Seahawks’ Hasselbeck thinks Vick deserves second chance

  • Thu May 21st, 2009 6:54pm
  • Sports

Associated Press

RENTON — Atlanta West is pretty quiet on Michael Vick.

The Seahawks kept former Falcons coaches and executives who were with Vick in Atlanta earlier this decade from talking after a voluntary practice Thursday. That included coach Jim Mora, who led Vick in Atlanta from 2004-06.

The former Falcons quarterback arrived Thursday at his Hampton, Va., home, a day after being released from a federal prison in Kansas to begin two months of home monitoring and a $10-an-hour job in construction to complete his sentence for running a dogfighting ring.

Vick did get a voice of support in Seattle from a fellow quarterback.

“Without knowing every detail about the situation — there’s just so much about it it’s hard to keep up with everything — it seems like he paid a pretty severe penalty,” Matt Hasselbeck said. “I definitely believe in second chances for people.”

The Falcons say Vick will not play for them again. Seattle is rumored as a possible place for Vick to resurface in the league. That is, if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell decides to reinstate him.

Those rumors are mostly swirling because Mora is now Seattle’s coach, and because the Seahawks also have Vick’s former offensive coordinator, Greg Knapp, plus two former Falcons executives, Seattle general manager Tim Ruskell and vice president for player personnel Ruston Webster. Two of Vick’s former running backs, T.J. Duckett and Justin Griffith, are also now Seahawks.

“He served his time, and now he needs to get back out there and start playing again,” said Griffith, who was in Atlanta’s backfield with Vick from 2003-06. “The guy is a great athlete, and I think the NFL is missing an athlete like that right now.”

Hasselbeck encountered Vick at various events, including in Hawaii the week of the Pro Bowl in early 2005 when they were both quarterbacks for the NFC.

Would he welcome Vick onto his team?

“He was always great to me,” Hasselbeck said. “I mean every time I hung out with him, or met him, or was around him, he was great to be around.”

Duckett didn’t want to talk about Vick, other than to say he got along with him.

The team doesn’t want to speak officially on Vick before Goodell rules on the matter. That won’t come until well after Vick’s home stint ends.

“I’ve been instructed (not to comment),” new offensive coordinator Knapp said when asked about the star who ran his offense in Atlanta from 2004-06.

“I can’t go any further than to say, how was our relationship? It was good, worked well. I enjoyed working with him. He was a hard worker. He did everything I asked. But as far as speculation, I’ll have to leave that in the hands of the powers that be as to whether he should be reinstated or not.”

Knapp said he hasn’t spoken to Vick since the assistant left Atlanta with Mora following the 2006 season. Knapp has spent the last two years as the offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders.

Asked if a quarterback could be away from the sport for two years and then come back to playing at Vick’s previous Pro Bowl level, Knapp said: “It’s tough. It would be real tough, because the timing of the game. It all happens so fast.”