Vick to be assistant on Atlanta's new spring football team
ATLANTA (AP) — Michael Vick's second try for a football championship in Atlanta will come as a coach.
Atlanta was announced on Wednesday as the choice to join Orlando as franchises in the new Alliance of American Football that will begin play next February.
The Atlanta Alliance has hired former NFL coach Brad Childress as its head coach. Vick, the former Falcons quarterback, will serve as Childress' offensive coordinator.
"I want to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta," Vick said. "It's always been a dream of mine, and now I have another shot."
Atlanta is the second city to get a franchise in the league that was created by Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bill Polian and longtime TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol. The Alliance has a television deal with CBS and plans to open its first season the week after the Super Bowl.
Vick, 37, was the top overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft by Atlanta and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection during his time with the Falcons (2001-06). His stay ended in disgrace.
Vick served 18 months in prison following his guilty plea for a dogfighting operation in his native Virginia. He returned to play five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by short stints with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.
In 2017, he was welcomed back to the Falcons family by owner Arthur Blank in a retirement ceremony for Vick and receiver Roddy White.
Vick took the Falcons to the NFC championship game in 2004 but never reached the Super Bowl.
"When I accepted the job and thought about what it would take to bring this city a championship, I knew that I needed to bring Michael Vick back to Atlanta," Childress said. "His connection with the city is undeniable, and his 13 years of NFL experience will make him a tremendous asset to our team. I saw firsthand his innate ability to bring out the best in those around him and I'm confident that together, we're going to build something special for the city of Atlanta."
Vick said he has "a love and passion for teaching the game of football."
"I've learned so much over the course of my career, playing for and being mentored by some of the best coaches in all of football," he said. "I'm committed to paying it forward, helping players grow and putting some of my ideas into action on the football field. To do this in Atlanta just makes it that much sweeter."
Another veteran coach, Steve Spurrier, is in charge of the Orlando team.
"There is a tremendous amount of players and coaches who deserve a chance to compete at a professional level, but only a limited and finite amount of roster spots and positions in the sport today," Childress said. "The Alliance of American Football offers an exciting opportunity for players and coaches to launch or continue their career at the professional level during the spring, and I'm particularly impressed with its strong focus on the relationship between players, fans and the game."
The team will play at Georgia State Stadium, the former Turner Field that was home to baseball's Atlanta Braves.
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