Last week was like a fire drill for quarterback Mike Vick, trying to fully learn the Steelers offense and run the game plan with only three days to prepare.
This week is almost luxurious, coming off the Thursday night game and headed into a Monday night contest with plenty of time to prepare.
"I feel so much better just having more time to practice, more time to build chemistry and learn the offense," said Vick. "These days are valuable. I am trying to take advantage of them from start to finish. It's been a very productive two days and I look forward to the next two days."
Vick's life right now is pretty much centered around getting the game plan down for Monday's game against the Chargers. He said his family is not currently in town, so even when he leaves the team's practice facility, it's all about football.
"You have to put a lot of time into it, but I don't have anything else to do," said Vick. "I am here, my family is back in Florida. It's strictly football. I like it like this. It gives me a chance to get everything in order and help this team and serve my purpose."
The biggest challenge for Vick is learning the new terminology. Every offense is different, and he hasn't been in one that has used the type of terminology the Steelers use.
"The terminology is completely different," said Vick. "It's nothing I have ever heard before. It's all different. That is just one aspect of what I have to learn. I still have to learn the concepts, the hots, and the protections. It's constant work. It's a grind, it's definitely a mental challenge. I have been through this phase before so I know what it's like. I am getting more comfortable so it's a good thing.
"Just learning a new system in general is tough. They are so far along, so advanced with what they are doing with Todd (Haley) and Ben (Roethlisberger) and what they have been able to implement. It is a great offense, but it takes some work and time to learn. I am piecing it together every day like a puzzle. Every day I study two to three hours then visualize in my mind. It's working for me now."
The Steelers prepare for the week 5 contest against the San Diego Chargers.
While Vick has to adjust to the new offense, his receivers have to adjust to catching passes from a left handed quarterback, and the fact that the spin of the ball if different. He said there really are no tips he can give the receivers, it's just all about practicing, something that normally would occur during OTAs but being signed in the preseason didn't allow for that.
"We are pressed for it so we have to cram everything in," said Vick.
"Everybody in this locker room is a professional. We understand what it takes. We want to be great so we are going to do whatever needs to be done.
"I repeatedly get the ball in their hands, whether it's short throws, long throws, or different spin. It's all about them doing it from a physical standpoint. We play catch and that's just as important."