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September 06, 2001 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-06

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The Michigan Daily - SportsThursday - September 6, 2001- 9B

Chandler or Vick? Take your pick
Chandler is Atlanta's starter, but the former Hokie will get a chance

- Michael Vick wants to put a
ple of issues to rest.
He doesn't care whether he's.
Mike or Michael - and Chris
dler is the quarterback for the A
"I don't think I'm going to
this week," the NFL's No. 1 draf
said. "Chris is the starter. It
team. My time is up now that th
season is over."
Well, that's not how coach
Reeves looks at the situatio'
made it clear that Vick will p
Sunday's opener against San Fr
co - the only question is how r
"We will definitely use himi
game," Reeves said. "I have an
but we won't talk about it."
When told of Reeves' com
Vick smiled. "Oh, well, never
The only thing I can do is pr
myself for whenever I go i
game, do the things I'm capat
Reeves, one of the league's
open coaches, doesn't want the
to know what the rookie might4
he took the unusual step of re
ing the media of the rules for
ing practice.
"You guys can watch practic
what you see in practice, don't
it," Reeves said. "Whatever yc
in practice, just keep it that way.
Certainly, the coach is floatip
idea that while Chandler i
starter, Vick is going to play a
role before this season is do
with a few trick plays thrown ir
"What we want to do is hop
increase that learning curve o
being able to get on the field
he is more comfortable and yi
disrupt the flow of the game
being fair to Chris so that Chris
n't lose the flow of the gz
Reeves said. "That is a difficult
to do, but we are going to try it.
The Falcons have too much i
ed in Vick - a $62 million c
and hope for improving the
chise's sorry image - to let hi
guish on the bench all year.
"We're going to see how it
because 1 do think that he can
op faster that way," Reeve
"Also, his skills present dif
problems for a defense?'
Chandler rarely scrambles,i
hanging in the pocket until tl
possible second. That stylec
has made him one of the more
-plagued quarterbacks in the N
*Vick, on the other hand, ha
timed at 4.24 seconds in the 4
dash - faster than most re(

t pick
's his
e pre-
n. He
lay in
in the
n the
do, so

and backs. During the preseason, he
averaged 12.4 yards on seven carries,
a tantalizing change of pace to. the
slow-footed Chandler.
"Michael is learning the system
and I'm sure there's a possibility he's
being taught a few special plays,"
San Francisco coach Steve Mariucci
said. "We've got to prepare for both."
Reeves scoffed at the idea that
Vick will be given a bunch of new
plays for his pro debut.
"If you're a rookie and the biggest
thing you have to do is know what to
do, then I'd say the chances of us
doing something he didn't ado in the
preseason are slim," the coach said.
"He has enough things going through
his mind without us all of a sudden
putting in something he is totally
unfamiliar with."
Chandler, who was in the same sit-
uation at Houston in 1995-96 when
the Oilers drafted Steve McNair, is a
bit uncomfortable. about the idea of
having to sacrifice playing time.
"I never want to come off the field,

but Dan will do what he thinks is
best for the team," Chandler said.
"I've been in this game long enough
that it takes an awful lot to disrupt
The rest of the Falcons are eager to
see how it all plays out.
"Everybody wants to see Michael
Vick," cornerback Ray Buchanan
said. "I'm not just talking about his
teammates, the organization, the
fans. People outside the state want to
see him, too. The pressure is on Dan
Reeves to utilize this kid and get him
on the field with all the ability he
When Vick does get on the field,
should he be called Mike or
The issue has gone back and forth
throughout the preseason, with Vick
at times expressing a preference to be
called Mike. Now, he says, either
name will do.
"It doesn't matter," he said. "Call
me anything you want. People will
know who I am."

QB Pride: The last five QB's taken No. 1
Tim Couch, 1999 - The Kentucky graduate was taken by the
expansion Cleveland Browns and has taken over as the starter.
Peyton Manning, 1998- The gun-slinging quarterback from Ten-
nessee was selected by the Indianapolis Colts, and has already
been to two Pro Bowls.
Drew Bledsoe, 1993 - Took the Washington State passing attack
to new heights before being drafted by the New England Patriots. He
still starts for the Patriots and has been to three Pro Bowls.
Jeff George, 1990 - Also drafted by Indianapolis, George will
start for the Washington Redskins this season.
Troy Aikman, 1989 - Became a hero in Dallas after taking over
a mediocre team following his signing. Went to six Pro Bowls and
won three Super Bowls before retiring.

Atlanta fans can hardly wait for the electric Vick. PHOTO

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