Michael Vick will now be in charge of running the Pittsburgh Steelers until starter Ben Roethlisberger is able to return from his left MCL sprain and while both quarterbacks can throw the deep ball, that’s probably where their similarities end. Because of that, offensive coordinator Todd Haley will need to develop game plans in the coming weeks that best fit the strengths of Vick.
One of Vick’s strengths over the years has been him working and throwing out of a moving pocket and on Tuesday, Roethlisberger was asked if the Steelers offensive line is able to provide that if needed.
“Absolutely,” said Roethlisberger. “[They are] very athletic and so I don’t know how much we’ll do of it, like I said, we’re meeting here in a little while to really go over stuff, but I think if there was a group that do it, it’s this one.”
The Steelers Thursday night opponent, the Baltimore Ravens, only have a short time to prepare for Vick, but even so, they have coaches on their staff who know Vick’s strengths and weakness quite well.
Ravens quarterbacks coach Marty Mornhinweg probably knows Vick the best as he was his offensive coordinator for five of the previous six seasons. Because of that, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was asked on Monday if they will be asking Mornhinweg to provide information on the best way to limit Vick’s effectiveness Thursday night.
“Oh, absolutely,” Harbaugh said, according to ESPN.com. “Yes, of course.”
Harbaugh has also seen what Vick can do first-hand as his team was beaten 24-23 by a Vick-led Philadelphia Eagles team back in 2012. In that game, Vick completed 23 of his 32 pass attempts for 371 yards and a touchdown and he added another 34 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushes/scrambles. Even though Vick did throw two interceptions in that game, one of which came during the Eagles first offensive possession of the game, he did lead his offense on a 10-play, 80-yard game-winning drive that began with 4:43 left in the fourth quarter.
“He has been one of the premier players in the league for many years, Harbaugh said this week. “I have a lot of respect for him. [He is a] fine quarterback. He brings unique talents to the table.”
Moving forward, it will be up to Haley to maximize those unique talents of Vick.