Michael Vick‘s debut as the Steelers’ starting quarterback was lackluster at best. Some poor throws and some poor play calling led to a Steeler loss.
The offense came out and played quite conservatively. The Steelers’ offensive game plan appeared to involve getting Vick some high percentage plays early on and get the ground game going.
While Le’Veon Bell did have a nice game and logged some positive plays, a lack of production when it mattered, plagued the offense. On top of that, even the short “easy” throws seemed a tall order for Vick.
On a short week, Vick was asked to replace one of the most productive quarterbacks of the decade–take the reins of his high-flying offense and ring up the scoreboard to mask a supposedly underperforming defense.
Well, the week may have been too short. Vick didn’t look comfortable, and didn’t produce. Granted he made a play here and there, with both his arm and his feet. However, that wasn’t enough. The hope is a long week (Thursday night football followed by Monday night football) will allow Vick some time to gel with the “O.”
Perhaps even bigger than the extra practice time, though that will undoubtedly play a factor in Vick’s success, is the return of an heretofore suspended Martavis Bryant.
Bryant exploded onto the NFL scene in the second half of his rookie season. His combination of blazing speed and size make him a matchup nightmare alongside Antonio Brown, the best route runner in the NFL.
Markus Wheaton and Darrius Heyward-Bey have stepped up considerably in Bryant’s absence (especially Heyward-Bey), but still don’t provide the game-changing impact that Bryant does. If Vick shows that he is willing to put the ball downfield next Monday night against the Chargers, that impact should be felt.
Brown is a threat to score on any play. This is largely due to his ability to keep active in the secondary during quarterback scrambles, and his short area quickness that allows him to make defenders miss and accelerate quickly. Bryant is a threat to score on any play because he runs down the field faster than anyone else. These two options can keep any defense on its collective heels.
I hope that Michael Vick spends the next week throwing deep to Martavis Bryant in practice. They need to build up enough of a rapport so that the Chargers’ defense at least thinks that Vick will throw it to Bryant. Not only will that open things up for Brown, but Le’Veon Bell should feel the impact as well.
Nothing helps a quarterback more on offense than options. Michael Vick just got a great new option in Martavis Bryant. Let’s hope Vick gives him a chance.
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