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Raiders players comments on Vick (1 Viewer)



Raiders fans who hoped to see Michael Vick playing for the Atlanta Falcons today at the Oakland Coliseum obviously won't get their wish. However, several of Vick's former teammates embrace the prospect of Vick joining the Raiders after his release from Leavenworth Prison in Kansas.

"You can just imagine what it would be like," said Raiders fullback Justin Griffith, a teammate of Vick's from 2003-06. "But until he gets out and we actually get him up in here and we see how he is as a player, it's all up to Mike and it's all up to (Al) Davis.

"Would we like to see it? Yes. Would it add a whole lot to your offense? Yes, it would, man, but until it happens, you just imagine how it is."

Vick starred at quarterback for the Falcons from 2001-06. He directed the Falcons to an upset playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in 2002, to the NFC championship game two seasons later, and he set an NFL record for quarterbacks by rushing for 1,039 yards in 2006.

Yet Vick wasn't quite as elusive as everyone thought, or, perhaps, he thought.

In July 2007, Virginia authorities did what so many defenders failed to do. They sacked Vick. He and three others were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of sponsoring a dog-fighting operation.

Vick and his cohorts were charged with competitive dog-fighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines. The dogs that belonged to

"Bad Newz Kennels," according to the indictment, were housed, trained and fought at a property owned by Vick.

Vick was sentenced to 23 months in Leavenworth and three years' probation. He is scheduled for early release in July, though he could be admitted to a halfway house as early as January.

So the time is nearing when Vick will be out of prison and in search of NFL employment, provided Commissioner Roger Goodell approves Vick's expected application for reinstatement and the Falcons resolve Vick's contract situation. Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a recent interview that he supports Vick returning to the NFL, just not with the Falcons.

Vick, 28, did not respond to requests for an interview for this story.

Because Vick remains under contract to the Falcons, Raiders coaches and front-office employees aren't allowed to comment about the prospect of him coming to Oakland. But Raiders wide receiver Ashley Lelie said there's only one place for Vick to go.

"You have to sign him if you're the Raiders," said Lelie, Vick's teammate in 2006. "Trust me, I've played against him before. You don't want him on the other team. I've seen what he can do."

Lelie said it boggles the mind to imagine the wrinkles the Raiders could install in their offense with JaMarcus Russell, Vick and Darren McFadden on the field at the same time.

Lelie, Griffith and cornerback DeAngelo Hall, also a former teammate of Vick's, believe in Vick's character, work ethic, dedication and repentance over his transgression.

"After talking to Mike, he definitely knows what's happening," Hall said. "He has a family, kids, fiancee. He definitely wised up and got those riff-raffs away from him. He knows who his true friends are. He'll move on and go from there."

Said Griffith: "If you look around the league right now, you don't see a whole lot of Mike Vicks out there. You see good football players, but the things that he did when he was active in the league, it makes you shake your head, man, like, 'Wow.' "... I just hope that we get a chance to get him."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement from Lelie and Griffiths of the franchise QB they have behind center right now.

Sorry, but I think Russell gives them a better chance of long term success than Vick.


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