NFL: Petrino to build balalnce with Vick, Falcons

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 8, 2007

Associated Press

The NFL notebook …

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Bobby Petrino will have an impact on Michael Vick and the Falcons. Just ask team owner Arthur Blank.

Blank sees Petrino, who was hired away from the University of Louisville, “as a difference-maker.”

“Bobby knows how to motivate,” Blank said Monday. “He knows how to teach. He knows how to get the best out of his athletes. … He’ll push Michael Vick to higher levels.”

The Falcons, first in the league in rushing but last in passing, ranked 25th in scoring in their disappointing 7-9 season that cost third-year coach Jim Mora his job.

Vick made history this season as the first quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards. He also passed for a career-high 20 touchdowns, but his 13 interceptions, 52.7 completion percentage and 75.7 quarterback rating were indicators he had not made satisfactory progress as a passer.

“This is my first day on the job,” added Petrino, who said he had not yet talked with Vick. “I’m really looking forward to getting to know him and watching him and developing and working at it. We haven’t been able to get out on the field yet. We haven’t been able to get in the video room yet. But I know he’s a great quarterback and a great competitor.”

CHOW, CARDINALS

TEMPE, Ariz. — Norm Chow became the seventh candidate to be interviewed for the Arizona Cardinals’ coaching job, and expressed great interest in a potential reunion with quarterback Matt Leinart.

Leinart even dropped by for lunch while Chow was meeting with Cardinals ownership and front office personnel on Monday.

“Obviously I have a real fondness for Matt,” Chow said after his interview. “We were together for all three years that I was at USC. He’s a very unique young man. I think he’s a very special young man, and in time he’s going to be a premier quarterback in the National Football League.”

PATRIOTS

FOXBOROUGH, Mass — When Tom Brady was overlooked in the Pro Bowl voting, his reaction demonstrated exactly what he is all about.

“There’s only one bowl I’m interested in and it’s not the Pro Bowl,” he said.

After Sunday’s win over the New York Jets, New England’s star quarterback is two wins away from getting back to that “Bowl” for the fourth time. He’s 3-0 in the Super Bowl and now is 11-1 in playoff games, the main reason the lowest-seeded team of the four left in the AFC might be the scariest.

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