<
>

Michael Vick says he took scout team for granted last week


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets backup quarterback Michael Vick admitted that he should’ve taken his scout team snaps more seriously before Sunday's game in San Diego, which might have made him ill-prepared to face the Chargers.

Vick was ineffective after entering the game in the second half in relief of ineffective starter Geno Smith, going 8-for-20 passing for 47 yards. The Chargers walloped the Jets 31-0.

“I felt like I, for some reason, being a quarterback in his 12th year, sometimes you to take things for granted,” Vick said Wednesday. “I think I took the scout team for granted.”

Earlier Vick said, “Maybe I didn’t prepare or I wasn’t prepared, but let me tell you it won’t happen again.”

But later, he backtracked, saying, “I didn’t say I wasn’t ready because of the [scout team] snaps.”

Vick, a starter throughout his career up until recently, said he splits scout team reps with third-stringer Matt Simms.

“I mean, like I said, I’ve never been in this position before, so I try to let Matt Simms get as many reps as he can,” Vick said. “Being a young, growing quarterback, he’s trying to develop as well, and I understand how important it is for him, so we split reps and I still won’t be selfish in that regard. I’ll still allow Matt to get reps, and just take full advantage of mine and work on the small things, movement in the pocket, my presence, accuracy, everything the quarterback position entails.”

Vick, who hasn’t wanted to cause any sort of quarterback controversy, repeatedly making it clear that he signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Jets in the offseason to mentor Smith, said he learned his lesson about being ready to enter the game.

“I learned my lesson last week: Always stay ready, always be prepared,” Vick said. “This is the first time I’ve been in this position [backup quarterback] for this length of time, and to just get thrown out there last week, it was fun to go out there and play. But it left a bitter taste in my mouth that I wasn’t able to points on the board or even help this team in any fashion.”

Was Vick caught off guard when he had to go in with the Jets down 21-0?

“I wasn’t really caught off guard because I knew anything could happen, but yeah, coming out at the start of the second half and just knowing the sense of urgency that we needed, it didn’t help,” he said. “But at the same time, we’re professionals and we’ve gotta get it done somehow, someway -- at least that’s how I feel. I feel like obviously at the end of the day I can always do something to make a difference, and if I don’t I’m going to be very hard on myself so I can keep my competitive edge, so that will never change.”

Vick’s message to younger signal-callers?

“Never take the scout team for granted, so to all the young guys out there, don’t take that scout team for granted,” he said. “You better take every rep and get 100 percent out of it, and I’ll never do that again. Football is football.”