As former Falcons QB Michael Vick looks forward to his release from prison, he finds himself with a pretty big fan – that being Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Speaking at the owners meetings in California, Tomlin said that he supports Vick, and that he would like to see Vick back on the playing field if he gets reinstated by the league.
Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting and gambling charges, and has not played in the NFL since the 2006 season.
“Once the commissioner makes his decision on whether Michael Vick can come back, I think anybody who is interested in competing would be interested in him,” Tomlin said of Vick. “Whether or not I’m interested in him is another thing. I’ve got a quarterback. But I think, boy, we’re awful quick to judge.
“I thought the basis of our country was built on second chances and redemption. This guy pays his debt to society and he’s reinstated by [NFL] Commissioner [Roger] Goodell, he deserves an opportunity to right some of the things he has done wrong.”
It will be interesting to see where Vick ends up, as it is going to take some team a lot of guts to sign him. There will for sure be backlash from groups like PETA, but Tomlin says that people should remember that we all make mistakes and that those types of groups should do the same.
“I understand it’s going to be hard, but what I’m saying is that maybe it shouldn’t be. Those without sin cast the first stone, if you know what I mean?” Tomlin said. “The reality is that this young man went to prison and paid his debt to society and if the commissioner deems him worthy of a second chance, who are we to pass judgment?”
The Falcons had been trying to find a team willing to make a trade for Vick, but had not found any takers, meaning that if he does find himself able to play again someday, he’ll probably be released and then able to play for a team that would be willing to take a chance on him.