CORTLAND, N.Y. -- It hardly qualifies as headline news that Michael Vick is a dangerous runner, but seeing it in person Saturday night makes you wonder: Should the New York Jets use him as a change-of-pace quarterback?
They tried it two years ago with Tim Tebow -- an epic and embarrassing failure -- but Vick is so fast, so instinctive, even at 34, that it might be worth considering.
No doubt, the mere mention of the word "Wildcat" causes Jets fans to cringe, but it wouldn't be the Wildcat, technically, unless they keep Geno Smith in the game and direct-snap it to Vick. It probably would make more sense to replace Smith with Vick, letting him run the read-option. Obviously, Smith is capable of running the read-option -- he did it a lot last season -- but he's not in Vick's league as a ballcarrier.
There are two downsides: It could disrupt Smith's rhythm and perhaps mess with his confidence, knowing he has to share time with Vick. (Mark Sanchez could write a thesis on the subject.) It also exposes Vick to injury, and we all know he's not the most durable guy around.
The counter argument is, if you have a weapon, why keep it on the bench? In the Green & White scrimmage, Vick escaped the pocket for two long scrambles, 15 and 20 yards, the latter on a third-and-17 play.
"I just wanted to see how I was going to move," Vick said. "You always want to test your instincts, and you never know what the feel of the game is going to be, or how you're going to react to certain blitzes and pressure. I felt I moved real well in the pocket. I had some nice runs and, hopefully, that will transfer over onto the field."
A player with Vick's elusiveness puts tremendous stress on a defense.
"He runs pretty well, actually, and he was jogging, most definitely was jogging when I was chasing him," defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said after the scrimmage. "So he’s still got them legs, man. [He was] slinging the ball too though."
Any thoughts on using Vick as a change-of-pace quarterback? Send them along.