Vick makes first anti-dogfighting appearance in new home

Michael Vick , speaking to a group of Philadelphia high school students Tuesday, warned against the dangers of peer pressure and offered himself as a cautionary tale of what can happen when someone is a follower instead of a leader.


The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, who served prison time for running a dogfighting ring, addressed an audience of 200 freshmen at Nueva Esperanza Academy. He urged the students to make the right choices and to resist the temptation to follow the crowd.

"I didn't choose to go the right way, which led to 18 months in prison, which was the toughest time of my life," he said. "Being away from my family, being away from my kids who I adore dearly, and being away from the game of football, doing something so foolish, and I wish I could take it all back.

The 10-minute talk marked Vick's first anti-dogfighting public appearance in Philadelphia since he signed a one-year, $1.6 million deal with the Eagles on Aug. 13.

VIKINGS: An NFL spokesman says Minnesota defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams will play in the season-opener at Cleveland this weekend, regardless of what happens with their court case this week.

The Williamses are challenging four-game suspensions handed down by the league for violating the league's drug policy last summer.

LIONS: Veteran quarterback Daunte Culpepper said he accepts coach Jim Schwartz 's decision to have him back up No. 1 draft pick Matthew Stafford .

The 32-year-old Culpepper issued a statement saying Schwartz gave him "a fair opportunity to compete for the starting job." Culpepper said he will help Stafford in any way he can.

Texans: Houston's Matt Schaub returned to practice but is still listed as day-to-day with an ankle sprain he suffered more than a week ago.

BRONCOS: Quarterback Kyle Orton took snaps, handed off cleanly and completed passes at practice for the first time since slicing open his right index finger nine days earlier.

- Rookie tight end Richard Quinn pleaded innocent to harassment and domestic violence charges stemming from a Labor Day quarrel with his girlfriend.

RAIDERs: Defensive end Richard Seymour failed to report to Oakland for a second consecutive day after being traded from the New England Patriots.

BILLS: The team's release of starting left tackle Langston Walker comes after offensive coordinator Turk Schonert was fired on Friday, and veteran running back Dominic Rhodes was cut a day later.


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