Michael Vick: The Measuring Stick
Michael Vick Has Revolutionized The Quarterback Position
While he was playing at Virginia Tech, Michael Vick was viewed as a man ahead of his time.
He played the game at a level and a tempo that dwarfed his teammates and most certainly his opponents.
Vick was two steps faster and tons more talented than those he was playing with and against.
He lit up the college football world with his amazing athletic jaunts downfield and his eye-popping physical abilities.
Although Vick was a much better runner than he was a passer, he still had more than adequate arm strength and accuracy.
While on the run Vick could throw the ball on a frozen rope to a receiver 30 to 40 yards away.
Michael Vick’s natural ability and cool demeanor made him a tough customer for defenses to handle.
At any time he could launch a pinpoint pass or take off on one of his patented Houdini-like runs eluding tacklers with embarrassing herky-jerky moves in the backfield.
Michael Vick was the whole package as a freshman and sophomore and that’s why the Atlanta Falcons drafted him in the first round of the 2001 NFL draft when he made himself eligible.
Vick was still a diamond in the rough when he came out of college as a sophomore but the raw talent and potential he showed NFL scouts on the football field thoroughly convinced them he could play at the NFL level.
Vick’s first few years in the league were a learning experience but even as a 20-year-old rookie he dazzled fans and coaches alike with his uncanny instincts, cat-like quick moves and overall football talent.
Because of his dominating physical attributes, Vick didn’t always think it necessary to spend time studying the game.
He often felt that his outstanding talent was enough to carry him and that deficiency showed on the football field more often than the falcons would have liked.
But in spite of that Vick put up respectable numbers and was a feared offensive weapon that defenses found themselves game planning for.
Michael Vick’s unique abilities made him an oddball in the NFL.
No other quarterback in the league could do what he did.
He could run like the best tailbacks in the game and when he decided to stay in the pocket (which was rare) he proved to be a very accurate passer with very good velocity on the ball.
As mentioned before, Vick was an elusive runner who was hard to catch.
In essence he was an anomaly.
He was not your normal quarterback.
Other teams in the league had to devise special defenses just for him.
When they were game planning in preparation for the Falcons they knew they first had to contain Michael Vick then worry about the rest of the Falcon team.
Michael Vick was the first and most important priority.
No one else mattered until they first stopped Vick.
No other quarterback in the league drew as much attention as Michael Vick.
Soon he found himself being the envy of the league.
Many teams wanted a quarterback like Michael Vick.
Cat-quick. Elusive. Cannon arm. Calm demeanor.
He became the prototype for the modern NFL quarterback.
Due to the fact that NFL players in general and NFL defensive players specifically, were getting bigger, stronger and faster and defenses were getting more sophisticated with blitzes, quarterbacks needed to be more athletic and mobile.
The days of standing tall and strong in the pocket were quickly leaving and the days bouncing outside of the pocket and throwing on the run were quickly arriving.
Vick was that new era quarterback and he was the blueprint model.
Quarterbacks could no longer stand like a statue in the pocket waiting for a receiver to get open.
Now they had to be able to sidestep, duck or roll out to buy time for the receiver to get separation.
Michael Vick was that quarterback.
Pretty soon other teams started acquiring Michael Vick look- alikes.
Elusive strong-armed quarterbacks who were mobile and accurate with adequate running skills.
Michael Vick had revolutionized the position.
He introduced the triple threat to the quarterback position.
The possibility of running, passing or handing off.
Defenses had to react just a half of a second slower to see what Vick was going to do and that half second could mean the difference between stopping a play or a play gaining big yardage.
Michael Vick had defenses in the palm of his hand and other teams wanted their quarterbacks to have the same command.
Michael Vick became the measuring stick by which many other teams evaluated their quarterback.
Unintentionally Michael Vick changed how the quarterback position would be viewed in the future.
Just by playing the game Michael Vick made himself the kind of quarterback a lot of people wanted to emulate.