Less than a month shy of his 33rd birthday, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick’s self-confidence hasn’t faltered since the days when he entered the NFL and tore defenses apart as the first player at his position ever to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
That was back before Vick served time behind bars on dog fighting charges, though. More importantly, from a football standpoint, it was before he took the kind of physical punishment that caused him to miss significant portions of the 2011 and 2012 seasons. No quarterback has been hit harder and more often than Vick over the past two seasons.
And during those two seasons, the football world was introduced to a new generation of athletic quarterbacks capable of rushing for more yards than many running backs: Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. These players made the aging Vick suddenly look obsolete.
Not so fast, says Vick. In an interview on today’s Dan Patrick Show, Vick said he believes he’s still the NFL’s fastest quarterback.
“These guys are young and they’re fast and they’re quick. The thing I do have is a very quick get-up,” Vick argued. “I really don’t feel like there’s a quarterback in the league who can beat me in a 40-yard dash. If somebody wants to set something up, I’ll be more than glad to accept the challenge. But as of right now I’m going to say me.”
“But Colin Kaepernick is fast and RG3 is fast as well,” he conceded.
Frankly, Vick might be right about his status as fasted quarterback. Most had written him off as well past his prime, but he reportedly beat Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, a player considered by many to be the fastest running back in the league, in a footrace earlier this off-season (though the much younger McCoy alleges that Vick cheated by taking off before the starting gun).
Vick’s speed could give him the edge as he fights to win and retain the Eagles’ starting quarterback job under new head coach Chip Kelly, but it won’t matter how fast he is if he continues to stand in the pocket and take huge hits from defensive linemen. Rather than boasting about the power left in his legs, perhaps he should start hyping up his pocket awareness.