There’s been some piling on this week from the national media regarding Steelers backup Quarterback Michael Vick. The message has mostly been Vick was one of the worst Quarterbacks in the league last season with the Jets.
What hasn’t been discussed much though, is the total mess that was the 2014 New York Jets.
In the receiving department he had Eric Decker, who’s a solid option but personally I think his numbers were inflated by playing with Peyton Manning. Decker, to me, is a middle of the road #2 receiver. Mid-way through the season the Jets added Percy Harvin who’s talented but failed to ever really get it going in New York, and not a traditional wide receiver.
Limited Quarterbacks often benefit from a solid tight end… which the Jets did not have. Rookie Jace Amaro is athletic but rookie tight ends rarely make an impact in their first season.
Chris Ivory is an underrated power back, but not a guy that can carry an offense. Even worse, the Jets foolishly tried to force Chris Johnson most of the year despite him having very little left.
I’m not saying that Vick was completely fault-less, or that he’s going to suddenly turn into prime Falcons Mike Vick, but he can be a solid signal caller when he has some good pieces around him.
Vick’s last time starting was not as long ago as everyone seems to act like it was. In 2013 Vick beat out Nick Foles for the starting job and was playing well before getting injured.
That season, Vick had possibly the best stable of running backs in the league with LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, and Chris Polk. His receivers were solid as well, throwing to DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, and Brent Celek.
Vick was eventually injured, and Nick Foles played so well in filling in that Vick never got back into the lineup. However, we have 6 games that he started to point to and see how he looked in a solid offense.
In those 6 games Vick completed 55% of his passes… Not great, but also not completely terrible as long as he’s not turning the ball over. He threw 5 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions and passed for 1,215 yards (averaging 8.5 yards per pass). He also ran the ball 34 times for 308 yards and fumbled 4 times, losing 2.
Like I said, none of these numbers say Vick is going to come in and shock the world, but it does say he can keep our head above water while we wait for Big Ben. There’s also a chance he gets hot at the right time. In the season opener in 2013 Vick went 15 of 25 for 203 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and rushed for 54 yards and another score. If Ben only misses 4 and we can get 2 games like that out of Vick? I think we’d be in great shape.
I still think that the Steelers could absolutely crash and burn while Big Ben is out, and the hole is too much to dig out of. However, with Ben’s positive injury news I think there’s hope.
Let’s give Vick a chance to see what he can do with Steelers’ stellar supporting cast before we call his career over.