Mike Vick retires as member of Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA – Atlanta Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blanks welcomed Mike Vick and Roddy White back to the flock on Monday, playing host to a retirement ceremony for a pair of players who left an indelible mark on the NFL franchise.

The No. 1 overall selection in the 2001 NFL Draft, Vick played two memorable seasons at Virginia Tech, propelling Frank Beamer’s program to the national championship game following the 1999 season and forever changing the perception and expectations of the football program at Tech. White played wide receiver for 11 seasons in Atlanta. He is the franchise’s all-time leading receiver with 808 receptions, 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns.

The first African-American quarterback ever to be selected first overall in the NFL Draft, Vick also helped changed the course of the Falcons.

“Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, and he changed the culture,” said Todd McClure, who served as Vick’s center during all six of the quarterback’s seasons in Atlanta. “Michael Jordan – who I consider the king of the court – he changed the culture. Michael Phelps, king of the swimming pool, he changed the culture. Michael Vick, king of Atlanta, he changed the culture.”

During his tenure in Atlanta, Vick earned a trio of Pro Bowl appearances, completing 930 passes for 11,505 yards and 71 touchdowns. The Newport News, Virginia native owns 6,109 career rushing yards – the most ever by an NFL quarterback. He accumulated 3,859 ground yards and 21 touchdowns during his time with the Falcons. In 2006, he became the only NFL quarterback to record a 1,000-yard season as a rusher, finishing the year with 1,039 yards.

“He became the face of the franchise,” Blank said of Vick. “Obviously, when you turned on ESPN on Monday morning, win or loss, you were going to see a whole lot of highlights from Michael. Michael had the ability to take a game under his wing and really control it. He was a magnificent player with huge talent. He made some bad choices, and he paid his price for those choices. The great part of that story, like the great part of any story where there is human redemption involved, is that Michael has worked extraordinarily hard in giving back to the community in so many different ways. There’s no better way for Michael to redeem himself and make a difference in the lives of other people than by being a cheerleader for that message and sharing that message with young folks.”

For all the videos, quotes, photos and more, make sure to visit atlantafalcons.com/.

Here are a few of our other favorite links and reaction from Monday’s ceremony:

Mike Vick Highlight Video

Mike Vick Speech

Mike Vick Speech

Tyrod Taylor Reaction

Associated Press - Blank, Falcons hold retirement celebration for Vick, White

bit.ly/Vick-AP

Drew Brees shows his respect for Mike Vick via @SiNow

– VT –

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter and on Instagram @HokiesFB Instagram

HokieSports Shop