Lamar Jackson's play has wowed the league and inspired recollection of another thrilling, once-in-a-generation player: Michael Vick.
Jackson is on pace to break Vick's longstanding single-season quarterback rushing record of 1,039, set in 2006 when Vick was just entering his prime with the Atlanta Falcons. For Jackson, whose favorite player has always been Vick, that would be a dream come true.
"It would be an honor," Jackson said Wednesday. "You know, like I said, Michael Vick's my favorite player. For me to do such a thing, it's incredible. He had that record for a long time. It would be pretty cool."
In that 2006 season, Vick earned his ground yards by scrambling so well, it became its own weapon alongside his ability to throw. He gained 8.4 yards per rushing attempt, breaking 1,000 yards on just 123 runs, despite only running out of necessity, not design.
Thirteen years later, we're in the heart of the spread offense era. Jackson is averaging 7.0 yards per carry in an offense built around his ability to run and pass, carrying over concepts seen much more in college (zone read, inverted option) than on Sundays. Greg Roman's attack has weaponized Jackson's rare combination of agility and speed, helping create opportunities for his quarterback, running backs, tight ends and wide receivers because the defense must always first account for the danger of Jackson with the ball in his hands.
That's not to diminish any of Jackson's accomplishments, which are spectacular and borderline superhuman. He's just doing it in a slightly different fashion than Vick.
As such, he'll likely race past Vick's mark and set a new golden standard for the premier dual-threat quarterback. And as he does, Vick will likely keep fielding questions from NFL defenders on how to stop the most dangerous quarterback in pro football since No. 7 was back there causing nightmares for defenses.