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 Post subject: Musgrave in a rush to aid QBs
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 10:04 pm 
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Steve Wyche - Staff
Sunday, May 14, 2006

Flowery Branch --- When the Falcons hired Bill Musgrave during the winter as quarterbacks coach, they figured his pedigree as a player, mentor, assistant and coordinator were traits that would help Michael Vick and his understudies reach a new level.

What they might not have known is that they acquired an ambidextrous instructor.

While walking through plays at the team's first minicamp practice Saturday, Musgrave worked as a left-handed passer --- footwork and all --- to benefit Vick, a lefty. He then flipped to his natural right side to show the three right-handed backups how to execute plays.

"I don't know how I got good doing that, but I've coached some lefties, from Mark Brunell and there's Steve Young," said Musgrave, a college standout at Oregon and career NFL backup. "We used to give Steve a hard time about his drop and footwork. Even though it was sound fundamentally, it was still quirky nonetheless, so I probably got good at emulating left-handers at that time, which was about 10-15 years ago."

Musgrave's adaptability and Vick's willingness to buy into Musgrave's coaching has squashed any concerns there might have been about the firing of quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson, whom Vick was quite fond of.

It's also shown that Vick, who has been through his share of coordinators, position coaches, head coaches and schemes in his five seasons, is willing to go with the flow.

"It's been good," Vick said of his relationship with Musgrave, who helped rejuvenate Brunell's career last season in Washington. "I've really enjoyed the past three months working with him. He's a guy who knows the offense, knows what it takes to have success in the offense and be efficient in it.

"With him working alongside [offensive coordinator] Greg Knapp, things will be a lot better than they were last year and the year before that, as far as my development and my growth and being an efficient quarterback."

Musgrave said his early take has been positive. Vick has shown up at meetings on time. He's been eager to learn more about what is already in place and to figure out new wrinkles. Backups Matt Schaub, whom Musgrave coached at the University of Virginia, and Bryan Randall have also been ideal pupils, Musgrave said.

"I had heard good things about [Vick] and they're all true," Musgrave said. "He's a competitor. He's a professional. He doesn't want to have any down years. ...

"More than it being about him, though, I think he's looking forward for the team to get back on track and winning the division again."

Musgrave said he isn't going to be overbearing or try to deconstruct Vick to make him something he's not.

"Hopefully, I can be more of a sounding board for him, a resource," Musgrave said.

Musgrave can only help Vick so much, though.

Vick, bothered by a knee sprain he never spoke much about until after the team's 8-8 season, rushed for 597 yards and completed 214 of 387 passes for 2,412 yards, 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2005.

If he is to improve on those totals, including victories, he admittedly is going to have to work a little harder and simply be better. Coach Jim Mora said his lightning-rod quarterback has shown a "renewed resolve."

"A lot of people last year said I was trying to stay in the pocket more, trying to be a better quarterback, so to speak," Vick said. "It wasn't just that. I was hurt last year. I couldn't be as mobile as I wanted to be. It wasn't Coach Knapp's fault, it wasn't the quarterbacks coach's fault because of my play. It was just me doing something that I felt was best for me. I don't know if it was best for the team, but I did what I could. I wanted to stay in the pocket. I wanted to protect myself.

"This year I want to come out and be myself, stay healthy and play my game."


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 10:20 pm 
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"A lot of people last year said I was trying to stay in the pocket more, trying to be a better quarterback, so to speak," Vick said. "It wasn't just that. I was hurt last year. I couldn't be as mobile as I wanted to be. It wasn't Coach Knapp's fault, it wasn't the quarterbacks coach's fault because of my play. It was just me doing something that I felt was best for me. I don't know if it was best for the team, but I did what I could. I wanted to stay in the pocket. I wanted to protect myself.

"This year I want to come out and be myself, stay healthy and play my game."


I'm one of the people that liked what they saw from Vick during his time in the pocket. I really hope the Falcons do not simply look at the Packers and Bucs losses, and see that they were losses and automatically assume that had Vick been more mobile we would have won.

I hope "his game" includes staying int he pocket more often than not. His play in November showed me that he is capable of doing that. We just need the defense to step up their play and everything is going to be okay. If VIck plays like he did during that 5-week period for at least 10 or 12 games this year, then the Falcons are going to be a very very very good team.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:47 am 
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My biggest cocern with Musgrave is that Vick would not take to him and act like a baby because his prior mentor got the ax. Considering Musgrave has worked with Young and Brunell among others make him as good a fit as anyone could want to be.

I still would like the see the coaching staff just let Vick be Vick. We've seen that Vick will get injured regardless of how many times he runs or doesn't run. So let Vick be dynamic and make snap decisions. he has enough experience that I'd like to think it would be a safe move to let Vick decided whether or not he should run. I think about 60% of all called plays should be some sort of QB option for Vick. Anywho... We do this every year and I'll start it up again. What are your expectations for Vick this season?

I'd say the following:

50 to 55% completion, 3,000 yard passing, 25 to 30 passing touchdowns. On the ground I'd say in the order of 500 to 600 yards and around 5 TD's rushing or so.

I don't think Vick will ever find that 60% rate but all the other numbers are attainable for Vick. As long as Dunn is looking at another 1,200 to 1,500 yard rushing season and Duckett finds his footing again that's all we should need from Vick. Especially with a healthy defense that I think could go crazy with interceptions with our pass rush and upgrades in the seconday.

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