The verdict is in. It’s over for Michael Vick. He’s done.
Head coach Mike Tomlin has indicated that he will proceed as if Jones is the starter for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game against the Chiefs. According to reports by ESPN, the Steelers will plan around Jones as if he’s the starter. That’s the most logical reasoning, looking at the health of Vick and Big Ben. This could be the last nail in the coffin for Vick.
Vick struggled in the Steelers offense from the time he took over for Roethlisberger. He was reluctantly supported by his teammates and often challenged to do more. Antonio Brown commented on the offense under Vick’s leadership. He was unimpressed, in a quote from the Bleacher Report. Brown was invisible in the scheme while Vick was the starter.
“He’s got to take some shots. I told him, trust me a little bit. Let me make some plays. Let’s get a victory. It doesn’t have to be that hard.”
Mike Tomlin is tired. Tired of the ineffectiveness and underachieving play from the quarterback he and the Steelers’ organization put their trust in.
“We’ll build a comprehensive plan around Landry,” Tomlin told reporters. “Who is the backup quarterback? I don’t know…. I’m more concerned about getting Landry ready.”
The Steelers saw Big Ben make significant strides last week. He participated in 7-on-7 drills and looked sharp. His only problem is having enough mobility to avoid a pass rush. Taking another hit on the knee isn’t the smartest of options.
Tomlin knows that Steelers fans are ready to see their leader back under center. But it’s going to take time. He wants it known that Roethlisberger will have to feel a certain comfort level. The Pittsburgh quarterback said he has to work on timing and mechanics, before just jumping back into the flow.
“It’s going to have to be a feel thing, a comfort level. Can I make moves in the pocket? Does it hurt when I drop back from under center? Does it hurt when I roll out to the left, to the right? Sliding up in the pocket after a deep set off a play-action fake? Just things like that, because obviously I threw last week and it felt good throwing, so that part — we can check that box off and we’ll just continue.”
It was revealed by the NFL Network that Vick does have a tiny tear in his hamstring. That means the Steelers will need a backup quarterback, depending on how well Roethlisberger can heal and prepare for the Chiefs.
Vick has been mediocre for the Steelers. He has 371 yards passing and a not so respectable 79.8 passer rating. That mark is lower than his 80.4 career rating. After 15 years in the league, it looks like the time has come for retirement. Tomlin and the Steelers gave him one last shot and he wasn’t able to make it work. There’s nothing left to prove.
Unless the Steelers are the recipients of a pre-Christmas miracle, Landry Jones is the best option to start against the Chiefs. He’s had extensive action in the preseason and played five games rather than the normal four, due to the Steelers Hall of Fame game.
Jones had been the Steelers No. 3 quarterback since being drafted in 2013. His control of the offense and support of his teammates may well have put the last nail in the coffin for Michael Vick.
[Feature Photo by Jared Wickerham / Getty Images]