Atlanta Falcons React To Loss of Michael Vick

Michael VickFrom yesterday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“To me … he needs to worry about his life,” said Dunn, who keeps in regular contact with Vick. “As an ex-teammate, right now he definitely wants the guys on this football team to move on and move forward. You can’t stay in a certain place. He expects us to go out and play hard. Do we wish he was here? Of course but he circumstances say otherwise.”

“Mike and I came in at the same time so I think I’m a relevant source,” said Crumpler, who was selected in the second round of the 2001 draft, a round later than Vick. “Mike’s very human. This whole ordeal has kind of dehumanized him the last couple months. He is hurting. I do know that. He’ll have to get through this. Who knows that the future is going to hold but I myself am not going to judge the man.

“Our team definitely has to deal with it and we’re going to deal with it. I can’t say what our future record’s going to be. To me, that doesn’t matter. What matters is we come in, do what we’re suppose to do, play hard and we build on this process. It’s not going to be an easy process. It’s not been an easy process for myself. It’s not been an easy process for my teammates.

“There is no blueprint for this. This is, by far, one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to witness and read about and have it affect my teammates on a daily basis.”

“Our stance as a team has been to support Mike but to stay together as a team,” Harrington said. “The team has done a very good job, and the organization, of being very open and honest from the beginning. We’ve fielded all questions and we’ve been able to stay together as a team and move on because of that.”

Petrino, who took the Falcons’ job in January, has a short history with Vick but in the time they spent together at mini camps and offseason workouts, he said he grew to admire Vick and his work ethic. Petrino said he wasn’t mad with Vick or upset that he probably won’t ever get to coach him.

“I’ve got a lot of emotions going on but the hardest thing for me is in the time period I worked with Michael he gave us everything that he had,” Petrino said. “He was at every meeting, in every workout, he spent extra time on his own. So I’m disappointed in the entire situation, no question about that.”

Brooking said keeping the team focused is a challenge — but it’s also a must.

“We have the leaders to realize that no matter what comes our way we have to move forward and keep those blinders on,” Brooking said. “We owe it to [owner Arthur] Blank, coach Petrino, this man sitting here beside me (Dunn) and we owe it to our fans to move forward.”

The consensus seems to be disappointment combined with the need to move on.  I couldn’t agree more.

More on the Vick situation after the jump.

There’s been a lot of discussion on the internet and on tv about whether Vick should be banned from the NFL for life. 

Some have been quick to defend Vick’s right to play once he has served whatever jail time he ends up getting sentenced to (some have even defended what he did, period).  I’m going to agree with them to a limited extent.  I think that once Vick serves his jail time (plus I would say some additional NFL suspension time), he should be allowed to play NFL football again.

 That is, if anybody wants him.  I don’t want him in Atlanta, and I’m quite sure the organization agrees after what he has put them through. 

 What do you guys think?  Should Vick play in the NFL again?  Would you ever want him to play for the Falcons again?