Falcons Try to Move On
The Atlanta Falcons still have Michael Vick on their roster. But with the quarterback's guilty plea in his federal dogfighting case now entered, the team plans to do its best to try to put Vick out of mind as well as out of sight.
"We have to move on with our football team," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said during a news conference Monday. "We cannot handcuff our team, our coaches, our general manager for an extended period of time. We must allow them to operate and make decisions with an eye on the future without a cloud of uncertainty over them. We're putting the emotions, the shock, the disappointment, the anger and the once-held hope that this was not true behind us. Our players and our coaches have done a great job of that. It's time for us to follow their lead, for all of us to follow their lead, in that regard. We have a resilient and incredibly focused group of young men on our team, players that are committed to winning, who have conducted a very productive training camp amid a great number of distractions. I can assure you they're doing all they can possibly do to make this season a success. They need the continued support of everyone in our organization and of our fans."
Team president Rich McKay echoed the theme.
"We're coming to the end of this phase of the situation," McKay said. "For us, it's critical that we as an organization, and specifically Arthur and myself and all of our associates, support our football team and do what's important for them, which is create an environment in which they can focus on football. I think Coach [Bobby] Petrino and his staff have done a really good job of doing that. If you've come out to our training camp, if you've seen our guys, they've been very focused amid... a lot of attention. I really give them credit for that. Today what we're tying to do is close that chapter in discussing this matter and move forward and try to focus on football."
By Mark Maske |
August 28, 2007; 9:56 AM ET
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