|ESPN.com: NFC East||[Print without images]|
|Michael Vick's play-making skills are particularly valuable to Marty Mornhinweg.|
"As a West Coast passer in Atlanta, Vick was forced to play Joe Montana's game: short, perfectly timed tosses. It didn't work. He never completed more than 56.4 percent of his passes and never averaged more than 7.2 yards per attempt. In short, he was ineffective and inefficient, which meant constant criticism. But when Vick took over in September, ability met opportunity. Mornhinweg's style matched Vick's strengths. During the season, Vick averaged at least 7 yards per pass in all but three of his games. His re-energized career culminated in a 20-for-28, 333-yard, 11.3-yards-per-attempt win over the Redskins on 'Monday Night Football' -- a career outing.
Mornhinweg's belief in YPA is similar to Belichick's reliance on tackles per play. It gives you specific, tangible data of what you can expect on each snap. It's a quarterback-driven league, and you can't win if you can't throw. Of course, not every pass will be caught, but you have to keep throwing. And that's why YPA is important: It shows the exact amount of real estate gobbled up on each pass called, not each pass completed.
As a playcaller, it helps Mornhinweg play the odds. 'You need big plays,' he says. 'You need touchdown plays. And then, the winning occurs. It all equals out at some point.'"