Michael Vick says he paved the way for quarterbacks’ new style of play: ‘It’s the truth’

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Michael Vick isn’t normally mentioned as one of the game’s greatest ever, but his talent gave him that potential.

A two-year prison sentence for a dog-fighting ring stalled his career.

But in his first season as a starter after his sentence, he won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year and was second in the Offensive Player of the Year voting.

That was during the 2010 season with the Philadelphia Eagles, when he completed a career-high 62.1% of his passes, threw a career-high 21 touchdowns and ran for 676 yards.

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Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons runs with the ball against the New York Giants Nov. 21, 2004, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Vick wasn’t the first overall pick by accident. And the fact that he was the first quarterback ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season is why Johnny Manziel has called Vick the “GOAT.”

Shedeur Sanders envisions himself as a combination of Vick and Tom Brady, and new Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Penix recently revealed he idolized Vick growing up as a fellow lefty.

Vick graced the cover of Madden 2004 and is probably the best character in the history of the video game, which people mention to him “all the time.” But the best part is he never played as himself.

“I tried to be too much like me,” Vick joked in a recent interview with Fox News Digital. “It was realistic, sometimes. They got close.”

Michael Vick running for Falcons

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports)

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Vick’s legacy is unique. He had the league in his palms and threw it all away before his return.

And he remains one of football’s most influential players ever.

“It’s the truth. I forced them to be able to play the position the way I played now,” Vick said.

It’s quite a turnaround from the criticism he got coming out of college. 

“It was the scrutiny of ‘will the dual-threat style hold up?'” Vick said. “But it worked.

“There was always skeptics with it. Looking at guys like Donovan McNabb, Dante Culpepper, all these mobile quarterbacks who were able to go out there and show me the way. I look at it as passing it on to the next generation. I got the scrutiny but just kept moving, and now you got mobile quarterbacks all over.”

Michael Vick running for touchdown

Quarterback Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles runs for a 2-yard touchdown against the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field Sept. 15, 2013, in Philadelphia. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

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Vick made four Pro Bowls in his 13-year career and is satisfied with his legacy.

“My style was fast-paced. It was fun. A little reckless,” Vick acknowledged, “but I got the job done. Couple Pro Bowls. Good career. I’m proud of it.”

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