After fifteen seasons, four different teams, and over 28,000 total yards, Mike Vick has officially retired from professional football. The 36 year old quarterback has decided to hang up his cleats after a long and successful career. Even though he hasn’t been a starter in the NFL in a couple years, Vick’s production should not go unnoticed.
When discussing his success, you have to go back to where it all started. Vick was born in Virginia where he started playing football at a very young age. His success immediately translated to the field, where he was able to earn an athletic scholarship to play football at Virginia Tech. In his first year as a starting quarterback in college, Vick threw for over 2,000 passing yards, ran for over 600, and finished third in the Heisman voting. After another standout season in his sophomore year, he declared for the NFL draft, which turned out to be a fantastic decision, as he was selected first overall by the Atlanta Falcons.
The move down south from Virginia to Georgia was one that worked out quite well for Vick. In his six years as a starter for the Falcons, he absolutely tore up the league. Especially in 2006, when he was able to put together an incredible season throwing for over 2,400 yards, 20 touchdowns, and also ran for over 1,000 yards. It is a huge accomplishment for a running back to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark in a single season, Vick being able to do as a quarterback was unheard of.
After Atlanta, he joined the Philadelphia Eagles where he threw for over 3,000 yards in back to back seasons. In 2010, Vick was given the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. After Philly, he joined the Jets and Steelers in backup roles. As he got older, Vick was forced to rely on his arm much more since his legs weren’t as quick as they may have been in his Hokie days. He still found success through the air, but practically eliminating the rushing element from his game didn’t allow Vick to be as lethal as he was in the past.
Mike Vick will arguably go down as the most versatile quarterback to ever play the game of football. His left handed cannon was able to torch opposing secondaries, while his feet moved faster than most of the league’s running backs. He is the current record holder for the most rushing yards ever as a quarterback, racking up 6,109 yards. His career had a lot of bumps on the road, but he played the game of football with so much passion, and was such an entertaining player to watch. Many quarterbacks have hoped to emulate Vick’s game, but everyone seems to fall short. There may never again be a player like Mike.