Philadelphia Eagles News

Vick's Making Strides Vs. Blitz

If Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell decides to bring the house and blitz Michael Vick on Sunday, the quarterback will be prepared.

Vick is questionable for Sunday's contest after suffering a concussion last week against the Falcons. However, Vick practiced on Thursday and Friday and was confident that absent a return of any symptoms he will start against the Giants.

"I've improved a lot in picking up the blitz, in seeing the blitz, knowing where to go with the blitz outlets," Vick said. "We know New York's M.O., we know what they like to do, and I've watched them on film plenty of times. I watched all the games from last year. I watched the last two games. I watched them in preseason. So I know what they like to do, so it's going to be a great game and I can't wait until Sunday."

The Giants blitzed Vick time after time again in last December's Miracle at the New Meadowlands utilizing safeties Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant to flush Vick from the pocket. From a passing standpoint, Vick's numbers were solid vs. the Giants against the blitz. He was 7-of-14 for 105 yards with three touchdowns against an interception for an 84.8 rating. Vick was sacked three times when blitzed.

But on the ground is where Vick did his damage. Just against the blitz, Vick ran five times for 95 yards and scored another touchdown.

So far in 2011, Vick's numbers may not be impressive against the blitz but they are on the upswing. In the season opener, Vick was 4-of-11 for 51 yards and was sacked three times. Vick also ran three times for 37 yards in the win over St. Louis when blitzed. But prior to his injury vs. the Falcons, Vick was 9-of-14 for 127 yards (9.07 per attempt) for two touchdowns and an interception. What might be the most surprising is that he wasn't sacked and he didn't run when blitzed.

"I think he's doing the same thing we are. He's getting better every single day. He sits in that quarterback room with (quarterbacks coach) Doug (Pederson) and just goes over what needs to be done," guard Evan Mathis said. "You saw he didn't need to scramble that much. He never got sacked. He was impressive against the blitz and I think he's evolving as a quarterback."

Remember, there are new players in four of the five spots along the offensive line from 2010. Three of those four players - Mathis, center Jason Kelce and right guard Kyle DeVan - are new to the team. Todd Herremans made the switch from left guard to right tackle. Herremans said that in the team's first two games on the road they got a better understanding of how things work. Now, with the home opener on tap Sunday against the Giants, they will hope to see continued improvement.

"We have a better understanding of what guys are going to be; how we need to get there; how we set this; do you have inside help; do you not have inside help?" Herremans said. "Everything is starting to come together a little better. Hopefully, we'll see that continue to increase."

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