Michael Vick and the Top 10 Dual-Threat Quarterbacks of the Last 10 Years
The quarterback position in football is the most important position in all of sports.
Whether he is a pre-snap guru, a precision passer or gunslinger, the team’s success depends on his arm.
Now, when a quarterback is able to use his legs just as well as he can use his arm, he becomes a lethal dual-threat.
10. Dennis Dixon
Dennis Dixon was a consensus four-star recruit entering the University of Oregon.
In his four seasons with the Ducks, he accumulated more than 5,100 yards through the air and 1,200 on the ground.
He became a full-time starter his junior year in 2006, and playing a shortened season, he still finished the season fourth in the PAC-10 in total offense with 219.3 yards per game.
Dixon kicked off the 2007 season breaking a school record for most yards rushing (141 yards) by an Oregon quarterback.
While he pushed his team to No. 2 in the BCS poll late in the season, he tore his ACL against Arizona State University and that concluded his season.
Dixon was later drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
9. Ben Roethlisberger
Probably the slowest guy on this list of mobile quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger.
While he doesn’t normally break off big runs, he is known to move the pocket and elude defenders.
A two-time Super Bowl championship, one-time Pro Bowl selection and the AP’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2004, he has experienced a good amount of success so far in the NFL.
While he has gotten himself in a bit of legal trouble including sexual assault (he hasn’t been charged), he’s proved to stay clean more recently and has rose into the NFL’s elite class of quarterbacks.
8. Terelle Pryor
Former Ohio State Quarterback Terelle Pryor, yes former, (he announced that he would leave the university to enter the NFL’s supplementary draft on Monday), has been one of the most accoladed players in recent history.
Following the conclusion of the 2010 season, Pryor became one of the focuses of allegations that several OSU players received improper benefits.
Pryor is normally the biggest impact player on the field, standing at 6'6'', weighing 233 pounds and running a 4.40 second 40-yard dash.
During his career as a Buckeye, Pryor has thrown for 6,177 yards and 57 touchdowns while running for 2,164 yards and 17 touchdowns.
7. Cam Newton
Cam Newton is another dual threat athlete whose career has been plagued by controversy.
After receiving more than 40 scholarships offers during his recruitment process, he decided to join the Florida Gators where he served as the backup to former Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow.
In November of 2008, Newton was arrested for alleged theft of a laptop computer. He was subsequently temporarily suspended by the team after the laptop was found in his possession. Newton was cleared of all charges and he decided to transfer from Florida three days before the Gators’ National Championship win over the University of Oklahoma.
Newton transferred to a Blinn College in Texas, where he led them to a National Championship.
Later, he transferred to Auburn University and led the Tigers to a National Championship.
Newton was selected No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft.
6. Troy Smith
Former Ohio State University and current San Francisco 49ers quarterback Troy Smith elevated the Buckeyes better than any other quarterback in that decade.
Smith won the 2006 Heisman Trophy, taking home 86.7 percent of the first place votes—still a record.
How much more needs to be said?
5. Denard Robinson
Denard Robinson, is only a sophomore at the University of Michigan but he has already solidified his place in the record books.
In 2010, he set the single-season Division I FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback and became the only player in NCAA history to both pass and rush for 1,500 yards.
Robinson also broke the Big Ten Conference season record with 4,272 yards of total offense (2,570 yards passing and 1,702 yards rushing) and led the conference in rushing.
The player known as “shoelace,” because he doesn’t tie his cleats, exploded on defenses this past season.
4. Pat White
Pat White was one of the best quarterback’s in the history of West Virginia University football.
He and former running back Steve Slaton formed one of the most dynamic duos in history.
White was drafted in the 2009 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins.
In a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 3, 2010, he suffered a helmet-to-helmet collision with Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor.
White was later released by the Dolphins, and he signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals on September 10, 2010.
White retired before the season began.
3. Vince Young
With 26 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the 2005 Rose Bowl, then-Texas quarterback Vince Young scrambled for a 23-yard touchdown and an eventual Rose Bowl win.
Everything that followed is less spectacular, since being drafted No. 3 overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans, he has failed to live up to the team’s expectations.
This offseason, he will be looking for a new home after the Titans released him in January.
2. Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow had arguably the most decorated college career that a dual-threat quarterback could have.
He was a crucial part of Florida’s success before moving on to the NFL.
Even then, he continue to remain the center of attention as draft experts speculated over whether he could play quarterback at the next level.
As a rookie, he threw for over 650 yards, five touchdowns and ran for six more scores.
1. Michael Vick
And, of course, Michael Vick.
Since entering the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, Vick has caused nightmares for nearly every defensive coordinator in the league.
He blossomed into one of the deadliest players in the league.
Then it all crumbled down.
In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges involved dog fighting and served 21 months.
Immediately after his release, Vick was the target of public scrutiny, however, he successfully rebuild his image.
He has found a new home with the Philadelphia Eagles and the past season, he shows he can return to his old form and has even shown improvement as a passer.