Apparently, you really had to be inside the huddle to comprehend -- or not comprehend -- the struggles that top draft pick Michael Vick had with the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday's 31-3 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Vick replaced starting quarterback Chris Chandler, who suffered a concussion in the second quarter, and had a day to forget. Vick fumbled three times, including one returned 90 yards for a touchdown, and was sacked six times, many of which were attributed to his inability to decipher the Bears' defense.
|Falcons QB Michael Vick completed 12-of-18 passes Sunday but was sacked six times and fumbled three times.|
Falcons coach Dan Reeves said Vick really struggled in the huddle with calling plays properly, which resulted in the Falcons being misaligned on various formations.
"He isn't ready, but then we knew that was going to be the case, as it is with all rookie quarterbacks," said Reeves. "It's kind of like getting an A in Spanish, and then you go to Spain and realize you don't know anything."
Falcons veteran receiver Terance Mathis did correct Vick on a couple of calls, but Reeves said, "I'm irritated that more guys didn't step up and say, 'That's wrong.' That's something we're going to talk about."
Vick explained to reporters that "I was getting some different things called than usual. As coach is calling the play, I'm trying to visualize it and he's saying it. I hear him, I repeat it to myself two or three times and then I go out and say it."
If Chandler isn't cleared to play, Vick could start Sunday for the Falcons (2-2) against the 49ers (3-1) in an NFC West game at the Georgia Dome. Reeves said that if Vick starts, the game plan would be tailored to his knowledge and skills. It's also possible that second-year quarterback Doug Johnson will start, with Vick used sparingly during the game.
Vick wasn't a total failure against the Bears. He threw the ball extremely well (12-of-18 passing for 186 yards). He had some moments with his legs, too.
"That he threw the ball well, or that he can make plays on the run, we already knew about those things," said Reeves. "He just learned a lesson that playing quarterback in this league is a lot more than that. He'll get there, but that's why we have given him a little at a time. This was too much too soon."