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Different approaches

Vick sticks to interviews, Brees doing it all at Combine

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Posted: Saturday February 24, 2001 5:41 PM

  Michael Vick Michael Vick will concentrate on his individual workouts for scouts next month. Scott Halleran/Allsport

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Virginia Tech's Michael Vick, touted by many as the top pick in the April draft, and Purdue's Drew Brees are taking opposite roads to the NFL.

Both quarterbacks are attending the NFL combine this weekend, but Vick has decided he won't do the drills or workout for the scouts and coaches assembled to evaluate those hoping to play in the league next season.

Brees, meanwhile, said Saturday he would do everything he is asked to do to build his stock.

Vick's quickness and agility made him one of the most exciting players in college football the past two seasons. He is moving to the NFL after leading the Hokies to 11-1 records each year.

He said he's confident in his ability to play in the NFL after only two seasons of collegiate competition.

But Vick, who like Brees measured below what NFL scouts are currently seeking in a quarterback at 6-foot, said he was surprised at some of the testing that goes on at the combine, where players have their intelligence, physical condition and mental attitude checked.

"I didn't think there was this much to play in the NFL," said Vick, who weighed in at 210 pounds. "My entire life I only wanted to make it to the NFL. I never said I wanted to be the first pick, all I wanted was a chance."

But, the scouts will have to travel to Blacksburg, Va., to evaluate his skills first-hand on March 22.

A time of 4.20 seconds in the 40 yards, along with a quick release, makes him an attractive prospect for teams seeking help at quarterback. He had interviews with Seattle and Chicago coaches Friday night and planned to talk with San Diego, New England and Atlanta coaches Saturday night.

"That will be it," said Vick, who led Division I-A in passing efficiency and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting as a freshman when he led the Hokies to an 11-0 regular season finish and a berth in the Sugar Bowl against Florida State for the national championship.

The Hokies lost to the Seminoles, 46-29, in that game, but Vick captured the nation's attention as he totaled 322 yards against Florida State's highly touted defense.

A severely sprained right ankle limited his last season. But he finished his career named the Hokies' most valuable player in a 41-20 win over Clemson in the 2001 Gator Bowl when he threw for 205 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 19 more and another touchdown.
 Drew Brees Drew Brees is hoping to overcome questions about his size ... again. Stephen Dunn/Allsport  

He finished his college career with 3,074 yards passing and 20 touchdowns, plus 1,202 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns.

Vick insisted he wasn't thinking about where he might play next season.

"The only think I can do is continue to move forward, play it by ear. In the draft, you never know what's going to happen," Vick said. "I'm not going to be worried about where I'm going to go. Once you start to do that, it brings in a lot of distraction."

Brees finished his career with Big Ten records for pass attempts (1,639), completions (1,003), passing yards (11,517), touchdown passes (88) and total offense (12,442 yards). He finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting as a senior when he led the Boilermakers to their first Rose Bowl appearance in 34 years.

Yet he knows the one number factor on the minds of the scouts is that he measured only a quarter of an inch above six feet on Saturday.

That's why he decided to do whatever he could here to impress NFL personnel.

"I have come so far from high school to college, physically and mentally," said Brees, a former Texas high school star who was ignored by the collegiate football powers in his state because of his lack of height. "The jump to the NFL, I feel that I've prepared myself pretty well for that.

"I think I've prepared myself well for this combine, the workouts," said Brees, who met with Seattle coach Mike Holmgren on Friday.

"It went very well," Brees said of the meeting. "We didn't really get into depth. Mike Holmgren is known as a quarterback guru, with the West Coast offense out there, I think that would be a great fit for me."

And Brees had a message for the league.

"Look beyond the height," he said. "If there's one thing you'd want every team to know about is that I'm a competitor."


 
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