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Putting a positive spin on Vick

By Doug Gorman

Sports fans might be the most negative species on the planet.

One loss, a bad decision by a coach or an injury to a key player sends some of us into a frantic state (I gave been guilty of this too.).

When Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Mike Vick went down with an injury Saturday night my heart sank into my toes.

Like so many Falcons fans, I have suffered through years of woefully bad professional football in this city.

Until Vick joined the Falcons, it had been years since I had watched an entire game, and even longer since I had been to the Georgia Dome as fan.

This year, I'm looking forward to spending part of my Sunday with the Falcons.

I still have hope Vick will be back for most of the season and even though the injury is disappointing, it's not the end of the world.

Fans of the team should feel more upset for Vick than we do for ourselves.

He entered this season with such high hopes and all of Atlanta, if not the entire NFL, was abuzz waiting to see how the season unfolds.

But to listen to callers on talk shows, and even the average fan on the street, the season of such high hopes is already a complete washout.

One caller even went as far as to compare the injury of Vick to the death of a close family member.

Give me a break.

Others are saying the Falcons won't win a game until Vick gets back.

Again, give me a break.

Vick is good. He is certainly one of the most electrifying professional athletes to make a stop in Atlanta.

However, football is not a one-man game. The last I checked 11 men lined up on each side of the ball.

The same athletes that will be running and catching the ball with Vick will be out there when Doug Johnson takes the snap from center.

Is Doug Johnson another Michael Vick? Or course not. Is he good enough to play in this league? Yes.

Johnson is surrounded by a cast of talented skilled-position players.

Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett are more than capable of moving the ball in the Falcons' ground attack. They can both also catch the ball out of the backfield.

Add Peerless Price, the former Buffalo Bills' wide receiver to the mix, and the offense is still going to put points on the board.

Also, as many football coaches have told me over the years, defense wins football games and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has done a good job with that side of the ball.

Linebacker Keith Brooking is an All-Pro at linebacker, and Ray Buchanan comes to play each week.

Will the Falcons go undefeated without Vick? No, but they weren't going to go undefeated with him in the lineup anyway. I still look for the Falcons to put together their second straight winning season, something that's never been done in franchise history.

When Vick comes back it will be all the better for Falcon fans, but this team will survive without him. That's my positive spin on the Falcons, so bring on the Dallas Cowboys and let's get this season started.

Gorman is the sports editor of the Daily. E-mail: dgorman@news-daily.com