Michael Vick holds emotions in check for Atlanta homecoming
If Mike Vick seemed extra jittery last week, it’s because he made one major mistake prior to kickoff. He drank an energy drink.
“I’ll you what, I won’t drink any energy drinks before this game,” he said.
This week, as Vick gets ready to face Atlanta, where he spent his first six years as a pro, there will be no need for extra adrenaline. In 2009, he was the Eagles’ third-stringer and scored two TDs in mop-up duty. When Vick slaps on his midnight green Eagles helmet Sunday, he’ll enter the Georgia Dome for the first time as the opposition’s starting quarterback.
“It’s going to be different, this time I’m the starter but it’s going to be fun,” Vick said.
But he was quick to point out that he’s leaving any emotional baggage with stadium security.
“This is a business trip for us,” Vick said. “I think from an emotional aspect, it’s going to be great to go back to the Dome, but I think we just got to focus on the game. That’s going to be my approach. I don’t want any distractions.”
Vick harbors no ill will to the team that cut ties with him as a result of his involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring.
“It worked out the way it did and obviously the organization moved on to greater things and I landed in a place where I had to work and get back to a position where I wanted to be, and it worked out,” Vick said. “I think we have to thank God, in Atlanta, and here in Philadelphia that it worked out for everybody.”
So if you’re expecting the former Falcon to spew venom or start a war of words, forget it. It’s not going to happen. The way Vick’s teammates see it, this is just a game between two NFC powerhouses.
“I don’t think there would be any revenge. I don’t think Atlanta did anything to him,” receiver Jason Avant said. “It’s not Michael Vick versus the Falcons, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles versus the Falcons, and Mike is a big part of our team.”
Cheers or jeers?
Michael Vick was one of the most well-liked athletes in Atlanta before his fall from grace.
Vick was 38-28-1 as the Falcons’ starting QB from 2001-2006 — and his record at the Georgia Dome was 23-12.
Still, despite all that success, Vick isn’t sure how the Atlanta crowd will welcome him back.
“I don’t know. That’s something I haven’t thought about or really don’t want to get into,” he said. “I still have a lot of love for the fans down there. Keep in mind, I am the opposition, so I don’t expect for them to be in my favor.”