This article was written by Mike Gutierrez Jr
Michael Vick has become to be known as one of the most dynamic quarterbacks the game of football has ever seen. From College to the pros, Mike Vick was nothing short of eclectic. No one had ever seen a quarterback like Vick, he had a unique skill set that allowed him to be the best running back on the field and quarterback at the same time.
There just was no one else in the game of football like him. He transcended the NFL with not only his playing style, but with his iconic swagger. After the Atlanta Falcons drafted Vick at number one, the City of Atlanta was Mike Vick. The culture of Atlanta flowed through Michael Vick on and off of the field.
He’s definitely had an impact on today’s quarterbacks. But the one quarterback that is a spinning image of Mike Vick in today’s in NFL, is Lamar Jackson. It’s like this generation is seeing Michael Vick being reincarnated, but Lamar just so happens to be two times the star Mike Vick was back in his hey day.
Vick Set The Stage For The Next Generation Quarterback at Virginia Tech
Michael Vick was highly recruited by many Colleges across America back in 1998. He decided to stay close to home and chose to play at The University of Virginia Tech.
Vick was red shirted his first year, but in the 1999 season, he showed the world what ultimately the future quarterback would look like. Know one had ever seen a quarterback with Michael Vick’s skill set. Defenses wouldn’t know what to do when Vick came to town. He essentially had defensive coordinators scratching there heads, and had to roll out all sorts of different coverages. That ultimately did not work.
The things he was doing on the football field were uncanny. And it was crazy at the time, that a dual threat quarterback could even make it to the National Championship game. Because back in the 80s and 90s, dual threat quarterbacks were afterthoughts. Mike Vick’s high school coach, Tommy Reamon, Sr, thought the exact opposite. He showcased Michael Vick spectacular athleticism each and every Friday night. But most Collages wanted to convert him to a wideout or even put him on defense. Mike Vick though, knew that he was on to something, and would refuse to change positions.
Well, he showed everyone in the 1999 season that it is possible for an athletic dual threat quarterback to have success at the next level of football. All the credit goes to a Frank Beamer, for seeing that Mick Vick could be special, and well he most certainly was.
Once Vick hit the field in the 1999 season, he instantly lit up the College football world. The style in which he played the position was mind boggling. From the way he through threw ball, to the way he would scramble for massive gains. Mike Vick had arrived. And no one was going to stop him.
That season, he threw for 2,065 yard passing and rushed for 682 yards, and had a quarterback rating of 171.1, which led the nation in the 1999 season. Like I said earlier, he led the Hokies to the National Championship that season. They would end up losing to Florida State. But what resonates with me is that, head coach Bobby Bowden had said “That’s the quarterback of the future” and well he was spot on.
Now enter Lamar Jackson. He is known to be the most electrifying player in the NFL. But before he got to the league, he wrecked College defenses all over the country, just like Michael Vick did in 1999. Lamar Jackson was also highly recruited. He attended The University of Louisville, where he played three season for the Cardinals.
The difference between Jackson and Vick, was that Lamar started his freshman season. Although the first year was rough for Lamar Jackson, he was on his way to being one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. Fast forward to his Heisman season and the football world was buzzing about just how much Lamar Jackson resembled Michael Vick due to their playing styles.
Lamar is the closest player to play like Mike, but Lamar just might be better. Although Lamar Jackson never got his team to the National Championship game, he managed to win the Hiesman award his Junior year. He threw for 3,660 yards and rushed for an eye popping 1,601 yards as a quarterback. Oh, and he also threw 27 touchdown passes and rushed for 18. It wasn’t close, Lamar Jackson was the next coming of Mike Vick, and he has barely even scratched the surface of his full potential.
Their Rookie Season Impacts
Michael Vick was 21 years old, when the Atlanta Falcons selected him number one overall in the 2001 NFL draft. He made history by being the first African American quarterback selected number one overall. Michael Vick was the future of the NFL.
