coordinator.

Doug Pederson led the Eagles to a Super Bowl ring in February 2018 and reached the playoffs three times in five years. Matt Nagy might be the Chicago Bears’ head coach, but we’re not going to praise his offensive genius. Trust us on that one.

However, we did get Vick as a rational analyst in an era of nonsensical hot takes. Football fans seemingly won anyway.

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