ATLANTA West Coast offense won't hinder Vick
But the standout quarterback will take it easy in the preseason.
ATLANTA (AP) -- Michael Vick insists the West Coast offense suits him perfectly.
Fans who worry the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback will hesitate to scramble this year should read nothing into the 9-yard sack that sent him to the sideline after just three plays in a 24-0 preseason loss at Baltimore on Thursday night.
Vick handed off twice to Warrick Dunn before Will Demps blitzed through a huge hole created when left guard Michael Moore missed a blocking assignment. Demps ran at him so quickly that Vick just tucked the ball and prepared to hit the wet grass.
Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp had called a screen pass to Vick's right.
"That won't happen in San Francisco. Trust me," Vick said after the game. "I'm not trying to break off big runs in the preseason. That's not going to do me or the offense any good."
When the regular season begins Sept. 12 against the 49ers, Vick insists he will run when necessary -- whether by design or because of defensive pressure. He agreed with new coach Jim Mora that the Falcons had little to gain if he took more snaps against Baltimore's 3-4 front.
"You'll see more of me next week," he said, looking ahead to a Friday home date with Minnesota. "We'll do different things."
Playing it safe
The Ravens broke Vick's right leg in a preseason game last year and ruined Atlanta's season. Without the dazzling starter who set four NFL records for rushing by a quarterback in 2002, the Falcons went 2-10.
Mora, the former San Francisco defensive coordinator, took over as coach seven months ago and brought Knapp, his close friend, with him. Knapp joined the 49ers' staff in 1995 and worked the last three years as coordinator.
Their plan called for Vick to play just one series.
"We were not going to put him back out there," Mora said. "That's when you run into problems. Because when you tell a player that he's done, their mindset changes completely. I was teasing him and Warrick there in the fourth quarter. They were saying, 'I can't believe you're getting goose-egged in your first game as a head coach.' I said, 'Yeah, I'm thinking of putting you guys back out there. Go get your shoulder pads and score some points, will you? It was a typical preseason game. Unfortunately, it was not the result we wanted."
Mora understands the value of giving Vick more time to execute a new offense in game situations, but the Ravens offered a poor matchup.
"We've just got to be smart as a staff, No. 1 about how much we play him and No. 2 about how we play him," Mora said. "What types of plays we ask him to run in the preseason -- we're not going to play scared. We're not going to baby him, but we're going to be smart about how we use him. That's what every team's doing with their quarterback."
A Pro Bowl selection as a first-time, full-season starter two years ago, Vick led the Falcons to the second round of the playoffs. He put a nice touch on a miserable season last year by leading Atlanta to a 3-1 record in December.
Rookie Matt Schaub replaced Vick and completed 12 of 24 passes for 108 yards and two interceptions.
"I told Matt things like this happen to you," Vick said. "It's how you bounce back from it, whether you're a player who can recover from tough stuff or just go into a hole. Matt's the type of guy I think that can bounce back."