McNabb Says He Hopes Things Work Out for Vick

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 2, 2007

BETHLEHEM, Pa., Aug. 1 -- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said he remains supportive of Michael Vick, even with the Atlanta Falcons quarterback scheduled to go on trial in November on federal dogfighting charges.

"I'm a supporter of Vick," McNabb said Tuesday at Lehigh University. "That's because I'm a good friend of his and also we're guys that obviously compete to win the Super Bowl. We push each other. Now, I don't know exactly what happened in that situation, and I think for all of us that have read over the stuff that was over the Internet, the report, you look at it as kind of like, 'Wow, you've got your so-called friends and family members turning their back on you now to make their situation better.' They're throwing you under the bus so that they can clean their name. That's unfortunate. That goes to show, I always have a saying that I've always lived by: If you can't trust family, who can you trust? It's an unfortunate situation, and I just hope everything works out well for him where he can get back out on the field."

McNabb and Vick have been close since McNabb hosted the younger player on Vick's recruiting visit to Syracuse. Vick ended up playing at Virginia Tech.

One of the three men indicted with Vick, Tony Taylor, pleaded guilty Monday and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. The investigation into the alleged dogfighting operation at a property owned by Vick in southeastern Virginia began in late April when law enforcement officers reportedly found dogfighting equipment at the house while on a drug raid focused on Vick's cousin, Davon Boddie, who was not indicted on the dogfighting charges.

Vick's trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 26. He was ordered by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell not to report to Falcons training camp, pending the outcome of a league review of the case. Goodell toughened the league's conduct policy for players in April. He suspended Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones for the entire 2007 season and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry and former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson for a half-season each. Vick is facing possible disciplinary action under the policy.

McNabb was among the many players Goodell consulted while formulating the new conduct policy. McNabb said Tuesday evening that he wonders if an offending player might have a better chance to turn around his life by serving a shorter suspension and returning to the structure that football provides.

"As a football fraternity member, you just want those guys to have that opportunity to get back out there and maybe put that stuff behind them and change their life," McNabb said. "I think for some of the guys that have made the mistake and now that their season is taken away from them, the question goes out of what happens next. Because when some people get things like that taken away from them, they just continue to go down. You hope nothing but the best, that they've learned from their mistakes to move on where they can get back out on the field and play. Being suspended for a year? That's tough. That's tough. . . . You just want everything to kind of work out well for everybody, work out well for us as well as work out well for those guys."

Notes: Wide receiver Terrell Owens didn't take part in the Dallas Cowboys' first practice session Wednesday, a day after getting a break to rest his sore hamstring. . . . Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker missed practice for the second day in a row because of a sore knee and is not expected to play in the Hall of Fame game Sunday night. . . . Cleveland Browns defensive end Orpheus Roye will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. . . . Wide receiver Roscoe Parrish was treated after experiencing symptoms of dehydration while the Buffalo Bills practiced in 90-plus degree temperatures in Pittsford, N.Y. Coach Dick Jauron said Parrish was expected to be okay after he was sent to a cooling tent near the practice field as a precaution.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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