Michael Vick sees the influx of big, mobile quarterbacks in the NFL and is reminded of someone — Michael Vick.
The quarterback who broke into the league with the Atlanta Falcons, running over defenses with lightning fast speed and keeping them in check with a strong arm, said he believes he started the trend of running quarterbacks in the NFL.
“I was the guy who started it all,” the New York Jets quarterback told ESPN.com. “I revolutionized the game. I changed the way it was played in the NFL.”
Vick would have a strong case. After all, he is the league’s all-time rushing leader among quarterbacks with 5,857 yards, despite missing two years from the prime of his career after going to prison for running a dog fighting ring.
“The things I’ve done, I’ve pretty much surpassed myself and expectations — over 25,000 yards in total offense in the NFL, and I missed a lot of years and a lot of games,” he said.
“That’s more the reason I have to keep it going.”
He is certainly following through on the claim. Vick has been noting but supportive of Smith, providing guidance and talking up Geno’s abilities on the field.
“I think it can happen this year,” he said. “I think Geno can take us to where we need to go. It’ll seal my legacy — for me, myself. For the public, I don’t know.”
Vick added that he would love to return to the pinnacle of the NFL. He led the Falcons to the cusp of the Super Bowl in 2004, but the team lost in the NFC Championship game.
“I was almost certain I’d be involved in two or three more, at least,” Vick said of returning to the conference championship round. “It goes to show how tough this league is. This is such a team game that, even in my prime, I couldn’t do it all by myself.”
Vick will now help oversee one of the players who followed in his “revolution.” Though Geno Smith does not run the ball as much as Vick, and the Jets have fewer designed runs for him than Vick did with either the Falcons or Eagles, Geno can run when he needs to and make first downs with his legs.
As far as the claim that he revolutionized the position for running quarterbacks, Fran Tarkenton and Randall Cunningham might have something to say to Michael Vick.