Patriots prepare for both Vick, Young

Patriots prepare for both Vick, Young
November 22, 2011, 8:58 pm
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A superb athlete under center who can be just as lethal on the ground as he is through the air, despite a passing game that most would agree can be erratic.

Yeah, that's Michael Vick who, if healthy, will start on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

It's also an apt description for his backup, Vince Young, who made his first start of the year on Sunday against the New York Giants while Vick sat out to heal two broken ribs.

Head coach Andy Reid said if the game were played on Monday, Vick would not have been able to play.

His replacement, Young, can be scary-good at times -- or just plain scary.

He was the former down the stretch against the Giants, proving yet again that Young's best play tends to come when the game's fate is on the line.

Young, who led the Eagles to a 17-10 win, finished 23-for-36 passing with 258 yards and two touchdowns which included him completing 16 of his last 19 pass attempts.

Belichick understands that there's no telling which of the two quarterbacks the Patriots will see on Sunday.

"We have to be ready for every player that's on the roster," Belichick said. "Even whoever is in the game to start the game, we all know that could be a different player on the second or some other play of the game. We'll prepare for all three quarterbacks (Mike Kafka is the team's No. 3 quarterback) and maybe later in the week we'll be able to zero in more on one than another."

That would hinge on how much, if at all, Vick practices this week.

Even if he does practice, contact will most likely be limited. And while Vick and Young's careers have certainly gone in widely different directions, there's a significant amount of common ground in their play.

"Both can run, have good scrambling ability, both have real big arms, can throw the ball down the field as far as they need to," Belichick said. "I think they're both good, whichever one we get, we get."

And while Vick's mobility is certainly what most talk about, those who have to prepare for him on a weekly basis are quick to acknowledge that he's more than just a scrambling quarterback.

"He's explosive, he accelerates, he's got good speed," said Nick Caserio, director of player personnel for the Patriots. "But just in terms of throwing the football, there aren't too many quarterbacks that have a stronger arm than Michael Vick in the league. And they keep him in the pocket plenty. They move him a little bit, they'll boot him, they'll try to get him on the perimeter, but there are plenty of times where he drops back or he's in the shotgun and he has to read the defense and deliver the football.

"You evaluate that player for the position based on what he's going to be required to do. Michael is just unique just from a standpoint that there aren't that many players at that position -- or really, in any other position offensively -- that possess his type of athleticism. He presents a lot of unique challenges to a defense. You certainly have to account for him on every play, there's no question."