Michael Vick studied dogfighting more than playbooks

Michael Vick studied dogfighting more than playbooks
Michael Vick studied dogfighting more than playbooks

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has been a model citizen since returning to the NFL in 2009 after a stint in prison for his part in an illegal dogfighting ring.

Not only has he stayed out of trouble, he continues to make amends for his transgressions. Vick has spoken to kids about the perils of dogfighting, appeared in anti-dogfighting ads, and now, in his new book, Finally Free, he recounts how dogfighting consumed his life before it eventually cost him his freedom.

In excerpts of the book provided to USA Today, Vick wrote that "Back when I was involved in those activities, I may have become more dedicated to the deep study of dogs than I was to my Falcons playbook. I became better at reading dogs than reading defenses. That's just so sad to say right now, because I put more time and effort into trying to master that pursuit than my own profession ... which was my livelihood ... which put food on the table for my family."

Vick compounded matters by lying to commissioner Roger Goodell, who has been known to levy stiffer punishments to players who aren't straight with him.

"I knew how to lie with a straight face," Vick wrote. "Sad to say, Commissioner Goodell bought into what I was saying, and I think he truly believed me that I was telling the truth. I deeply regret not telling him the truth from the outset.

"It was a very nervous time for me. I knew I was going to try to lie my way through the whole dogfighting case and see if money, good lawyers, and manipulating the system could get me out of the position I was in -- which was a terrible position."

Credit to Vick for coming clean now, but that last paragraph is, in part, why so many people were skeptical that he would change after Goodell reinstated him before the 2009 season. But Vick has walked the straight and narrow and then some.

Originally posted by Ryan Wilson on CBSSports.com