Michael Vick celebrates his 40th birthday today and he is the ultimate tale of when ego prevents talent from doing the small things to be great.
No, no one is going to play the “what-if game” in with Michael Vick nor is this a Matt Ryan hate piece. We love Matt Ryan and are thankful to have him in Atlanta. He is both the Atlanta Falcons best quarterback and best player in franchise history. Neither of those two statements are arguable.
Michael Vick had the potential to be the greatest the game ever saw.
The Atlanta Falcons drafted Micheal Vick in 2001 with hopes that he could be the next great franchise quarterback for this team. He was well on the way to reaching that mark but off-field issues held him back from doing so.
On the field, he wasn’t the best passer at that point in his career but time after time he was able to make plays and make up for his lack of accuracy. Just like with most young quarterback, it takes time for them to catch up to the speed of the game.
Even the beloved Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions to 26 touchdowns during his first season.
The season before Vick was suspended and cut by the league, he put together his first 20 touchdowns. While that might not sound so impressive when you compare that to the numbers that other quarterbacks were putting up at that time, you have to account for what he did on the ground.
Vick missed two very important years in his career because he was definitely on his way to playing some of the best football in his career. The Falcons had brought in Bobby Petrino and while Falcons fans might not be too fond of him because of the stunt he pulled, he was the architect behind the development of Lamar Jackson and there’s no doubt he would have done the same for Michael Vick.
Michael Vick struggled early but showed his potential
In Michael Vick’s first full season as a starting quarterback in the NFL, he put up the best numbers in his career and was well on his way to a possible MVP. In 12 games in 2010, he completed 62.9 percent of his passes with 21 touchdown and six interceptions.
He threw for 3018 yards and ran for another 676 yards and nine touchdowns. Had Vick played all 16 games, he could have been the first quarterback in NFL history with 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.
If none of the off-field issues took place, Vick doesn’t lose two prime seasons and would have been an Atlanta Falcons into the 2010s. The Falcons could have made the same moves bringing in Michael Turner, Tony Gonzales, and drafting Julio Jones.
With his improvements as a passer and his ability to run the ball, Michael Vick could have very well been the greatest quarterback in franchise history.