In the 1980s and 1990s, Randall Cunningham became the NFL’s greatest running quarterback, doing things no other quarterback had ever done before, and becoming the standard comparison for all other athletic quarterbacks.
Eventually Michael Vick surpassed Cunningham as the man whose name was used as shorthand for “running quarterback,” and on Sunday Vick may also surpass Cunningham as the most productive rushing quarterback in NFL history.
Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com points out that Vick has 4,858 rushing yards in his career and is now just 70 yards behind Cunningham, who rushed for 4,928 yards during his 16-year career.
Vick says Cunningham was one of his quarterbacking role models.
“I just remember Randall being very elusive and being able to make plays that a lot of QBs at the time couldn’t make, with his legs,” Vick said. “And you know, it kind of changed the dynamics of the game and what he could do for his football team. So, you know, I tried to emulate that and just tried to keep plays alive with my legs.”
With Cunningham, Vick and Donovan McNabb (sixth all-time among quarterbacks with 3,455 rushing yards), Eagles fans have seen three of the best rushing quarterbacks in NFL history. Mike Quick, who played with Cunningham and is now the Eagles’ radio color commentator, gave Frank a good assessment of the three of them.
“In his early years, Donovan was a real good runner, a very good runner,” Quick said. “But he didn’t compare to Randall and Michael. They’re the two best I’ve ever seen.”