Behind Enemy Lines: Jim Mora

Behind Enemy Lines: Falcons coach Jim Mora talks about his quarterback and his receivers' problems with holding on to his passes.

Q: Why have your receivers dropped so many passes?
A: "I don't know. I think it is a multitude of things. It is like when a golfer gets the yips, a pitcher who has been real consistent has trouble finding the strike zone, a hitter that all of the sudden can't put wood on the ball or a great shooter that gets out of rhythm and goes into a slump. It is more mental than anything."

Q: How have those drops affected Michael Vick?
A: "I am sure it is very frustrating but I think he has done a tremendous job of not showing the frustration to the players that are on the other end of his throws. He just keeps firing it at them and encouraging them. He has been an outstanding leader through these last four weeks that have been very tough."

Q: How different is Vick since you took over?
A: "He is tremendously different. He is really starting to grasp our system. He has great work ethic and good leadership skills. He is much more settled. He is a mature competitor."

Q: What will it be like for you to coach against Joe Gibbs?
A: "I have always had great respect for him. He is a legend and it is an honor to be on the field with him."

Q: How hard was it to trade T.J. Duckett?
A: "It was difficult because I have great respect for T.J. and really liked him as a human being. I liked having him as a part of this team but we had some needs that we really had to address so we had to make the move. I don't know the situation there so I can't really comment on that."

Q: What did Duckett do for you when he was there?
A: "He was a great teammate and team member. He always had a great attitude and was positive and upbeat. He was an excellent worker. He was a joy to be around every day."

Q: How tough has this year been on you?
A: "It is tough when you lose. You pour your heart and soul into this. It is not like you just show up on Sunday and play a game. This consumes your life for six or seven months. It takes away from your family. It puts you smack dab in the public eye and you are open for criticism and scrutiny. When you don't have success it is difficult. It is also what we choose to do. If we couldn't handle it as coaches we would probably opt out and go and do something else. I love it. I take the good with the bad. I know there is bad out there and I know that there is good coming. You keep rolling."

Q: Has Michael been as eye-popping as you expected when you took the job?
A: "This past Sunday was the epitome of it all. I was standing there on the sideline and I was saying, ‘Oh my God look how fast he is.' He is a great kid. Mike is a great player and a great competitor. He is a great person. He is giving and he is loyal. He is tough, a great teammate and a great team member. That is why when something like that happens last Sunday it is so disappointing for him. That does not represent who he is. The people that are lucky enough to be around him on a daily basis all know that. When you see him from afar and you see him through the eyes of the media that can pick and choose the moments that they want to show, you don't get a true portrait of the person that he is. I think he is a wonderful person."


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