The city of Atlanta has added interest in tonight’s showdown between Michael Vick’s Eagles and Matt Schaub’s Falcons. The two quarterbacks were teammates in Atlanta for three seasons before the organization lost out on both.
Deemed too good to be a backup and stuck behind Vick, Schaub was traded to the Texans on March 22, 2007. On April 25, 2007, Vick was put under investigation in relation to his dogfighting ring. Now, about three and a half years later, the old teammates and friends meet again with new teams, new goals and an old bond.
“There was so much there for me to learn and to watch and observe and he taught me a tremendous amount about the quarterback
position, to when I got my opportunity that I could apply so many different things that he went through and how he handled situations,” Schaub said. “That was very valuable for me.”
“Matt Schaub has always been a great quarterback,” Vick said. “I knew at some point that we’d have to go head-to-head because when he was in Atlanta, I always knew he was going to be a starting quarterback at some point in time for some team in this league.
“We were very close. He was a great guy and I had fun being around him each and every day.”
Perhaps more than that, Vick enjoyed eating the food supplied by Schaub during his first year in the league, when the rookie had to buy breakfast as one of the extra chores veterans bestow upon youngsters.
“I just know every Saturday that he always made sure we had the sausage, egg and cheese croissants,” Vick said. “That was the type of rookie that he was. He always made sure we ate good. Always made sure I ate good on the plane. That’s why he’s my guy.”
Food wasn’t the only thing Vick got from Schaub though. The two would annually renew their college rivalry – Vick played at Virginia Tech, while Schaub played at Virginia. They never faced off in college, but that didn’t stop them from going at it each year when the Hokies and Cavaliers squared off. Usually it was Schaub who ended up wearing a Virginia Tech t-shirt or hat for a week after losing.
“There was definitely a lot of talk going on about that game,” Schaub said. “Definitely some things going on, some clothing that had to be worn throughout the facility. I think mostly it was me wearing it because I think the last time we won was my senior year there in ’03, so I definitely lost out on that one. But I might have won one year, I think he gave me points because we were underdogs by a whole lot.”
It wasn’t just clothing that was wagered, though. The elder Vick grabbed a little extra pocket money from the youngster at times as well.
“Yeah there’s no question about that, he probably did take – not that he needed at the time, but he definitely took some from me, which, I definitely could have used it,” Schaub said.
Now a days, he’s doing just fine financially. As he’s continued to grow as a quarterback, Schaub’s pay has as well. He’s now in the fourth year of a six-year, $48 million contract.
Things are different for Vick since the last time he saw Schaub as well. That just may be the understatement of the century, as Vick hasn’t seen Schaub since before he wound up in prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.
When asked by the Houston media if he had kept in touch with Schaub, Vick answered matter of factly. “Not since I left and went to Kansas,” he said.
Well, he’s not in Kansas anymore. Vick leads the league in quarterback rating and has thrown just one interception while tossing 13 touchdowns this year. He’s finally reaching his full potential, which Schaub always knew was a possibility if he applied himself.
“At the time he was doing so many great things and I definitely thought that, if he just spent an extra hour or two here throughout the week or whatever that it would be absolutely amazing what he would show on film and accomplish on the field,” Schaub.
Now, both Schaub and Vick have been proven accurate. Vick knew Schaub would be a starter in the NFL, and the Texans quarterback has a big contract and a Pro Bowl to prove it. Schaub knew Vick could reach higher levels if he put in the extra work, and here we are.
Perhaps they’ll share an, “I told you so,” on the field tonight before or after the game, in a good way that is.
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