Vick keeps up dialogue with Blank while serving time

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Despite the parallels, movie fans likely won't have to sit through another remake of The Longest Yard .

Michael Vick has stayed in shape in prison playing football.  AP / File
AP / File
Michael Vick has stayed in shape in prison playing football.

Michael Vick is playing football again, but it isn't with the Atlanta Falcons. According to his former employer, the disgraced quarterback is playing pickup games while serving his prison sentence.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has been communicating by letter with Vick, who is at the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., incarcerated at the facility's minimum security satellite prison camp.

Blank told the New York Daily News that Vick writes that he is washing pots and pans for 12 cents an hour and playing football at Leavenworth. He was sentenced to 23 months in December after pleading guilty to federal dogfighting charges.

"Apparently, there was a prison football team, and he played quarterback for both sides," Blank told the Daily News .

Blank said Vick wrote to him first, and they've now opened a dialogue by mail. Blank added that Kevin Winston, the Falcons' senior director of player development, has visited Vick several times in prison. Blank says he has no plans to visit Vick.

Even if Blank feels betrayed by Vick, whom he signed to a 10-year, $130 million contract in 2004, he still clearly cares about him.

"I just try to be supportive and as understanding as I can be," Blank said. "He talks about the process he is going through and what he has learned, the lessons of life, how he's going to come out a different person. He's sorry he has affected so many people in a negative way -- the league, our club, our fans. He feels awful about that. The letters sound quite sincere to me. From a mental standpoint, he sounds good."

What does he write to Vick?

"I told Michael I'll do whatever I can to be helpful to him, personally. Nothing to do with the Atlanta Falcons," Blank said.

When asked if he could ever see Vick returning to the Falcons, Blank said, "I don't know that. Right now, he's in a federal penitentiary."

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bone 04/08/08 - 09:07 pm
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