Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie Smith adamant Michael Vick deserves second chance in NFL

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill.--Lovie Smith is adamant that Michael Vick deserves a second chance in the NFL after missing two seasons and spending nearly two years in prison for his role in a dogfighting ring.

"I think Mike deserves a second chance, I'll say that again,'' Smith said in his kickoff press conference to training camp Thursday afternoon at Olivet Nazarene University. ``Like everyone in society after they have paid their debt to society on any type of crime, you deserve a second chance.''

Too bad for Vick, Smith doesn't see a need on the Bears' roster, which stands one shy of the limit at 79 after the retirement of safety Glenn Earl earlier this week. Vick is seeking a new home after commissioner Roger Goodell conditionally reinstated him earlier this week. Vick is cleared to participate in all of training camp, play in the final two games of preseason and participate in regular-season games by Week 6 at the latest. The sooner Vick finds a new home, the quicker he will be able to reacclimate himself to life as a quarterback in the league, learning a new offense, new teammates and new surroundings that will certainly be a circus from the start.

"As far as we're concerned, we like the team we have right now,'' Smith said. "So if you're asking me about whether we're looking for receivers or are we going to trade guys, we like this team. I don't think we need to add anything else at this time.''

The backups to starter Jay Cutler are unproven. Caleb Hanie enters camp as the No. 2. He was an undrafted free agent last season and did not appear in a game. Also in the mix is Brett Basanez, who is also yet to gain regular-season experience.

"I like what we have right now so I'm not going to assume that we're not going to like something later on,'' Smith said. "I think things re going to get better and better. We like what we've seen from Caleb Hanie when he has been given an opportunity to play. I think it's time to give him an opportunity to see what he can do right now.''

Vick would offer a completely different skill set to the offense, and open up a range of different opportunities as far as the Wildcat and more with a player who has proven playmaking ability, something that has been sorely lacking in Smith's tenure.

"He would be different, but again for us, we like our football team that we have right now,'' Smith said. "There aren't any plans to go in that direction."

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Lovie is great at speaking for hours and not really saying a word.

Vick deserves the same second chance he gave the dogs he tormented and killed. Zero.

One Team after another Vick deserves a second change just not with this club . Great I just hope this piece of trash hood finds the same results from ever team in the league and then from the CfL Arean League where ever. Then Maybe Just Maybe he will realize That only sick people torture innocent animals and that "No NORMAL PEOPLE WANT TO BE AROUND A SCUM LIKE THIS" If you blew all your money and now can,t find a job because you area ex con that is your fault and your problem.

Lol Perno.

You know, I recall a certain phrase from "LovieSpeak" that would have worked perfectly in this situation. Let's see.

"Rex is our quarterback." No.

"We did some good things and we'll go from there." No, that's not it.

"Right now we're only concerned about our football team." Bingo! Why couldn't he have just said that in answer to any Vick questions? No need to stir the pot just keep quiet and move on.

With the instincts of a 'rottweiler' and the range of a 'greyhound' - he might be what we need - at Free Safety.

My friend said he's too much of a 'sissy' to be a good QB.

The Bears should take a chance on him. He surely isn't stupid enough to jeopardize his second chance. He'll come relatively cheap. He's more humbled and determined now than ever before. And he'll be eager to play and work hard to regain form. In addition, He possesses experience, speed and skill sets that will cause major problems for defenses. Add that to the speed of Hester and Knox, Olsen and Forte and you can imagine what I'm talking about. Who else is more capable of going under center if Cutler goes down? What if Minnesota snatches him up?! Vick, Berrian and Peterson?! Trouble! Just might create more opportunities for punk a$$ Bobby Wade!!!

Lovie is 100% correct!

I hate Vick, I hate anyone who would do something like that to an animal. The fact that he was stupid enough to risk his multi million dollar career for his love of animal abuse and illegal gambling tells me all I need to know about his character. I would never want to see him as a Bear but to be fare I believe he has paid his debt. He did the crime, he did the time, so he deserves a chance to work. If no one in the NFL wants this guy on there team thats their call, however the local public works where I live is looking for help. If he wants to work so bad, being a garbage man is honest, back breaking work. Or does he just want to make fast easy money in the NFL? He got paid millions and blew it maybe he needs a little real work. How about truck driving? They are always looking for truck drivers? Does he really deserve millions of dollars and an easy life after what he has done?

