Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Quotes from the Atlanta Falcons Press Conference [J. Mark English]

Its been one of those days where press conferences are making bigger headlines then what is happening on the field. Today the Atlanta Falcons held a press conference making it official that Michael Vick shall be suspended. Here are some highlights of what the team had to say:

"This has been a difficult week in every respect that you can think of. The indictment of Michael Vick has affected everyone associated with the Falcons, the National Football League, our players, our coaches, our associates, our sponsors, our season ticket holders, our fans, the Atlanta community and you in this room. But, it's also gone beyond our partners. The details of the indictment have touched the emotions of people across the country. We have heard from many of them. I know that many people are deeply distraught about what they read in the indictment, and I am as well." - Arthur Blank, team owner

"Every year, you are going to deal with controversy and adversity. Certainly, we've had our share so far. One of the keys to coaching and the keys to success is how you deal with it, how you face it straight on and how you put it behind you and move forward. I think that's what we have to do on Thursday. We have to get in the meeting room, meet with the players, and make sure we understand what the situation is as we know it with Michael and move on from there and put all of our focus on the team getting ready for our opening game." - Bobby Petrino, head coach

"The league has a number of programs in place in respect to educating players. Commissioner Roger Goodell has set up programs and one that will even deal with the issue of dog-fighting to an extent. We have a player program director and we have programs that we run all year. We have Falcons University where we deal with life skills and issues that confront players. It doesn’t mean it's a perfect world. You have a lot of young men with things going on. We do as a League take it very seriously as the commissioner has shown in the past couple of months. One of the ways we take that seriously is through education. It also falls back on the leaders of the locker room. You look at the leaders of the locker room to help the young players realize what is acceptable and unacceptable. I can't sit here and tell you that we end up with a perfect world, but we do understand the responsibility of helping these guys realize what is and what is not acceptable." - Rich McKay, general manager

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