Michael Vick will be making a homecoming of sorts this Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles square off against the Atlanta Falcons. For those who remember, Vick started his career with the Falcons before a dog fighting scandal derailed his career for a few years.
Former Falcons head coach Dan Reeves was at the helm when Vick was drafted number one overall in 2001. Reeves had been accused of holding Vick back in his formative years in the NFL. Vick had been accused of ending Reeves' coaching life in Atlanta.
Even though Reeves was burned by Vick, an article in the Philadelphia Daily News indicates that the two are friendly with each other and send each other text messages. Reeves had some things to say about Vick and the Falcons organization. He feels that in Vick's darkest moment that the Falcons turned their back on him.
“When Mike really needed them they turned their back on him in my opinion,” said Reeves. “They could have been a big supporter and they let him go. I think it could have been handled differently.
“I wasn’t there so I don’t know the organization’s standpoint, but I thought they could have been more supportive and instead they severed ties with him.”
Vick doesn't see it that way and has accepted full responsiblity for his actions. Falcons owner Arthur Blank felt that Vick brought it upon himself, but yet lobbied for Vick to get a second chance in the NFL.
“He has let down his fans and his team. He has damaged the reputation of our club and the entire National Football League, and betrayed the trust of many people,” said Falcons owner Arthur Blank in the summer of 2007.
“Only he can answer why he did what he did. At the end of the day he put himself in this position, and the responsibility for doing so rests on his shoulders.”
Vick says he still has respect for Blank, which proves that he harbors no ill feelings about the way the whole ordeal was handled by the Falcons.
“I’m pretty sure every guy in that organization has the utmost respect for him, and I still do,” said Vick of Blank. “I always wish him nothing but the best. I still care about him and I love him unconditionally, and it will always be that way.”
My personal opinion about what Reeves said is that Blank tried to stand by Vick as long as he could. Vick still respects Blank for treating him more like a family member than an employee. When a family member does something wrong, you still support them but in different ways. Blank supported Vick by telling league officials that he should get a second chance, he just couldn't stand by him with the dogfighting scandal hanging over his head.