QB scramble: Pats prep for Vick, Young

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
2:00
PM ET
AP Photo/Rich SchultzThe Patriots will prep for both Philadelphia quarterbacks: Michael Vick and Vince Young.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For the second straight week, the Patriots will face hurdles in keying in on the opposition's signal-caller.

With Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (ribs) held out of practice Wednesday and his status for Sunday's game uncertain, New England will be forced to prep for both him and backup Vince Young. Last week, after Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel injured his throwing hand, New England was forced to scout both Kansas City backups Tyler Palko (a southpaw who made his first NFL start) and rookie righty Ricky Stanzi.

"Both of them are great players," Patriots cornerback Antwaun Molden said of Young and Vick. "You know Vince, [2006] Rookie of the Year and he still has that talent. Both of them can run and pass, and both of them have strong arms."

Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington cautioned that the differences between Vick and Young run deeper than their throwing arm.

"They are not the same player at all," said Arrington. "Vick has good arm and he's a little bit faster, a little more dangerous running the ball. Young, he did a good job managing the game [in last week's win over the Giants] and had a heck of a drive at the end there. We just have to be ready, study a lot this week -- put in good preparation and try to come out and execute."

Asked if last week's quarterback preparation gives New England any sort of a head start, especially with a short week this time around, Molden said it just comes down to squeezing in that extra film work.

"It's the same approach -- you have to make yourself familiar with any unfamiliar guy with extra film and studying," he said.

During a conference call with the New England media on Wednesday, Reid noted that Vick remains day-to-day with the hope he can practice later this week.

"He won't practice today and then we'll just take it day-by-day, see how it goes here," said Reid. "Vince will take reps and we'll see how [Vick is] doing tomorrow. He threw yesterday and [will do a] little more as we go on here."

Asked about Young's performance in last week's win over the Giants, Reid said his backup settled in after a rocky (and rusty) start.

"He started off a little bit slow, it felt like he was getting used to the speed of the game -- it's a little different than going against the scout team, or being part of the scout team," said Reid. "He progressively got better and settled down."

On Tuesday, Belichick said the Patriots would prepare for the entire depth chart, including third-stringer Mike Kafka.

"Again, we have to be ready for every player that's on the roster, even whoever is in the game to start the game we all know that could be a different player on the second or some other play of the game," said Belichick. "We’ll prepare for all three quarterbacks and maybe later in the week we’ll be able to zero in more on one than another. We need to be ready for all of them anyway, especially the two that played the most here -- Young and Vick. Both can run, have good scrambling ability, both have real big arms, can throw the ball down the field as far as they need to. Both guys have done the things offensively that you need to do to be productive and win – make decisions, key pass plays on third down in the red area, scramble and get out of trouble, play-action and so forth. I think they’re both good – whichever one we get, we get. We’ll have to defend based on right-handed, left-handed, but I don’t think there is a big play preference for one over the other. I’d say it’s minimal at best, that they run their offense and both guys do a good job of it. Both guys have been productive and they have a lot of weapons to utilize and they do a good job of getting them the ball. We’ll hopefully be ready for all the players."

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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