Steelers Michael Vick at quarterback: Oh the humanity of it all


Gloom…despair…and agony on me. Michael Vick is taking the short week to prepare for the hated Baltimore Ravens. Meanwhile, a certain portion of our fan base has taken to verbal self- flagellation in some weird attempt to distance themselves from what they perceive as an upcoming Steelers apocalypse.

Fan sites and blogs are now filled with the sect of dark cloud prognosticators. If one were to believe their prophesies, you would have to come to the conclusion that not only is the Steelers season over, but we will suffer 6 more plagues immediately following Thursdays game. Boils and locusts aside, the predictions of season-ending calamity is probably a tad premature.

Vick is not Roethlisberger. Yep…we know that,  but let me share a secret with you. No one else is Ben Roethlisberger. 

Back up quarterbacks are rarely as good as first string quarterbacks. If they were….well…they wouldn’t be back up quarterbacks, now would they? Look around the league and you can see other teams struggle as they are forced to wait for their franchise quarterback to return from injury. 

But what separates us from teams like New Orleans and Chicago is that our front office actually took a chance and procured a backup quarterback that is relatively capable. In fact, I would argue that Michael Vick is better than the starting quarterbacks of at least ten teams in the NFL. 

This is why I refuse to listen to those fans who are moping around like Eeyore, wallowing in the muddy bath of self-pity. This is why I don’t buy into the Chicken Little mentality of fans who are so positive that the sky is falling over Heinz Field.

Get over yourselves.

Yes, I am well aware that this isn’t the Michael Vick of 10 years ago.  I know that he isn’t as young as he used to be, but ask LeSean McCoy how much of a step Vick has lost.  Just a few short years ago, McCoy, who runs in the 4.25-4.3 range, kept challenging Vick to a foot race.  Those who witnessed the contest say that Vick beat him by at least 4 yards.

Vick’s athletic ability should not be in question.  He still has elite foot speed and, as shown in pre-season, he still has a strong arm.

The questions surrounding Michael Vick, and his ability to lead this team in the next several weeks, remain the same questions that have always surrounded him.  He is prone to making bad decisions at critical times.  He has a propensity to fumble.

You can bet that Coach Tomlin and Coach Haley are working out a game plan to minimize those tendencies.  They will hand off to LeVeon Bell and DeAngelo Williams as much as possible.  They will take high percentage passes to get the ball into the hands of Antonio Brown and Heath Miller.  The will run the option to make the best use of Vicks strengths.

This team has not given up.  In 2004, I remember our starting quarterback going down with an elbow injury.  I  specifically recall certain players on that team being dismayed about finishing the season with a backup at the helm.

I don’t hear that this year.  By all accounts, the players are standing behind Michael Vick and are prepared to step up their own efforts.  Though saddened to see one of their starters sidelined, there is a positive vibe in response to the upcoming games.

By the way….in 2004…that backup quarterback was Ben Roethlisberger.

I have a reason to be at least somewhat optimistic about Vick. We have some serious weapons on this offense.  We have a defense that seems to be coming together. He is a better option than most teams could hope for if their starting quarterback was injured.

Yes, I acknowledge that there is a chance we could lose every game until Bens return, but I’d rather pray for a good crop then predict a drought.

For those seers, doomsayers, and augers who want to predict disaster…hey…go ahead.  If you’re right, then I’m sure I will tick you off by writing an article on the positives of getting high draft picks.

Next: Steelers Power Rankings

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