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Michael Vick Preparing for His First Game as Fill-In for Big Ben

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to face AFC North rivals the Baltimore Ravens on NFL Thursday Night Football without their star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Big Ben injured his medial collateral ligament in Sunday’s 12-6 win over the St. Louis Rams. He is expected to be sidelined between 4 and 6 weeks.

The Steelers are now turning to 35-year old veteran quarterback Michael Vick to be their signal caller.

Vick started three games last season for the New York Jets and played extensively in two others.

Since the beginning of last season, Roethlisberger has been amongst the best NFL quarterback, ranking fourth overall in the league.

Amongst the 44 quarterbacks that have a minimum of 100 pass attempts the past two seasons, Vick is the worst.

During Week 3 of the 2004 NFL season, Roethlisberger took over the starting quarterback spot for Pittsburgh. Since that time, he has missed 16 Pittsburgh games with the Steelers going 9-7 over that stretch.

Each time Big Ben has missed at least four games in one season, Pittsburgh has reached the Super Bowl.

Since Big Ben arrived, he has a record of 1-7 in career games versus Baltimore. The remainder of quarterbacks for the Steelers, to start a game versus the Ravens are just 1-6.

Charlie Batch was Roethlisberger’s backup for seven seasons and was 6-3 in his nine games starting.

Vick is not happy that Big Ben is sidelined, but he is relishing his chance to start as he sees it as possibly being his last opportunity to do so.

He claims his legs are still quick and he is able to move around in the pocket.

On Monday, Vick met with Todd Haley the Steelers offensive coordinator for a number of hours to go over the team’s game plan for Thursday.

Haley said afterwards he was impressed with the knowledge Vick has of their system.

On Tuesday, Roethlisberger said the organization brought Vick in for his experience and with everyone around him doing their job the team will be just fine.

Vick said he learned a great deal last season filling in for Jets starter Geno Smith. He had never backed up anyone prior to that season but now he knows what it is like.

With Pittsburgh Vick will have strong playmakers in running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown to get the ball to.

Vick said he will go out, be himself, have some fun and do all he can to help beat the Ravens. His new Steelers teammates know they will have to step up, but are prepared to keep their season intact while Big Ben is recovering on the sidelines.

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