March 25, 2009
DANA POINT, Calif. – Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin expressed a strong vote of support for QB Michael Vick's possible return to the playing field, if and when he's reinstated by the NFL.
Vick (pictured), who pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting and gambling charges and is still serving prison time, has 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 the suspended Falcons signal caller. "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."
When asked about the difficulty of signing Vick, who will still likely draw protest from PETA backers, Tomlin acknowledged it will be hard. However, he also questioned whether it should.
"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?"
Photo courtesy of AP
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