In a game last season against the San Diego Chargers, New York Jets starting quarterback Geno Smith was benched after a lousy first half performance that included him completing just 4 of 12 passes for 27 yards and an interception. Michael Vick, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers late Tuesday evening, wasn’t much better when he was inserted into that Week 5 game as evidenced by him completing just 8 of 19 passes for 47 yards in the 31-0 loss.
The Wednesday following that game against the Chargers, Vick admitted in an interview that he probably didn’t properly prepare for that game.
“Maybe I didn’t prepare or I wasn’t prepared, but I’ll tell you what, it won’t happen again,” Vick said, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.
Now that Vick has landed in Pittsburgh with the Steelers, everyone knows that he’s going to be the back-up to starter Ben Roethlisberger. During his first interview with the local media, the former first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons talked about how he struggled last year with the reality of him no longer being viewed as a starting quarterback.
“You know it’s hard because I’ve been a starter for so long and last year it took a lot adjusting, and I’ll admit I didn’t do it as well as I wanted to because in my mind I felt like the position I was in was supposed to be different,” Vick said Wednesday. “But I think you have to accept it first and I’ve been able to do that, come to grips with it and I understand why I’m here. My role is clear and I can just focus on that.”
Vick went on to clarify later in his interview what exactly his role is with the Steelers.
“As of right now, just prepare to be the best back-up that I can be and I will be that,” he said.
Vick practiced with the Steelers for the first time on Wednesday and with just one practice remaining before the team heads out of town for their third preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t sure how much his new quarterback will play Saturday night.
“It just depends on how the work goes on a day-to-day basis,” Tomlin said after Wednesdays practice. “It was a good start today. We’ll analyze it, we’ll learn some more and see what tomorrow holds.”
As for Vick, he feels confident that he will learn enough of the offense and receive enough practice time in order to play Saturday.
“It’s kinda soon but I’m picking up the offense,” Vick said. “I got a grasp on a couple concepts. Who knows? I might get in there. I’m hoping I get a chance to go out there and play. That’s what I would like to do. That’s what I dreamed about when I was sitting at home on the couch a month ago watching preseason games. I just hoped and wished and prayed I’d get back out there.”
If Vick does wind up playing Saturday against the Bills, it’s easy to speculate that he won’t be inserted into the game until the second half, as the Steelers starting offense is expected to use this upcoming contest as their dress rehearsal for the upcoming season.
“Whatever Coach (Mike Tomlin) decides. If he’s comfortable with me getting back out there then yeah, I’m all for it,” Vick said. “If not, then definitely next week.”
Regardless, you can probably bet Vick will prepare the best that he can even if he winds up not playing at all against the Bills.