Falcons: Michael Penix on following in the footsteps of Michael Vick

NFL: MAR 01 Scouting Combine

There might not be a more influential athlete in Atlanta sports history than Michael Vick. The former Falcons quarterback was drafted #1 overall and quickly became a national icon for athletes everywhere. There wasn’t a kid growing up in the United States that didn’t want to be like Mike, capable of flipping a game on its head with both his feet and arm. Vick changed the sport for the better and is a massive reason why the quarterback position currently places such an emphasis on athleticism as well as arm strength and accuracy.

Dual threat quarterbacks are infinitely more common today than they were a couple of decades ago, and now the Falcons are hoping Michael Penix Jr. can follow in the footsteps of the Atlanta legend. Soon after the Washington quarterback was drafted 8th overall, he was asked about Vick. Penix said he has a great relationship with the former Falcons signal caller, who texted him after he was drafted.

“I keep in contact with [Vick] now,” Penix said, via Christian Arnold of The NY Post. “He’s been a guy that I can reach out to whenever. He actually sent me a text congratulating me this morning. It’s great. I’m glad to be able to be old enough to have seen that era. To see what he did for the game and how he changed the game with just being able to do it in the air and on the ground. The way that he did it and at the level that he did it.”

This is a question Michael Penix will get a lot over his career because of the similarities. Both are left-handed athletic quarterbacks that were drafted highly into the Falcons organization. They also happen to share the same name.

However, that’s really where the similarities end. While an incredible athlete — posting a hand-timed 4.46 40-yard dash at Washington’s pro day — Penix isn’t a quarterback that’s eager to hurt defenses with his feet. He played in 28 games over his final two seasons at Washington and totaled 100 rushing yards, including just eight in 2023.

What makes Penix so special is the arm talent. Few guys on the planet can spin it like he can, capable of fitting throws into tight windows down the field with incredible velocity and accuracy. Penix is much more like Matthew Stafford than he is Michael Vick, and that’s more than fine. The only thing Falcons fans should be concerned about is winning, and Penix is the kind of talent that can help this organization remain relevant for a long time.

Photo: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire


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