Vick Taking His Cues From Steve Young

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick Michael Vick has dusted off some old tapes as he works on polishing his new game.

“I watch a lot of film on Steve Young,” said Vick. “That’s what I’ve been watching the last week or two. I’m just trying to not necessarily pattern myself after him because I can’t do what Steve did – this is a different day, different time. He made himself so great and I want to do the same thing for myself.”

What elements of Young’s game does he want to adapt?

“Managing the game, poise, making good decisions,” he said.

Young is the benchmark for athletic quarterbacks. Hall-of-Famer, league and Super Bowl MVP, seven-time Pro Bowler. Deadly accurate, dagger runs at just the right moment. It is a lofty goal to shoot for.

This is not the first time that the connection has been made. It was just over a year ago, actually, when Marty Mornhinweg was guilty of this blaspheme: “I think he can be better than Steve.”

He  of course being one Michael Dwayne Vick.

The offensive coordinator prefaced the statement by saying Vick has a long way to go. Here’s how far:

 
Steve Young
Michael Vick
Completion %64.3%56.0%
TDs-INTs232-107111-72
QB Rating96.880.9
QB Record94-4953-37-1
Game-Winning Drives1711
Playoff Wins82

Much work to be done.

If there is any optimism that Vick can find his way into Young’s stratosphere, it’s that Young did most of his work after the age of 30, given that he was blocked for parts of five  seasons by that Joe Montana guy. He did not throw for over 3,000 yards until age 31, then proceeded to accomplish the feat six times in all. The Super Bowl MVP came when he was 33.

Vick is now 32. And while he wasn’t blocked by any Hall-Of-Fame QBs over his first nine seasons (Please do not say Donovan McNabb), we all know he’s had his share of mostly-self-imposed obstacles. One that may be beyond his control is the coaching he got in Atlanta.

“It’s unfortunate that I didn’t have what I have now,” said Vick. “But that’s just the situation that was created. If it was meant to be then God would have placed those people around me to help me progress as a quarterback. Not to say that I didn’t…We just try to build a foundation here, and I’m glad I had an opportunity to come here and do it differently, and have fun doing it.”

Vick is entering Year 4 with the Eagles, the third when he’ll be a regular in the starting lineup. To get any closer to Mornhinweg’s bold proclamation, he knows he has to mix his new understanding of the position with some of that thirty-something maturity.

Vick was asked what the biggest difference in his game will be this year.

“I think the ability to manage the game,” he replied. “Whether running no-huddle or two-minute, whether I’m getting blitzed. Just being poised and making good decisions is going to be the difference-maker.”

You can follow Tim on Twitter and email him at tmcmanus@phillymag.com.