Press Conference: Mike Vick

Mike Vick answered questions about the upcoming game against the Giants.

Q: You look at your team's rushing stats and they're so much higher than even the 2nd place team.  What can you point to for why you guys have been so successful this year?
A: I think part of the reason we've been so successful is because we have a couple of different concepts.  I think everybody is a year older in the offense, as far as the running game scheme.  I think it's helping us.  With maturity, I think, comes success, and we've been able to put it all together.  We're just trying to get better, week in and week out.
 
Q: How much better do you feel about the way they're using you this year? Do you feel like they've figured out the best way to use you?
A: I think that's up to the coaches to figure out.  When Coach Reeves was here, he knew how to use my talent and knew what to do with me. They have to do the same thing.  They have to be creative and understand what my strengths and weaknesses are, and make sure they put it to work and get me opportunities.  Like I said, a couple of years ago when Coach Reeves was here, he was able to do a lot of different things, helping us get to the playoffs, so they have to do the same thing here.
 
Q: Do you feel that they're doing more of that now than perhaps last year?
A: Yeah, I think they're doing more, but I also think more can be done.  We just put it in the hands of the offensive coordinator.
 
Q: How do you describe what the key to your rushing attack is?  You guys are not necessarily an overpowering team, but you crank out the yards.  What's the real key?
A: It's everybody doing a little bit of everything – everybody holding true to their responsibilities and doing their job. Up front, offensively, I think the offensive line just really has to be geared up and prepared and ready to go, and they understand the key to winning football games is winning in the run game, and that's what you have to do. 
 
Q: Do you get as big a thrill running the ball for a lot of yards as you do throwing it for a lot of yards?
A: We're a team that's not too big on stats.  We just like to win.  That's the bottom line.  We don't even go back and look at the stats at the end of the year. 
 
Q: Some of the Giants defenders said that looking at you guys is almost like looking at college teams, the way they run the option.  Do you feel that way?
A: No.
 
Q: Why not?
A: Because we're not a college team, and we're not running the option.
 
Q: Could you give us some thoughts as to what you see with this Giants defense?  Obviously they have some different parts than they've had in recent years, but clearly they've been stuffing the run pretty effectively.
A: They've been doing a great job against the run and I give them a lot of credit.  That is a good defense on that side of the ball.  They have a lot of good players. LaVar (Arrington), (Antonio) Pierce, (Michael) Strahan, and I won't try to pronounce the other defensive end's name, but you know who I'm talking about (Osi Umenyiora) – he's pretty good, too. They have a good front seven and they're pretty good in the back end.  We're looking forward to it being a tough game. 
 
Q: When you watch Warrick Dunn run the ball, he's not a big guy but he gets a lot of carries and a lot of yards.  What's the key to his success?
A: The guys up front blocking and staying on their blocks and putting guys down on the ground on their backs and opening up run lanes for him.  He's a small guy – it doesn't take much – so I think the key is blocking well up front and getting it done up front.
 
Q: Your blocking scheme is somewhat similar to the one the Broncos made famous, thanks to Alex Gibbs.  Does that require you to run any differently when it's more of a cut-blocking and a zone-blocking offense, as opposed to just pure power?  Do runners have to run differently?
A: I don't really get too involved in the running game.  I couldn't tell you, ‘Is it a difference.'  That's a question maybe for Warrick Dunn.  The only thing I'm required to do is carry out my fakes and make plays on quarterback bootlegs when I have to, so I really couldn't tell you all of that, but from what I've been around, I think the zone blocking is pretty good. 
 
Q: How much of what you do is truly scripted, in terms of once you have the ball in your hands, and how much is it improvised?
A: I'd say about 25 percent is improvised, and 70 percent is scripted. We don't have too many quarterback run plays, as far as me having the opportunity to run vs. throw the ball.  I think, like I said, 70-30, or 75-25.
 
Q: When teams have tried to spy you, has that, up to this point, worked in your favor usually?  Do you relish the defensive look when they try to spy?
A: I do, I do.  It's so hard to see a spy-guy in coverage.  You really don't see a spy until you go off on the sideline and you look at the pictures.  If there's a spy out there, I really won't even notice him, really won't pay attention to him. 
 
Q: Why is it hard to notice?  Does he just look like he's playing a zone?
A: Because you can spy almost anybody on the defense.  You're right, it almost looks like a guy is just dropping back in a zone, and maybe he's a spy, so you can't really look at one guy and said, ‘OK, he's a spy-guy.'  I think if you watched a lot of film, you'll know – you'll get a feel for who's going to be the spy, but teams can switch it up week to week.  They can make the outside linebacker a spy, they can make the Mike linebacker…So it just varies.  It just varies, so you really don't get a feel for it. 
 
Q: A lot of people thought the Panthers were going to dominate your division.  Seattle is obviously playing well, the Bears – How good is your team, and how well do you think you can do in the NFC?
A: I don't know, we'll see.  We have a lot of tough games ahead of us.  I think after these next four games, we can have a better assessment, as far as where we stand and how good we think we are.  Until then, we'll have to just put that on the back burner for a minute.
 
Q: I imagine you like what you're seeing so far, though.
A: We do, we do.  We like the teams that we've beat. (We had) some tough games right out of the block, and the next four are going to be tough, so we're kind of looking forward to that.
 
Q: Do you feel any defense can shut you guys down on the ground?
A: Yeah, it's possible.  If we don't come out and do our jobs, then we can be shut down at any moment.  We just have to come out there and have great teamwork and take care of our responsibilities and the guys in front of us. 
 
A: He gives us a lot of options, as far as what we can do in our passing game.  We can design routes for the receivers and we can sprinkle things in for Alge to try to get him a catch  or two, to get him in the rhythm every now and then.  It's a positive, having a tight end who can catch the ball so well, because he opens things up for the defense.

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