Mike Vick was NFL’s fourth-worst QB last season

The Steelers’ new backup quarterback hasn’t been an above-average NFL starter since 2011.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Mike Vick was NFL’s fourth-worst QB last season


While the Steelers have been set at quarterback for the past decade with Ben Roethlisberger, their backup quarterback situation has been an issue.

Bruce Gradkowski was slated to be the backup this season, but he just landed on injured reserve. 2013 fourth-round pick Landry Jones has been given every opportunity in the preseason to win the job, but he hasn’t taken advantage. His -5.9 overall grade is the second-lowest for all quarterbacks in the preseason. While he’s been decent without pressure, when under pressure on 36 dropbacks he’s averaged 3 yards per attempt, has an interception and has been sacked six times.

The Steelers’ solution was to bring in Michael Vick, signing him to a contract on Tuesday. Unfortunately, there is a reason Vick was still available this late in August. His -21.7 overall grade was fourth-lowest among all quarterbacks in 2014, and he did this despite only playing 281 snaps. When he was under pressure, he had an NFL QB rating of 33.1 and was sacked on 30 percent of his dropbacks. When he wasn’t under pressure, he still only averaged 5.9 yards per attempt.

If the Steelers had the 2011 version of Michael Vick, they would be feeling much better about their offensive situation in the event Roethlisberger were have to come off the field. But Vick has had a negative pass grade every year since then.

Luckily, the Steelers have one of the better offensive lines in football (although Maurkice Pouncey is expected to miss extended time with an injury), and had the seventh-best pass protection in the league last season. But that won’t be enough to save Vick and the Steelers’ offense if Roethlisberger were to get injured.

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • Piper Rice

    I cerIainly believe in second chances but never thought he did enough time for all the dogs he tortured and murdered for sport. I never wanted to see him play again. The spokesperson thing was a big turn off because converts from abuser to advocate don’t happen that fast. The NFL has not weeded out the domestic violence, child or animal abusers. They’re certainly not the only sports organization guilty of enabling players who are convicted of violent abuse off the field but they are one of them.

    • Sam Doohan

      I completely agree that the league hasn’t been anything like aggressive enough in pursuing it’s athlete’s problems off the field but it’s an extremely tricky issue. When the law is already punishing guys a league suspension doesn’t make much difference but mandated extended or lifetime bans for off-field infractions would essentially mean no-one ever has any chance of reforming themselves or returning to a career that they’ve worked for their whole lives.

      My two cents is that the league needs to be looking at causes not punishments and taking steps to teach these hyper-agressive alpha male guys how to live in the real world. When you’re pushed every day from your teens to be both physically strong and extremely aggressive it’s no wonder the league has the problems it does. I don’t know how, but putting money into figuring out an effective way to get the players acting like grown ups can only help matters.

  • Sam Doohan

    The field out there is pretty thin. To be honest I doubt that the Steelers were all that nuts about doing it but in the past they’ve been really cursed when it comes to injuries – see Charlie Batch being carried down the field to throw a game winning pass a couple of years ago because everyone else on the roster was hurt. So when you are down to just a rookie you have to pick up someone, but the field is REAL thin before the roster cuts.

    Does he fit? Eh, not really although he is (in theory) a mobile guy who can improvise so I’ve seen worse fits. Hopefully moving up a spot will get Jones’ head in gear and Vick will end up as the third stringer, just there for depth at a tough time.

    Anyone wanna bet the chances that after the roster cuts they cut Vick and go after Tebow? Tomlin can appreciate a little irony, right?

  • Sam Doohan

    The field out there is pretty thin. To be honest I doubt that the Steelers were all that nuts about doing it but in the past they’ve been really cursed when it comes to injuries – see Charlie Batch being carried down the field to throw a game winning pass a couple of years ago because everyone else on the roster was hurt. So when you are down to just a rookie you have to pick up someone, but the field is REAL thin before the roster cuts.

    Does he fit? Eh, not really although he is (in theory) a mobile guy who can improvise so I’ve seen worse fits. Hopefully moving up a spot will get Jones’ head in gear and Vick will end up as the third stringer, just there for depth at a tough time.

    Anyone wanna bet the chances that after the roster cuts they cut Vick and go after Tebow? Tomlin can appreciate a little irony, right?

  • Sam Doohan

    The field out there is pretty thin. To be honest I doubt that the Steelers were all that nuts about doing it but in the past they’ve been really cursed when it comes to injuries – see Charlie Batch being carried down the field to throw a game winning pass a couple of years ago because everyone else on the roster was hurt. So when you are down to just a rookie you have to pick up someone, but the field is REAL thin before the roster cuts.

    Does he fit? Eh, not really although he is (in theory) a mobile guy who can improvise so I’ve seen worse fits. Hopefully moving up a spot will get Jones’ head in gear and Vick will end up as the third stringer, just there for depth at a tough time.

    Anyone wanna bet the chances that after the roster cuts they cut Vick and go after Tebow? Tomlin can appreciate a little irony, right?

  • Sam Doohan

    The field out there is pretty thin. To be honest I doubt that the Steelers were all that nuts about doing it but in the past they’ve been really cursed when it comes to injuries – see Charlie Batch being carried down the field to throw a game winning pass a couple of years ago because everyone else on the roster was hurt. So when you are down to just a rookie you have to pick up someone, but the field is REAL thin before the roster cuts.

    Does he fit? Eh, not really although he is (in theory) a mobile guy who can improvise so I’ve seen worse fits. Hopefully moving up a spot will get Jones’ head in gear and Vick will end up as the third stringer, just there for depth at a tough time.

    Anyone wanna bet the chances that after the roster cuts they cut Vick and go after Tebow? Tomlin can appreciate a little irony, right?

    • http://careersreport.com Shona Bryant

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  • crosseyedlemon

    The only thing uglier than the Steeler’s bumble bee costumes this season will be Vick trying to impersonate a quarterback. This time next year he will probably be trying to make some CFL roster.

  • Nick Punwani

    Lol now is the time to see.