People who have paid their debt to society should have the opportunity to work. I get that, but I'm sick of this 2nd chance nonsense. Like every other elite athlete I bet he's been given about a zillion second chances in his life starting from when he was in Kindergarten, so let's not pretend that this was his first screw up (if you can call felony animal torture a screw up). He enjoyed every perk, privilege, and special treatment under the sun, stuff that we could only dream of, and he chose to take a big dump on it.

All of you who want to lynch Vick are the same people who feel convicts should go out,rehabilitate themselves and behave. (just not in your neighborhood).

The fact is he would give the bears a dimension never seen in this town (backfield of Cutler, Vick, Forte). The wildcat would work perfectly.....But lets just wallow in mediocrity instead!

Tough call. Offer 1 year free just to get back in?

vick would fit on the bears worse than Kordell Stewert did. were a pocket Qb team.let him go to minny and play with bobby wade so we can plant them both in the turf.

Yeah Vick, Cuter and Forte or possibly Hester would be great in the Wildcat would be deadly, All of the people are versitle which is important for the Wildcat since all can run and half can through (if 4)

I agree!! Let's put Vick in a locked room with 20 pitbulls and give him two chances to get out. Welcome to the NFL -- the Notorious Felons League.

Dear Haters,

Lets not forget that Vick wasn't even at the house where they found the dogs.It was the people he let use the house that were responsible.Im not saying Vick didn't know about it, but he sure didn't play a part in it.He did his time, lost his money and is hated on by many.Lets not let hate and ignorance kill another super star. { rest in peace Micheal Jackson}

With a world full of womanizers, wife beaters, cheats, dead beat dads and the like if we took your approach of unforgiveness than we wouldn't have any sports teams. Let him who is with out sin cast the first stone. His contrition could make a difference in the lives of many people. ...but you all don't care about that.

I'm not going to condemn anyone for life, its not my place...But I will respond to:

"Lets not forget that Vick wasn't even at the house where they found the dogs.It was the people he let use the house that were responsible.Im not saying Vick didn't know about it, but he sure didn't play a part in i"

Because its a lie. Vick, after being fingered, 100% fully confessed to arranging, managing, profiting from and owning a dog fighting ring. Vick confessed, 100%, to personally strangling, drowning, electrocuting, and beating the animals.

He was personally fingered by his friends, family, and eventually self-confessed to all of these acts.

Calling people "haters" for opposing immoral behavior is just one more way for people to callously try to force everyone else to abandon any form of morality themselves, and it won't work over here.

Vick doesn't necessarily deserve a second chance, but we are a society based on principles that give people a chance at redemption whether any one person feels they "deserve" it or not. If I was an owner or GM, I wouldn't want a nearly 30 QB who hadn't played in 2 years, was never a solid passer to begin with, and carries this kind of character baggage. Someone will, and he will get a job. If he doesn't, he can go work a 5 figure job and still get his second chance at life.

Either way, my only thoughts for Vick are that I hope he has changed, because what he did was not a mistake, it was very intentional, and the only way he can come to terms with that is to mature, accept full responsibility in his heart, and make a lifetime commitment to be a better person.

Tony: "The fact is he would give the bears a dimension never seen in this town (backfield of Cutler, Vick, Forte). The wildcat would work perfectly.....But lets just wallow in mediocrity instead!"

