Yesterday evening the Associated Press announced MIchael Vick won the 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Whether you like Vick or not, you have to admit his comeback was pretty unbelievable and worthy of the AP's award. While I'm not surprised he was able to return to the NFL, I was surprised he returned to such a high level of performance after spending so much time in prison.
While he might have been able to work out a little bit, he didn't have access to NFL-style training options (for good reason). And yet he somehow is as big an impact player as he was before prison. More importantly, it seems like he might have developed a better feel for the game as well. He stated that he relied on his athleticism more than anything else before prison, but had to work to learn about quarterbacking after leaving prison. It will be interesting to see how his development continues in the coming years.
As we look ahead to 2011, Frank Gore could find himself in the running for 2011 NFL Comeback Player of the Year. While Gore didn't miss all of 2010, his hip injury led to his missing the final five games of the season. If he can come back in 2011 and become a pivotal part of Jim Harbaugh's west coast offense, he's bound to get some votes for Comeback Player of the Year.
One of the more interesting developments from yesterday's results was the vote tally. Vick took home 29.5 votes out of the 50 total. Others receiving votes included Seattle's Mike Williams (finished second with 8 votes), EJ Henderson, Matt Cassel, Wes Welker, Brian Urlacher, Troy Polamalu, Leon Washington, and LeGarrette Blount.
My question is how in the world LeGarrette Blount received his one vote. Blount was a rookie this year, coming off a college suspension for punching a Boise State player. Does a college incident now factor into an NFL award? I ask all this because you'd think there would be a little more discussion on this point.