Falcons' QB Vick defends his troubled brother

Updated: January 25, 2006, 11:19 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick believes Virginia Tech overreacted when the school dismissed his brother, Marcus, from the football team after he stomped on an opposing player during the Gator Bowl.

Michael Vick
Michael Vick

Marcus Vick
Marcus Vick

Marcus Vick later claimed the incident was accidental and that he apologized to Louisville's Elvis Dumervil, but the All-American defensive end denied receiving an apology.

Michael Vick, who led Virginia Tech to the 1999 national title game as a redshirt freshman, was at the Gator Bowl and saw his brother step on Dumervil.

"Sometimes your emotions just take over," Michael Vick said during halftime Wednesday night of the Atlanta Hawks' game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. "I know Marcus. He's not the kind of kid that's going to do something like that on purpose. That's just something he's got to live with, and now it's just time to move on."

Marcus Vick's Gator Bowl antics came after he received a speeding ticket on Dec. 17 in Hampton, Va., for driving with a suspended license.

He had been under a "zero tolerance" policy at Virginia Tech following his suspension from the university for the 2004 season after several legal problems.

Earlier this month, just three days after being kicked off the football team, Vick was arrested and charged with pulling a gun on three teenagers in Virginia.

The 21-year-old is free on $10,000 bond until he makes a March court appearance in Suffolk, Va., to face three misdemeanor counts of brandishing a firearm.

The brothers are living together now in Michael Vick's home in Duluth, Ga.

Michael said he believes Marcus will be exonerated.

"No, I ain't mad," Michael Vick said. "He didn't do anything wrong. The world will all know when the truth comes out."

Marcus Vick was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection last year as a sophomore. After being dismissed from the team, he made himself eligible for the NFL draft in April.

Michael Vick hadn't spoken of his brother's problems since the Falcons ended their 8-8 season with a 44-11 home loss to Carolina.

The decision to fire his position coach, Mike Johnson, on Jan. 4 surprised Vick, who made the Pro Bowl twice in the last two years.

"It hurts me to see him go," Vick said. "I wish we could've kept him around. I don't know why he's gone, but that decision was made, and it's just something I've got to deal with."

Vick has not yet spoken to a Falcons official since head coach Jim Mora hired Bill Musgrave as quarterbacks coach on Tuesday. He wished the team had consulted him before making the moves.

"I think it would've been appropriate, but it's all good," Vick said. "I can't make those decisions. That's why they coach."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press