You see, There were numerous African American quarterbacks that came before Vick. But many Owners and General Managers did not think that the black quarterback was the right way to go. For example, Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins who won them a Super Bowl back in 1988. Was the first African American starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl. But that didn’t break the barrier for other African American quarterbacks who deserved a chance.
Instead the owners wanted their athleticism to shine at another position. Tony Dungy is the perfect example to use here. He led the Big 10 in passing, but went un drafted. He then was picked up as a free agent, but had to convert to a defensive back. Same for Warren Moon, he went un drafted as well. He played five season in Canada, because General mangers said it would suit his style of play. This stigma, that black quarterbacks could not play at the next level was simply unjust.
So, the Atlanta Falcons and Mike Vick broke the cycle and showed the league that this was the future of the NFL. The dual threat and mobil quarterback who could expand plays and create dynamic ones with down field.
Michale Vick being drafted number one overall was monumental for the NFL. This was Mike Vick’s biggest impact, not only when it came to his Rookie season, but when it comes to African American History, and NFL history. Therefore, he has paved the way for the new Mike Vick, in that being Lamar Jackson and many other African American quarterbacks.
Lamar Jackson was drafted in the 2018 draft. He was selected 32nd by the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson, who was the reigning Hiesman trophy winner, could’ve easily been selected number one overall. But that was not the case.
Many scouts were saying that Jackson was essentially a running back. The General mangers were trying to throw him into that stigma that he was to athletic to play quarterback. It took until nearly the end of the season for Lamar to get on field. When he did, he showed flashes of what he could be, but the offense was not built for him just yet.
As a Rookie, he went (6-1) as a starter and threw for 1,201 yards and rushed for 695 yards and threw just 6 touchdown passes. His impact was yet to come. And we all know what he did this year. He made a significant impact not just for the Ravens, but the whole entire NFL.
How Mike Vick’s style of play shows in Lamar Jackson
Michael Vick was the first of his kind back in the early two thousands. He was the first quarterback to make plays when they weren’t there. The way he would get away from defensive lineman like he was houdini, was just something the NFL hadn’t seen.
Michael Vick made defenses implement a spy, when it came to facing Vick. But it never worked, Vick would just out run them with ease. It was a pick your poison type of situation when it came it Vick. It was either he would run for a 60 yard gain, or pass for a 60 yard gain. You could say that Michael Vick was a problem.
In just his second year, he was already wrecking the league with his style of play. And his style of play was front and center, when the Atlanta Falcons played Brett Farve and the Green Bay Packers in the Wildcard game, back in 2003. He went into Lambeau field and did the unthinkable. He beat the mighty Packers. That night he put the league on notice, and from that point on Michael Vick was regarded as the best dual threat quarterback to ever step foot onto an NFL field.
When it comes to Lamar Jackson and which the style he plays in, you can see a lot of Michael Vick in him. From the way he extends plays, to the jukes, to the throwing motion. It’s all there for Jackson. And this style has gotten him an MVP trophy in just his second year.
When it comes to Lamar Jackson though, the Baltimore Ravens offense is built to suit Lamars unique skill set. Opposed to when Vick played for the Atlanta Falcons, the offense wasn’t built for Vick’s skill set. Imagine if it was, imagine if Vick has studied the playbook. We can only imagine what Vick could of been. But now the imagining can stop, because Lamar Jackson is what Vick could of been.
Will there be another Lamar Jackson in in the near future?
With Lamar Jackson being a one of a kind talent, will there be another quarterback just like him? Well, it’s inevitable, I mean Lamar Jackson is the first Lamar Jackson. Mike Vick was the only Mike Vick. Until Lamar Jackson stepped foot onto an NFL field. Don’t get me wrong though, Lamar Jackson is one shinning apple that has fell from the Michael Vick tree of unique quarterbacks. But Lamar is now the next generation quarterback, that younger quarterbacks will look up to now. Therefore, Lamar Jackson is the new Mike Vick of the 21st century of football.
Michael Vick, & Lamar Jackson: A Story About Two Transcendent QuarterbacksTweet