The Steelers set the social media world on fire yesterday when they added highly controversial Quarterback Michael Vick to the roster to back up starter Ben Roethlisberger.
Plenty of people were upset with adding Vick because of his past with dog fighting. I won’t get too much into that. Vick did his time, and has done the right things since then and the Steelers were obviously comfortable with him as a person in the locker room.
Discussing Michael Vick the football player is more what interests me.
Plenty of people complained that Vick is completely washed up and Pro Football Focus pointed out that Vick was the 4th worst Quarterback to play in the league last year.
I don’t think that anyone thinks if Vick needs to play, that we’re getting the electrifying QB that played in Atlanta. However, I do think that Vick is probably at least as good as Bruce Gradkowski.
I like Bruce as a backup, but I think that Steelers’ fans opinion of him is inflated by him playing relatively well in games against the Steelers in the past. I’d be curious to see his Pro Football Focus grades in starts against Vick’s from last season.
Vick has always struggled with accuracy and decision making, but he has some impressive skills that would allow him to win a game or two if he’s forced into action this season.
Personally, I always like a mobile backup QB, because it adds another dimension that opposing defenses have to worry about. A few read-action runs with Vick and Bell in the backfield would really put some pressure on a defense.
Vick’s also had a deceptively strong arm. He can quickly flick the ball down the field 60 yards and make it look effortless. That arm with Martavis Bryant’s game could produce a couple game changing plays a game.
As we saw last season, Michael Vick hasn’t completely lost his athleticism.
I asked everyone that complained about signing Vick yesterday, who would you sign?
A quick scan of the available free agents on the market besides Vick were Jason Campbell, Rex Grossman, Josh Johnson, Jordan Palmer, and Tyler Thigpen.
Campbell and Grossman are two of the only names that might interest me. However, both had offers from teams earlier this off-season and seemed to be enjoying their retirement too much.
The Steelers had to find a veteran player with starting experience to backup Big Ben. Signing someone like a Josh Johnson or Jordan Palmer just wasn’t going to happen. Having a developmental prospect on the roster is fine, but you need a veteran as your #2.
Some fans said they would wait and see who gets cut from other rosters, but I don’t think we’ll see any experienced veterans becoming available. Even if they do, the Steelers were wise to get someone into the building as soon as possible, and get him reps in the final two pre-season games.
I’m probably one of the few that doesn’t hate or love this deal, but I really have yet to see anyone offer any realistic options that the Steelers could’ve taken instead.
As Marc wrote yesterday, hopefully this is all for naught and we never see Vick take the field this season.