Among the storylines related to Michael Vick's return to Atlanta tonight is his relationship with Falcons owner Arthur Blank.
Yahoo Sports reported on Friday that Blank seethed that the Eagles put Vick into a game that was a blowout when they last visited Atlanta in 2009. Vick would throw a 43-yard pass and then his first TD pass since returning to the NFL on the Eagles' way to a 34-7 win.
Writer Michael Silver described that as a move that Blank "would come to view as a gratuitous gesture of disrespect by Philly coach Andy Reid."
Concludes Silver, "If anyone in a Falcons uniform doesn’t believe this game is personal, he should understand that it is very personal for the man who signs the checks."
In an appearance on NBC SportsTalk on Versus on Friday night, Blank conceded he was not happy with Reid's decision.
“Well I didn’t feel good about it,” Blank said. “But I know Coach Reid, he’s an outstanding head coach and an outstanding human being. And in terms of the Michael story, dealing with redemption, dealing with some of the personal issues he’s had in his own life with his children, I understand his viewpoint. I think trying to put myself in his position, I think he was trying to make Michael feel better about himself, trying to make the Eagles, his organization, feel better about themselves from that perspective. I don’t think I was thrilled with it. But I know Andy well enough, and I know the organization well enough to know I don’t think it was intended to flaunt us in a negative way. But it didn’t leave me with a good taste in my mouth but I understood it.”
And the Vick in Atlanta storyline continues to turn ...
Back later with the staff predictions and keys to the game. For now, here is Les Bowen's video preview.