In August 2015 the Pittsburgh Steelers made the most controversial free agent decision in the franchises history, when injuries to Bruce Gradkowski forced them to find a veteran presence to back up Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers of course signed Michael Vick, who like Mike Tomlin is a Tidewater Virginia, native.
Much of Steelers Nation was up in arms, not because of anything that Mike Vick had done off the field, but because of his conviction for participating in a dog fighting ring.
Capsule Profile of Mike Vick’s Career with the Steelers
Mike Vick saw limited action in preseason, but at the time signing him looked to be a no-brainer as he sliced through opposing secondaries. However, Vick saw action for real in week 3 when Ben Roethlisberger got injured vs. St. Louis. He closed out the game with a win, but his performance was OK. A few days later in a Thursday night game at Baltimore, Vick struggled, although he did hit Antonio Brown perfectly in the end zone only to see Brown drop the ball.
Vick continued to struggle for 3 quarters vs. San Diego, before he came to life, and helped the Steelers come back to win. A week later he was shaky again vs. the Cardinals, until straining a hamstring, forcing Landry Jones into the line up.
The Case for Steelers Keeping Mike Vick
Mike Vick is a franchise quarterback and someone who is no stranger to pressure. He pulled it out when he had to vs. San Diego, and with a year of experience under his belt, should be able to step in if need be.
The Case Against Steelers Keeping Mike Vick
The fact that Landry Jones kept the number 2 quarterback spot long after Vick fully regained his health speaks volumes about where the coaches see Vick.
And Steelers beat reporters have as much said that Vick’s struggles on game day were evident in practice. Mike Vick will be 36 and players of that age have little “upside.”
Curtain’s Call on Steelers and Mike Vick
Signing Michael Vick was the right thing for the Steelers to do, in fact, the Steelers would have been wise to consider using him in vs. Denver had Ben Roethlisberger had to come out.
But Vick probably gave the Steelers the last quality quarter of football he had left in him vs. San Diego and it’s time for the team to move on.