Patriots prepare for both Vick, Young

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Patriots prepare for both Vick, Young

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."

Patriots players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

Patriots players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

FOXBORO -- Antonio Brown's live stream of coach Mike Tomlin's postgame speech on Sunday had a ripple effect that traveled all the way to New England: Just in case Patriots players weren't familiar with the league's social-media policy, they were reminded of it this week. 

"We were reminded of that," receiver Chris Hogan said. "I’m not sure what the timing is, but obviously, I don’t think we’ll see guys doing that in the locker room."

Players are prohibited from using social media in the locker room until media outlets have been given an opportunity to talk to players following games. Brown's Facebook Live video, which garnered national attention almost as soon as it went online, was shot well before the visitor's locker room at Arrowhead Stadium opened following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City.

"We have a team policy on that," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "Strictly enforced. We go from there."

Of course part of the reason the video became as widely disseminated as it did was because it caught Tomlin calling the Patriots "a--holes."

"I have a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin," Slater said when asked about Tomlin's speech. "I appreciate the way he prepares his team. I’ve had a good working relationship with him over the years, and it will continue to be that way."

Both Slater and Hogan insisted that their focus will be trained solely on preparing for what Tomlin and his players will do when they arrive to Gillette Stadium Sunday night -- not what they say leading up to kickoff.

"You come in here, you're automatically bought into what we preach here, what coach [Bill] Belichick preaches," Hogan said. "It's football. We're 100 percent football here. It's not about anything outside. Between the media or whatever it is outside of football, whatever we're doing. When we come here, it's 100 percent football. That's all we're focused on is the opponent we're playing that week."