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Introducing QB Michael Vick to Pittsburgh Steelers fans, from a statistical perspective

Let's set aside Michael Vick's former off-field issues, and take a look at the statistical analysis which proves that Vick gives the Steelers the best quarterback duo in the NFL.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Hi, my name is Mike Vick. I'd like to introduce myself and what I bring to the team. Frankly, the Steelers have some of the best depth in the league at the QB position with me on the roster. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, so I'm just going to focus on objective stats and let the numbers speak for themselves.

I was drafted first overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. I didn't play much (or well) as a rookie, but my second year I gained almost 3,000 yards through the air with 16 touchdowns to eight interceptions, adding 777 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Unfortunately for Falcons fans, that was my best year for the team. After six years in Atlanta (five as a starter), I was averaging 53.8-percent passes complete for an average of 155 yards per game through the air, and 52 yards on the ground, with 3-percent of my passes picked off (not good!).  My last year in Atlanta, I actually ran for 1,000 yards, but honestly I wasn't posting starter-caliber numbers as a passer.

My career was reborn when the Philadelphia Eagles took a chance on me in 2009. It took me a year to get back into football shape, but in 2010 I had the best season of my career with 3,000 passing yards, 21 touchdowns to six interceptions, and 676 yards with nine touchdowns on the ground. Again, my production regressed somewhat from my initial success, but I maintained over my 5 years in Philly a completion percentage of 59.5-percent for 185 yards per game along with 37 yards on the ground, and reduced my interception percentage to 2.5-percent (respectable).  To sum up, my passer rating in Philadephia was 12 points higher than in Atlanta.

You probably remember that I spent last year with the New York Jets. I've been doing my best to forget about that experience, and I'd ask that you at least take those numbers with a grain of salt. Yes, it was a train wreck.  My passer rating dropped from 86.5 in 2013 with the Eagles to 68.3 in 2014 with the Jets. A lot of people wrote me off as washed up because of that year.

The Browns actually signed Josh McCown instead of me. Josh McCown, man.  That hurt, but keep in mind, the 'Jets Effect' has made a lot of QB's look bad. Look at Mark Sanchez, who traded teams with me. He spent 2013 with the Jets and 2014 with the Eagles, and increased his passer rating 21.5 points from 66.9 to 88.4 merely by getting the heck out of New York. Even Brett Favre suffered from The Jets Effect; his passer rating of 81.0 in NY was 14 points lower than the year before with the Packers and 26 points lower than the following year with the Vikings. So don't let my year with the Jets fool you, I've still got it.

A lot of folks criticize me as being inaccurate, and it's true I'm no Tom Brady, but a lot of that is deceptive. For one thing, my completion percentage in Philly wasn't bad at all. It was my years in Atlanta (before I really grew up) that drag down my career numbers. Second, you have to consider style of play. Not a lot of people pay attention to yards per completion, but it's a telling statistic. Yards per attempt is different, it includes efficiency; you can have a high yards per attempt without throwing a pass more than 10 yards if you complete a high percentage of your passes.  Yards per completion measures the frequency and success of deeper passes. My 12.5 yards per completion is tied for second highest in the league; Cam Newton has me by a tenth of a yard. Russell Wilson, Collin Kaepernick, Aaron Rodgers, and Ben Roethlisberger are right up there with me because they're good at extending plays to let receivers get open for big gains down the field. I'm not racking up 1,000 yards on the ground anymore, but I've still got the mobility to avoid the rush and find my playmakers (by the way, I really like that Martavis Bryant guy!).

As recently as 2013, I rang up 15.8 yards per completion, which was enough to post an elite level 8.6 yards per attempt, even with completing only 54.6-percent of my passes. So I may not be completing an insane number of passes like Drew Brees or Brady, but I'm not bad at extending plays and getting big gains, even if this sometimes gets me injured. I was talking with a fan about that, and he said, if I don't catch on here in Pittsburgh, I should have a job waiting for me in Arizona. I guess Bruce Arians likes that style of play a lot. I'm confident that I can adapt to the Steelers system under Haley, though. It works for Ben, who likes to play the same way I do and, don't forget, LeSean McCoy led the team in receptions two out of the three years I was the primary starter for the Eagles. So I'll be very comfortable working with Le'Veon Bell.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to challenge Roethlisberger for the starting job (I think the team was making sure I'm aware of this by issuing me No. 2).  If Ben should go down, though, I have the ability to help the team be competitive. Let me give you some names: Kellen Clemons, Brandon Weeden, Tarvaris Jackson, Luke McCown, Chase Daniel, Scott Tolzien, Brock Osweiler, 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck, and Jimmy Garoppolo. These are guys potential championship teams will be relying on if their starter goes down, and most of them rely primarily on their passing game. I'm hoping Steelers fans will be glad to have a little more of a sense of security with the depth they have at QB because of me.


"Not Really" Mike Vick