Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick urged high school students in New Haven, Conn., to show kindness toward animals, adding to the string of appearances he has made since returning from a dogfighting conviction to become one of the NFL's most exciting players.
Vick has spoken at several schools since his release from federal prison in what has been described as an effort to ensure some good comes out of his negative experience.
At Hillhouse High in New Haven, he told an audience packed with students that he has matured since his involvement with the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting enterprise on his property in rural southeastern Virginia.
"I didn't really care what people felt about animals," Vick said in comments reported by the New Haven Register. "I didn't care about the welfare of animals."
He noted that animals have no choice when they are put into a ring. If you could ask a dog if it wants to fight, "do you think he'll say yeah?" Vick said.
Vick was convicted in 2007 of conspiracy and running a dogfighting ring and served 18 months in prison and two months of home confinement. The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback was signed by the Eagles in August 2009, less than a month after his release, prompting an outcry from animal rights groups and animal-loving football fans.
Vick has made the most of his second chance in the NFL, leading Philadelphia to three consecutive wins, including over the New York Giants, 27-17, Sunday night at home.
Vick spoke about the dire consequences of dogfighting, and said he is often reminded of his own role in it.
"Nowadays, every day my daughters ask me if we can get a dog. … I can't get a dog for my kids," said
Titans tell Young he doesn't need to attend meeting
The Tennessee Titans say they told quarterback Vince Young he didn't need to attend a team meeting a day after he stormed out of the stadium and denied a report in the Tennessean, citing unidentified sources, that Young was in the training room Monday when he was asked to leave the facility by the quarterbacks coach.
The quarterback needs season-ending surgery on his right thumb and the Titans are putting Young on injured reserve.
Young and Coach Jeff Fisher had a heated exchange after Young tossed his pads into the stands after the Titans' loss to Washington on Sunday.
Appeals court sides with NFL
A federal appeals court sided with the NFL and its players union in a lawsuit filed by six former players who claim they lost $20 million in an investment scheme.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by the players that sought to overturn a district judge's ruling against them.
The lawsuit claims the union endorsed Kirk Wright's services even though he had liens filed against him. But the NFL countered that it can't be held liable because, under the league's collective bargaining agreement, players are solely responsible for their own finances.
Wright hanged himself in a suburban Atlanta jail in May 2008, days after he was convicted of leading an investment scheme that cost his clients millions of dollars.
Bengals sign Bennett
The Cincinnati Bengals have signed another cornerback for their depleted secondary, getting former San Diego Charger Fred Bennett.
Bennett played the first four games this season with San Diego. He was released Oct. 11. It's his fourth season in the NFL.
Cincinnati's secondary was nearly wiped out during a 49-31 loss to Buffalo on Sunday. The Bengals on Monday signed cornerback Jonathan Wade, a former Detroit Lion.
The Bengals also put defensive tackle Tank Johnson on injured reserve Tuesday because of a knee injury. He sat out the last three games.
The bad news doesn't stop there. Quarterback Carson Palmer was walking around with a protective boot on his left foot Tuesday and was held out of practice in what he termed a precaution.
"This has definitely been an interesting year all around," said Palmer, who aggravated the foot injury Sunday. "With all the guys that are down and especially the handful of new guys that are here to play in our secondary this week, it's definitely interesting. It's definitely a big challenge for us."