The Michael Vick story hangs around like a mangy dog

One has to wonder why all 32 NFL head coaches aren’t ruling out Michael Vick from a return to club rosters. Most have, but it seems Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin of the Patriots and Steelers respectively would like some attention, please, because the noises they are making are less than equivocal.

Vick has only just been released from prison on dog fighting convictions and been given a grudging green light to pitch his wares to a less-than-wholly-supportive NFL industry. First it was Belichick, who caused a firestorm of media and Internet speculation yesterday by saying he didn’t know if a Vick pick-up was “ruled in or ruled out”, followed up with this:

“You know, I think we would consider … Well, we’re coaching the players we have on the field right now. Anybody who isn’t here … is there a potential they could be here? Yeah, there probably is.”

This caused a number of blogs and newspapers to dig and find a few sources willing to state that Vick was in or near the Foxboro training camp of the Patriots, though those reports were all since refuted by the New England organisation.

Today, Tomlin sailed Pittsburgh into the stormy teacup. “I’ll say this, we’ll be prudent and do our due diligence as far as exploring people that could potentially help us win, guys who can throw, run, catch, block, tackle on a professional level,” he told reporters.

One might understand Belichick’s reluctance to rule out drafting a new back up for Tom Brady, who is recovering from ACL surgery, particularly as he had such success in taming wild boy Randy Moss. Tomlin has a perfectly healthy starting quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, though, albeit one who is currently mired in a sexual assault scandal.

It gives the Vegas bookmakers something new to set a market for, at the least.