On Monday, Michael Vick was in Los Angeles to watch Lamar Jackson, the man who’s on pace to shatter his record for rushing yards by a quarterback. A day later, Vick has gifted Jackson custom cleats for the rest of his record-setting journey, and they pay tribute specifically to both players’ reputation for speed.
Specially designed by Nike, the shoes feature both red and purple — for Vick’s longtime team, the Atlanta Falcons, and Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens, who stomped all over the Rams on Monday night. They also include inscriptions of the two QBs’ speed ratings from EA Sports’ annual “Madden” game — the 95 out of 99 that Vick famously possessed in the 2004 version and the 96 that Jackson earned in this year’s edition. To top it all off, the cleats feature a pair of quotes: “Not bad for a running back,” Jackson’s earlier-season quip referencing critics who claimed he couldn’t play QB; and “Your turn,” Vick’s message to Jackson about leading the NFL‘s next generation of dual-threat superstars.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be in this position, to be able to hand something off to the next generation,” Vick said in a “Madden” video about the cleats on Tuesday night. “It means a lot. Lamar’s the modern-day new era quarterback. The changing of the guard, it’s all good, man. All records are made to be broken. The next generation is supposed to be better than us, and you’ve got to give credit where credit is due.”
One of the most accomplished rushing quarterbacks in NFL history, Vick broke the record for single-season ground yardage by a QB in 2006 with 1,039 yards. Jackson, who gained 695 as a ball-carrier during his 2018 rookie campaign, has already racked up 876 rushing yards through 11 games of the 2019 season, in which he’s now the odds-on favorite to win MVP honors.