In six quarters of football, Michael Vick has completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 459 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a QB rating of 105.5. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's message to the media regarding his new starting quarterback was simple - keep it up.
"Look he played very well down there (against Detroit), very well. He's a highly talented man," Mornhinweg said. "I think he's put the hard work and preparation in. His challenge now is to play at a high level on a consistent basis, and he is determined. It's all about business for him at this stage in his career, and that's a good thing."
In Sunday's win over the Lions, Vick's first start since 2006, he was 21-of-34 for 284 yards with two touchdowns. The Lions had all week to game plan for Vick and he handled the slew of blitzes with great poise in the pocket. The fact that Vick had already been integrated into the offense meant that not much changed in terms of the game plan.
"I think one positive is, I think Michael has been playing, and we've expected him to play, so we had some plays specifically for Michael already worked on, practiced, so there's very little new-type of plays," Mornhinweg said. "There's always going to be new type of plays for every game, because we game plan specifically, individually for the next ballclub."
A year ago at this time, it wasn't fathomable that Vick could be the starting quarterback. In addition to the coaching, the biggest difference in Vick from last year is his physical conditioning.
"The whole process for Mike a year ago was get back into physical conditioning, he did a good job of that," Mornhinweg said. "I thought, as you remember, we've talked about this before, late last year, I thought he was really close, and he got that quad (injury). Remember that quad? And then that set him back, and in the offseason he's done a nice job that way.""
That conditioning was key on certain plays where Vick had to buy time with his feet. There was one play in particular late in the first half where defensive end Lawrence Jackson came free on a blitz. Vick was able to make a spin move, escape and rush to the Lions' 5-yard line. As much as Vick was able to elude defenders, he was still sacked six times. Just like Vick, the offensive line needs to be consistent.
"We did many things very well up front, many things. There was a few that we didn't do well, and that's not just the line, everybody's involved," Vick said. "So we've got to do better there. Now, you take out a big percentage of plays, and I think the offensive line played well. However, you just can't do that, those other plays are there and we've got to be more consistent."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 8:00 p.m., September 23