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Vick plans to survive preseason

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  • Vick plans to survive preseason

    Vick's mission in preseason opener: survive

    By DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer
    August 11, 2004
    BALTIMORE (AP) -- Jim Mora has yet to serve as a head coach in an NFL game, yet he's already displayed the intellect and preparedness necessary to ensure a long career on the sideline with the Atlanta Falcons.

    Mora will play Michael Vick for only one series in Thursday's preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens. The decision proves that the Falcons' new coach:

    -- Realizes Vick is the key to Atlanta's success;

    -- Understands the potential for injury in preseason games; and

    -- Has a keen sense of history.

    A year ago, Vick scrambled out of the pocket early in a preseason game against the Ravens and was met head-on by linebacker Adalius Thomas. The resulting collision left Vick with a broken right leg and ruined the season for the Falcons, who said farewell to head coach Dan Reeves and brought in Mora, a longtime assistant with the San Francisco 49ers.

    The Mora Era begins Thursday night, and he intends to have Vick along for the ride.

    ``There's going to be injuries,'' Mora said. ``Whether they happen in the regular season or in a preseason game, they can be equally as devastating. It's just that you start the devastation earlier when it happens in the preseason, because you start worrying earlier.''

    Mora has no intention of worrying about Vick, which is why he will test the fleet-footed, elusive quarterback only briefly against the Ravens. Those fans tuning in late to the nationally televised game will miss him entirely.

    ``I have to be a bit more cautious. You saw what happened last year,'' Vick said. ``You can be out for seven to eight weeks and you're on the sideline and you can't help your team out in no way, shape or form. I'm looking forward to coming out and playing smart as a quarterback, looking to pass first, run second and play the Michael Vick game when it's time.''

    That time likely won't occur until later in the season. So, what can Vick possibly get out of one series?

    Baltimore won't slow down just for Vick.

    ``Anybody that's at the quarterback position, we're going to go after him. That's what they're paid to do,'' coach Brian Billick said.

    Vick holds no animosity toward the Ravens or Thomas, who was guilty of nothing more than making a clean, solid hit on a scrambling quarterback.

    Still, exhibition games are a necessary evil -- a team needs them to get ready, but the risk is great.

    ``If we didn't have to do this, we wouldn't,'' Billick said. ``I worry all the time, but you can't let it paralyze you. You've got to play the game and go.''

    Billick will take a quick look at second-year quarterback Kyle Boller and then go with backup Kordell Stewart, who will receive his first action with the Ravens.

    Vick will be replaced by Matt Schaub, a third-round pick from Virginia.

    ``Going into this thing, you feel like he's pretty far along as a rookie quarterback,'' Mora said. ``I just hope we feel that way on Thursday night.''

    Sonja Grimes, My Cousin, We Miss and Love You.
    The Falcons Flock Message Board

  • #2
    I was hoping to see a little bit more of him last night than 3 snaps. 2 of which were running plays and we all saw the big sack on 3rd down.

    However, I completely understand why they took him out.

    BTW: The Falcon D was looking pretty good even though the final score would not reflect that. Hang in there Atlanta fan.
    :usa: *** God Bless Our Military Men And Women*** :usa: