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Mike Tomlin eyed Michael Vick on Pittsburgh Steelers

This week's game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers might be the most compelling matchup on the board after Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady.

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The Steelers can't afford to fall to 1-3. The Eagles are coming off their best game of the season and continue to live a charmed life of close wins.

It's a game that could have looked a lot different had Steelers coach Mike Tomlin got his way in 2009, when Michael Vick was leaving prison after serving time on federal dogfighting charges. Tomlin wanted to sign Vick, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted.

Two major factors stood in Tomlin's way. His bosses, the Rooneys, were "dead set" against it. That can't help. Tomlin was willing to look past that, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's situation at the time ultimately prevented it. Roethlisberger was accused of raping a woman in a civil suit filed just before training camp.

"He's going through somewhat of a trying time with the civil allegation, a case against him," Tomlin said of Roethlisberger on NBC that year. "I didn't want to do anything that was less than supportive to Ben."

Vick and Roethlisberger have bounced back from their personal struggles. Roethlisberger easily is the superior quarterback, but Vick has more support from his defense and running game. A lot can change in three years.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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