After spending Monday in the meeting room, quarterback Mike Vick got the chance to hit the practice field on Tuesday in preparation for starting against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night at Heinz Field.
"It felt good," said Vick. "Just being out there having the chance to work with the guys that I am going to be out there with on Thursday. Trying to build some chemistry, get on the same page. I think we had a pretty good practice. There are still some things to learn. I can't wait to go watch the film and just get a chance to get some good studying tonight."
Vick came in against the Rams last week after Ben Roethlisberger suffered an MCL sprain, and will be the starter until Roethlisberger is healthy again. While Vick would welcome a full week to prepare for the Ravens, he also welcomes the challenge that faces him.
"It's tough but as a professional you have to find a way to get it done," said Vick. "That's what you sign up for when you play in this league. I certainly signed the dotted line with the contract about a month ago. I am just going to prepare for it the best way I can and try to do everything I can to help this football team win."
Vick signed with the Steelers on Aug. 25 after Bruce Gradkowski suffered a dislocated finger that required season-ending surgery, and it was the perfect opportunity for him.
"Everything happens for a reason," said Vick. "I just stayed optimistic and tried to stay in shape, kept the faith, kept believing. This is what I love to do, so I continue to work hard at it. As a quarterback, there's always room for progress. You can only regress if you allow yourself to. I'm just trying to make strides in every area of my game.
"It's a great opportunity for me, because I don't know if I will have this opportunity ever again. Just a month ago I was waiting to sign with a team. Now I feel like I have a chance to go out and play freely and enjoy the game, enjoy this moment and being out there with my teammates. God has put this in front of me and it's up to me to handle it like a professional. This is something I look forward to doing."
More from Vick:
On how much it will help that he talked to offensive coordinator Todd Haley and let him know what he likes:I think it will help tremendously. The coaches don't want me to try to go out there and do it all. We have guys who are very talented and can make a lot of plays. It's not for me to try to go out and win the game by myself. I have to eliminate all of the things and plays I'm not comfortable with as of now. We have a ton of them and a ton of good ones. Maybe, there's a ton of ones I'm not comfortable with. That's for me to decipher. I think that's just taking care of business and Todd making sure I'm comfortable.**
On what the Steelers do that is in his wheelhouse:**
"If I tell you that, I'll be giving away the game plan. You can't change everything in one week. You kind of have to just go with what you have. I have to use what I've learned so far. I can't go out there and try to improvise in a short week and change things around. We have a ton of good things in our offense, and we just have to go out there and work."
On his ability to run:
"My legs feel good. They saw the couple of times I took off in the preseason when I first got here. I had a couple of scrambles in practice, and I can still move a little bit, which is a blessing. I think at age 35 to still be as quick as I am is a credit to the hard work I put into the offseason. I'm just trying to keep my body in tip-top shape. I know that's an asset for me and I have to continue to use it."
On if this offense is the most talented one he has been a part of:"This is definitely a talented group all across the board. I've played with some talented guys and this ranks among the top. It's just a great team overall. The offense has clicked in almost every game it has played in from preseason on. They do a great job of staying on the same page, and I think that credit goes to Ben Roethlisberger."
On how beneficial it would be to have Ben on the sidelines:
"It would be great to have Ben there, Bruce Gradkowski there and Landry Jones there. All of those guys are so knowledgeable about the game of football and know so much. This is Ben's system and he has pretty much built it himself, so he can give me a lot of insight on what I need to do. He can help me put things together. It's not easy and you need all the help you can get. Ben has been a great teammate."
On gaining the respect the team has for Ben in three days:
"Three days for me is a little different. Guys have been encouraging me to go out there and be myself, just play the game, have fun and play to win. They know the position I'm in and they know it's fairly early for me. I'm confident in myself and what we are doing. I like our game plan. I've been up for two days studying, so I should be good to go."
On developing chemistry with Antonio Brown:
"It's kind of hard to do in three days. We talked through a lot of different looks. I just have to go back and watch film, the way he runs routes and the positions he's going to be in at certain times. It's hard to do in three days, but the good thing is we had today to go out and look at some things. I feel good about where we are at. You have to find ways to get the ball into the hands of 84. He's a dynamic player and works extremely hard at his craft. He wants to be the best at what he does. That goes a long way. You have to reward guys like that, because they deserve it. They go out there and work hard for it. I think he has put himself in a position where this team has absolute trust in him to put the ball in his hands. I have to find a way to get the ball into his hands on Thursday."
On if confidence was ever an issue:"No. Confidence is never an issue with me. As long as I can put that helmet and shoulder pads on and have knowledge of what we are doing, confidence will never be an issue."