Michael Vick Goes Back To Prison
On March 19, (from left) former NFL coach Tony Dungy, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, radio host Dan Patrick and SI.com's Peter King traveled to Avon Park Correctional Facility in Florida to talk to inmates.
Vick went to the prison with his adviser Dungy and volunteers from Abe Brown Ministries, the prison-ministry group with which Dungy has worked for in the past.
Vick spoke to two different groups of inmates, both numbering in the 300s, at the Avon facilities.
After his speech, Vick spent time signing autographs and answering questions from the men.
Vick also spent time with the prisoners in solitary confinement. The men on the solitary block only leave their cells for three hours a week.
Vick also spent time in solitary confinement during his 19-month incarceration for his role in a dogfighting ring.
Said Dungy of Vick: "I have a lot of friends in the National Football League. And a lot of them have done great things. But I don't have a friend that I'm more proud of than Michael Vick.''
"What I wanted to get across to them was that we all have to try to be instruments of change," Vick said.
The first African-American quarterback to be selected first in an NFL draft, Vick played with the Atlanta Falcons before being imprisoned.
Dungy took Vick under his wings after his release from prison and told him the day would come when he could go back and deliver a message of hope to inmates.
When Mike says 'Here are the steps you have to take -- A, B, C and D -- they can say, 'Well, here's someone who did it. Here's someone who lived in my shoes for two years and understands what goes on in here, and if he says these are the things I have to do, then [I] can take that to heart.' '' Dungy told the Tampa Tribune.
Vick was named Comeback Player of the Year in 2010 by the Pro Football Writers of America.
Vick needs 299 yards to surpass Randall Cunningham (4,928) as the career leader in rushing yards by a quarterback.
The Eagles placed their franchise tag on Vick in February, making him eligible to earn around $20 million in 2011, the average salary of the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the league.
Vick had his best season as a pro last year, throwing for 3,018 yards and 21 touchdowns as he led the Eagles to a 10-6 record and the NFL East title.
Vick finished third in the Heisman voting in 1999 and sixth in 2000.
While imprisoned in Leavenworth, Kan., had a "Longest Yard'' experience, quarterbacking one team of cons to a 42-14 win over another.