Put aside all of your preconceived notions about what a typical quarterback should be. Michael Vick is the evolution of the quarterback and everyone had better take notice!
Defensive linemen are getting bigger and faster. Some are able to run down a quarterback with 4.7 speed. When the pocket disappears and you need to make a new one, you don’t want to rely on your prototypical QB who is hawked down before he can make it past the the right tackle. You need a guy with speed and an arm who can move the pocket, make linebackers miss and still throw a bullet 40 yards. Enter Vick 2.0 or as I like to call him “The Perfect Weapon.”
Don’t believe me? Look at what is happening to Peyton Manning. Here’s a guy who is the model of an NFL QB. He can stand in the pocket and pick apart a defense with the best of them. But as of late, he has been less than perfect. Defenses have figured out how to rattle him. He has a cast of misfits, no running game and a shaky “O” line to protect him. Yes, he is still putting up Peyton numbers (minus those 11 interceptions in three weeks), but I bet he wishes he possessed 4.29 speed.
Vick has been playing with a mediocre offensive line for the entire season. He’s been able to sidestep defenses and still throw perfect strikes. His toughest game was against the Chicago Bears during week 12. The Bears defense swarmed, but Vick was still able to pass for 333 yards and complete 29 of 44 attempts. He was also able to walk away with a 94.2 passer rating, according to ESPN.com.
Watch many of your elite college quarterbacks and you’ll see guys who can scramble and throw with pinpoint accuracy on the run. So why are we still insisting on pushing the “stay in the pocket” mentality? We push it for the same reason as anything we don’t want to let go of. It’s comfortable, it’s predictable and it’s what has worked for so long. But with the evolution of anything, you either adapt or fade away. When a safety comes past the line with blinding speed and DB’s have dropped back to take away your safety nets, you have to make them think you can outrun them, even if you don’t want to. Vick brings that to the table.
Vick is a defensive nightmare. You can’t lay off of him because he can become another running back and burn you for a 20-yard gain. If you load the box, he can pick you apart with strikes to Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant. Right now I bet Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni is losing a ton of sleep watching film and hoping he can come up with a plan to contain Vick. Dallas has been playing better, but they’re not the Bears!
Like it or not Vick 2.0 is the beginning of the new era of QB. Coaches have to start embracing it and helping to cultivate it. Fans have to start demanding it. Look ahead and the next wave is coming in the form of Cam Newton.