Vick, Favre, Williams having quite the offseasons
Posted: Wednesday May 16, 2007 11:49AM; Updated: Thursday May 17, 2007 5:42PM
Ten last thoughts from around the NFL before I disappear on vacation for a while:
Sources I talked to last week for the story I wrote on Michael Vick's troubles had strong opinions about the level of tolerance new Falcons coach Bobby Petrino will have for any more of Vick's off-field distractions.
"My prediction is that if the Vick stuff doesn't stop, Bobby Petrino will tell [team owner] Arthur Blank, 'I'm outta here,'" one league source said. "I don't think Petrino will hang around until Vick gets a third Falcons coach fired. He'll walk before that happens. He's not going to take a lot of crap from Vick. He'll go back to college and coach and be just fine.''
In my conversation last week with Blank, he agreed that Petrino will have next to no patience for Vick's recent penchant of creating off-field distractions. Clearly it's your move, Mike. But let's just say there's a healthy amount of skepticism, even within the Falcons organization, that Vick will significantly turn his act around.
To my ears, here's the key sentence in Ray Buchanan's denial of comments attributed to him regarding his direct knowledge of Vick's involvement in illegal dog fighting: "For me to say something like that is wrong because I'd never throw another player under the bus,'' Buchanan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In other words, it's all about the time-tested first commandment in the fraternity of NFL players: Thou shalt not give each other up.
Sources I talked to about Vick's affinity for dog-fighting portrayed it as something of an open secret in the Falcons locker room, dating from the 2001 beginning of his NFL career.
While the vast majority of people find the notion of organized dog-fighting despicable, it might surprise you to hear what one NFL observer told me last week regarding the practice.
"I don't get it, but I'm amazed at the number of players who own pit bulls or some type of ferocious dogs,'' the source said. "There is definitely a subculture that has developed around it. There are a lot of players into it. It's seen as a macho thing. There are a number of players who seem enamored with the whole pit bull, dog-fighting subject.''
Something tells me we haven't heard the last of this topic, even if no charges ever wind up being filed against Vick in the current dog-fighting ring investigation in Smithfield, Va.
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