Michael Vick on Kyler Murray: ‘The comparison to me is accurate’
Michael Vick is the original, the O.G.
He was the first dual-threat quarterback in the modern NFL, so when he makes proclamations about his skillset next to someone else’s, it’s best to listen.
The former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback already said Kyler Murray is “going to be a lot harder to deal with” than he was, and he joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf on Thursday to explain why.
The short answer is that this NFL is more accepting of Murray’s talents with running quarterbacks becoming more prolific across the league.
“In today’s game, they can do it a little better than what I did,” said Vick, who is now a FOX Sports NFL analyst. “Started out in a system under (Falcons head coach) Dan Reeves that was very efficient — for me he catered to my strengths, and then I got stuck in a West Coast system for four years.
“These guys are coming in with a head start, man, and it’s making them look real unstoppable at the quarterback position.”
Murray, of course, won the Heisman at Oklahoma last season after completing 69% of his passes for 4,361 yards and adding 1,001 rushing yards.
But through two weeks with the Cardinals, who selected Murray No. 1 overall, the quarterback has been relegated to the pocket. He’s done just fine, becoming the second NFL quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in each of his first two starts, joining Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Vick sees a fair comparison between his veteran self — after he grew as a passer — and Murray.
“In Week 1 of our FOX NFL kickoff show, I said Kyler has amazing arm talent. He goes out and throws for 300 yards. Week 2, he goes out and throws for 300 yards,” Vick said.
“I also said we know about his running abilities and the things he can do when he takes off. When things break down he can scoot it up the field and he can gain 10, or he can scramble to his right or left and throw down the field and gain between 10 or 50. He’s just a dynamic talent that’s really hard to stop. The comparison to me is accurate.”
As the Cardinals prepare to face a Panthers team that in Week 3 looks like it will be without Newton, whose injuries have caught up to him, it acts as a reminder to Vick about the importance of balancing a dynamic running ability with health.
So far, Murray has been able to stay out of harm’s way, mostly by being limited in the run game. He has six rushing attempts through two games.
“You have to be smart,” Vick said. “Fortunately for me, I had (former Eagles coach) Andy Reid in my ear constantly, helping me improve as a passer, encouraging me to protect myself and make sure I was there on Sundays for the team.
“Cam … this is a 6-5, 6-6, 250-pound guy, and you know, to Cam’s credit and what I do understand, if I had that body, too, I would think I was invincible. There were times when… Cam just felt like he could do it all — Superman. Yes, with that Superman tag comes a certain level of destruction when you label yourself that.”
While Newton’s career arc faces a potential fork in the road, Murray’s is just beginning.
The starting point looks promising, according to Vick.
“Kyler’s in a great situation with (coach) Kliff Kingsbury. He’s familiar with (the offense), he understands it, which will allow him to throw the football more freely and effectively and run the football just when he needs to,” Vick said.
“I think Kyler’s in a good space. I think he knows how to play that position from the shotgun formation, which is what he’s used to coming out of college. I think it’ll help in the pros as far as preserving his body.”