Michael Vick is getting another fresh start, but the Ravens hope to spoil it.
Two months ago, Vick was a free agent, hoping his phone would ring. Thursday night on national TV, Vick will start at quarterback for the Steelers, facing the Ravens in the next chapter of one of the NFL’s greatest rivalries.
Ben Roethlisberger’s knee injury has put Vick back where he has often been – in the spotlight. Like him or not, it is hard to deny Vick is resilient. Now at age 35, he wants to savor his latest opportunity to prove he can still be an effective NFL quarterback.
“This is a great opportunity for me because I don’t know if I’m going to have this opportunity again,” Vick told reporters Tuesday. “Just a month ago I wasn’t signed with a team. Now I feel like I have a chance to go out and play freely and go out and enjoy the game, enjoy this moment, enjoy being out there with my teammates.”
Nobody can be certain how Vick will perform, making his first start for the Steelers after a short week of practice. But the Ravens’ defense has been struggling, allowing big plays in the passing game. Vick has play-making receivers in Antonio Brown, Darius Heyward-Bey, and Markus Wheaton, plus one of the league’s best running backs in Le’Veon Bell.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh expects stopping Vick and the Steelers to be a challenge.
“We’re working hard on what he brings to the table as a player and athlete. He’s really good at certain, specific things. And it’s interesting, a lot of those things compare favorably with what Ben Roethlisberger does. He’s dangerous in the pocket, he’s dangerous out of the pocket – just like Ben is.”
The Steelers (2-1) hope Vick helps them win until Roethlisberger returns. The Ravens (0-3) need a win against anyone.