Vick might end up being a nice backup/ change of pace player, but you can hardly say that not signing him will force us to "wallow in mediocrity". I agree that the backup qb needs to be addressed for this team; i dont mind the unexperienced wrs until i think of them paired with unexperienced qbs if something were to happen to cutler (knock on wood). But vick has proven about as much as a passer to me as hanie has.

at this point, lets accept vick for what he is: a 29 year old change of pace qb who has experience as a starter and amazing athletic abiliy, a cannon for an arm, and the mental makeup and accuracy of a pee wee quarterback. While i dont hate vick, and he represents an interesting possibility to me, there is no need to dwell on him as a signing that will push us over the brink of wallowing in mediocrity.

we said we arent signing him, aka his price tag and locker room gamble outweigh his potential to step in for us in the event of a cutler injury. the bears and all of us should now be focusing on realistic opportunities at qb2 (and not assuming we are ok with what we have) and moving past the vick conversation that is centered in one side's morals and the other side's exaggeration of his potential

You See WE Need Love Knows Nothing It was proven and vick Confessed to being the King Pin of the whole criminal enterprise. As for you know nothing football fans . The " Wildcat Sucks and is a Gimmick offence that worked because it took a couple of team by supprise If you think the Bears Should waste time ,money and image on bringing in a criminal to run a couple of trick play you are as stupid as the Coach in Denver and almost as dumb as that Clown with the vikings that wasted there off season trying to bring in that has been old man from the Packers.

By Threez He Surly Is Stupid Enough . This clown was making 10 mil a year and was running a Dog Fighting Bussiness on the side . Is That Stupid enough for you. I figure he is so stupid he most likely bought some chickens the day he got let out and when they start finding chicken heads in his backyard he will say " I Didnt know you cant fight chickens there not dogs.

Vick deserves a second chance, as military soldiers who did similar things vick with dogs, only the US soldiers did to humans in secret prisons and Guantanamo. Our inability to forgive is the scariest thing. We all mess up but we neeed to forgive. Where is our christian (whatever) compassion?

You know there are alot of NFL players out there that have done far worse things then micheal vick. For example my good ole buddy donta stallworth need i say more no time for joking straight smoking rick williams i could go on and on but the fact is this they all got second chances some got more then second chances everyone is human and makes mistakes i just feel like let it go hell pit bulls been known to terroirze people anyway.

I think he should get the same chance he gave those dogs. I am VERY happy that Chicago Bears are NOT taking him!!!

Vick served his time? HAH! He has gotten off light compared to others. Lovie can quite frankly STFU. This is the only thing I can even think of that would make me no longer a Bears fan. Vick on my team would disgust me. Absolutely sicken me. Reading some of these other comments also makes me sick. Remarks like they were only pitbulls anyway. This article and the comments with it are a good starting point to write a paper what is wrong with today's society. The man tortured and killed animals. I believe in 2nd chances. People can change. However, I'm sorry...but Vick has proven nothing to me. There is no way he belongs back in this league so soon. I thought for some reason Bears fans were a more dignified lot. I'm very sorry that I was proven wrong by some of these comments.

Yea Vick deserves a 2ND chance all right,just like the dogs did right?Just like the female dogs did that got held in a small pen and was forced to be bred?just like the dogs that were hung,electrocuted,slammed to the ground,drowned?just like the 2 that had to be put down after the raid?No he deserves as much a chance as the dogs he tortured..NONE

He felt so much disgust that he has been fighting dogs for about 10 years, and even threw in family pets into dog fighting rings because he thought it was funny-per the USDA report. Dog fighting is a life style for him-not merely a mistake. VICK ALSO LIED BEFORE THE GRAND JURY WHEN FIRST CHARGED WITH DOG FIGHTING. I clearly remember him saying, "I am innocent and will clear my good name" until his buddies turned him in and hew as cornered. If VICK is willing to LIE to a Grand Jury-the Law-without batting an eyelash, what makes you think he is telling the truth now. It was all about: Lights! Camera! Action! Show time! Any good actor can turn on tears on cue. He found God, eh? Nice touch. I work for the Dept of Corrections and I hear that song-and-dance all the time prior to parole hearing. Typical con man talk using religion to get what he wants. It actually makes me sick.

Michael Vick gave his dogs second chances. If they didn't die when he hung them - he would take them out of the noose and hold their heads in a bucket of water until they drowned.

He gave them a second chance TO DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH.

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