Yesterday, Michael Vick was "conditionally" reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, meaning that he could fully be a part of someone's roster by Week 6 of the 2009 NFL season.
As you can imagine, various football sites have started speculating as to whether or not signing Vick would be a wise move for our Beloved Purple. That's to be expected. What makes me wonder about the credentials that some of these folks have is that they extoll the virtues of Michael Vick, the quarterback, while bashing current Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson.
(Yeah, Florio, I'm looking at you here.)
Now, we all know that Tarvaris Jackson isn't the second coming of John Elway or anything like that. . .heck, at this point, he's the second coming of Kordell Stewart, if nothing else. (I think he's slightly better, but anyway.) Here's the thing. . .
Tarvaris Jackson is a better NFL quarterback right now, 28 July 2009, than Michael Vick is. Blasphemy, you say? Let's look at this more closely.
For their careers, both players average about the same yards/attempt. Vick averaged 6.7 yards/attempt, which Jackson averages 6.6. Their career quarterback ratings are the same, with Jackson having a slight edge (76.5 to 75.7). Over his 25 career games, Jackson has completed 58.4% of his pass attempts, while in 75 games Vick has been a 53.8% passer. However, the big difference is that Jackson has gotten better as he's gone along, while it's entirely possible that Vick has already hit his peak.
Vick's best year as a passer came in 2002. He completed nearly 55% of his passes for 2,936 yards and a QB rating of 81.6. He was injured in 2003, and came back in 2004 with another semi-decent season, posting his career best in completion percentage with 56.4%. In the three years that Brad Childress has coached the Minnesota Vikings, the team's completion percentage has been 61.5%, 57.6%, and 59.1%.
If the Vikings' pass offense has been stagnant over the past three years with those sorts of completion percentages. . .what, exactly, would it be if it was run by a guy that struggled to complete 55% of his passes when he was watching film every day and participating in activities with an NFL team on a constant basis? And what would it be with that same guy after he's spent nearly two years in the Virginia Penal League not reading defenses, not watching film, not discussing the game with coaches, and generally not focusing on football? The Vikings don't NEED a quarterback that's a better runner than a thrower. . .you could make a pretty convincing argument that we've already got one of those.
On a personal level, as a dog owner, I don't want Michael Vick anywhere near Minnesota because I think he's a scumbag. Your mileage may vary on that one. On a purely football level, I don't want Michael Vick anywhere near Minnesota because he's simply not that good. And he never has been. And he's certainly not an upgrade over any quarterback currently employed (or, possibly, soon to be employed) by the Minnesota Vikings. Not Sage Rosenfels, not Tarvaris Jackson, not Brett Favre. . .probably not even John David Booty.
Unless Brad Childress is planning on installing the wishbone at some point, Michael Vick to the Vikings shouldn't even be something that's discussed. The Vikings should be, if nothing else, looking to upgrade the quarterback position. . .not to go sideways or backwards.