At 34, Michael Vick may have lost a little of his athleticism, but when you started off at all-universe, it’s okay to drop down to all-world.
In the second quarter of tonight’s Colts-Jets preseason game, Vick showed Indianapolis that mere mortals are still going to have a hard time keeping up with him. On third and 9 from his 41, Vick felt the pocket collapse, moved backwards to buy himself a little space, then sprinted around left end for a 15-yard gain, leaving defensive lineman Jeris Pendleton in the dust. Sure, a younger Vick might have avoided the arm tackle that eventually brought him down, but he still showed far more athleticism than your average quarterback.
The play extended a drive that would result in a game-tying touchdown, and the Jets went on to win, 13-10. Not bad for a backup. In fact, given starter Geno Smith’s difficulties putting points on the board, and Vick’s far superior résumé, one might almost think the team could have a quarterback controversy on its hands. Except that those kinds of things never happen to the Jets, right?
By the way, in fairness to Pendleton, the poor guy from whom Vick ran away, he is a 30-year-old, and the fact that he is even on the Colts is a noteworthy story in its own right. According to the Indianapolis Star, Pendleton was out of football for six years, making minimum wage, smoking and doing nothing to keep himself in any kind of shape. Then, in 2007, he saw a high school rival, Kelvin Hayden, score a touchdown for the Colts in Super Bowl XLI and decided that he should make a real push to get to that level. Pendleton, a devoted father of two, went to junior college, then Division II Ashland (Ohio) University and was drafted by the Jaguars, at age 28, with the 228th pick in the 2012 draft.
Just a great job by Pendleton to even be in position to miss a tackle on Vick. And a nice reminder from Vick that, all these years later, he still has quite a set of wheels.