Welcome back, No. 7: Vick returns to Atlanta
“I’ve got to be locked in,” White said Wednesday, breaking into a hearty laugh. “This is a big game for us.”
No one is quite sure what kind of reception
Far from the spare part he is now, Vick was one of the league’s most dynamic players during his six years with the
Of course, there will likely be plenty of boos from fans still appalled at the heinous crimes he committed against animals and how much he hurt the franchise that gave him the richest contract in NFL history.
“I don’t really know what’s going to happen,” Vick said Wednesday at the
Back in 2007, on the very day Vick was sentenced to prison, the
White has no such plans for Sunday, and there’s been so much turnover on the
“I haven’t been thinking about it. It doesn’t matter to me,” said tight end
But Vick still has friends on the team, including White and another receiver,
“We’re always texting back and forth,” White said. “It’s more about life, what’s going on, things like that. It’s nothing football related.”
Have they exchange messages this week? Sure.
“I texted him and said, ‘I look forward to seeing you on Sunday,”‘ White said. “He told me, ‘Good luck, get out there and do your thing.’ I think I’m going to text him today and ask for the game plan.”
The receiver was only kidding, of course, but his feelings for Vick are genuine. He’s not defending what his former teammate did away from the field, only remembering the good times they had together.
“He welcomed me here, took me under his wing, got me the ball. How could I be mad at the guy?” White asked. “We’re cool, man. Right before he had to go off and do his thing (prison sentence), we used to hang out. We developed a great relationship. We’re still going to be friends, regardless of football.”
Vick also speaks from time to time with
“I’ll probably give him a call before I get down to Atlanta,” Vick said. “We still have that relationship. I always enjoy speaking with Mr. Blank. He’s a great guy. He’s awesome. He’s done a lot of great things for me, things I’ll never forget. He’s a special person, a person who holds a special place in my heart.”
Atlanta broke all ties with its former franchise player by drafting
In an interesting twist, Ryan won’t be playing Sunday because of a toe injury and Vick figures to get only a few plays for the
Vick would love a chance to make up for his last game at the Georgia Dome, which was Christmas Eve 2006. He had one of the worst games of his
But Vick knows he’s not likely to get on the field for more than a few snaps – quite a letdown for a guy who once dominated in the dome.
“This week is going to be a little tougher than average because I played in that stadium,” Vick said. “That’s where I started my career, and I have so many great memories.”
He no longer has the ritzy house in a gated suburban community; that was put on the auction block after he went to prison. But Vick still has plenty of ties to Atlanta.
“The majority of my friends are still there in the city, and who knows if I get a chance to visit with a couple of them? My time is going to be very limited, so who knows?” Vick said.
“The primary focus is on the football game.”