I wouldn’t say that the Atlanta Falcons should be breathing a sigh of relief, but they should feel a little better after watching the replacement for Michael Vick play rather well in his first preseason outing. That someone was quarterback Joey Harrington, who was the starter in the Falcons 31-16 loss to the Jets at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on Friday night. The score didn’t matter, but what did was Harrington, who played well in his first start since being thrown into the starting job for Vick, who will be going on trial in November for dog fighting charges.
The numbers on Harrington, who was once the third pick of the draft – 6-of-9 for 88 yards. His best throw was a completion that covered 37 yards to Dwayne Blakley that came when Harrington was able to get out of the pocket and avoid the rush – just like Vick. “Joey was on point,” receiver Joe Horn said. “He was on top of his game and that impressed me. He knew the defenses and he had great timing with the receivers.”
Harrington led the Falcons first team offense on an impressive eight-play, 82-yard drive that chewed up close to 4 minutes and ended with a TD run from second year back Jerious Norwood. “I think our offensive execution went pretty well,” Head Coach Bobby Petrino said. “We had a long field to try to move the ball at times. Our special teams have to do a better job of giving us better field position. We moved the ball well on the touchdown drive. I think Joey did a nice job running the offense and moving the ball down the field.”
So while it’s just one game, and there’s a long way to go for Harrington and the Falcons offense, they can take a lot of positives out of Friday night. And for one night at least, Falcons fans can once again sleep easy knowing the QB position is in good hands.
Click Below to hear Falcons coach Bobby Petrino’s Comments on Harrington: