I know that is a startling title but it is one Tim Tebow would not shy from now and neither would Michael Vick. Five years ago, I don’t think I could write that. So, you are wondering what this is about? The Vick conversion to great person like Tim Tebow? No. Sorry. It is about the attributes that they share and each of them I think wish they both had.
I was and am a big Michael Vick fan. When he was at Virginia Tech, there was no other reason to watch them and his performance against Florida State in the national championship game was nothing short of phenomenal. He was and is a true freak of physical skills-strong arm, speed, accurate deep ball, can escape the rush. All great attributes but he is only 175 lbs and holds the ball too long and needs to be on the corner. I hate to say that he is more suited to Dan Reeves’ running and screen offense but he wasn’t on the DL much there. He has never been a three step drop, read and throw quarterback, he has this compulsion to hold on the ball in case he needs to make something happen with his feet. That has been what has caused him the injuries I believe. His instinct is to go but he is trying to be a good pocket passer because you know, you can’t be a good NFL quarterback unless you can pass from the pocket! Whatever.
You thought I was talking about Tim Tebow for a minute didn’t you? Holding on to the ball too long, the inclination to run, not a typical drop back passer, accurate deep ball, the compulsion to run and not slide. These are all Vick attributes but they also describe Tim Tebow to a tee. What is the difference between the two? Well, one I think is that Vick has experience that Tebow doesn’t. When Vick came into the league, it was still a run dominated league and the impact of Kurt Warner and Tom Brady had not infected all the team philosphies yet, so Vick could learn the position under a different ideology. That has changed now and I think both of them struggle because of this but Vick can get by on his experience and speed-not to mention the Eagles not minding giving the ball the LeSean McCoy-that always helps.
Tebow on the other hand, is dyslexic, is on his third offensive coordinator in three years and is subject to more scrutiny then Vick has ever seen because the league is pass dominated now as opposed to when Vick entered the league. What is the old adage? The best friend to a young quarterback is a good running game! What if the best runner is the Quarterback? I wrote last year that if Tebow ever figures out the passing game in the NFL, the NFL is in trouble. They are already seeing what can be in the body of Cam Newton but he has to be careful about getting hurt like Vick. Tebow is different because he is a linebacker playing Quarterback. He is a physical quarterback who needs to learn finesse when Vick and Newton are finesse who need to show signs of being physical without getting hurt.
I think Michael Vick was the ultimate Wildcat Quarterback ten years ago and he is being coached to be something else. Can you imagine him playing for Urban Meyer at Florida? Tebow is the evolution of the Wildcat from the running side who needs to learn to handle the pocket and the passing game at the level he is at now. What Tebow needs is to stay in a system so he can learn it against opposing defenses. If he is given that chance he will achieve what we all expect. What Vick needs is a system that puts him on the edge and lets him go out of bounds or slide when needed. What they both need is the Wildcat.
Lets see how they do this year. I would like to see Vick stay healthy and Tebow grow to be the passer that Vick is, not perfect, but effective. There is that link. They both need what the other has. Lets hope for football this year they both get there.