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White's T-shirt, Hall's face paint show support for Vick

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

ATLANTA -- After Michael Vick was sentenced to nearly two
years in prison, two of his former Atlanta Falcons teammates sent
messages to the disgraced quarterback in Monday night's 34-14 loss
to the New Orleans Saints.

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who played with Vick at Virginia Tech
and in Atlanta, ran onto the field holding up a poster of Vick and
played the game with "MV7" written on the shade under both eyes.

Late in the first quarter, receiver Roddy White pulled up his
jersey after hauling in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Chris Redman,
revealing a black shirt with the words "Free Mike Vick" in white
letters.

"That was homemade. I did that myself," White said. "It ain't
too much to say, you know. The team misses him and we really need
him this season. There ain't too much more to say about it."

White appeared to be fighting his emotions.

Asked if the day had been emotional, White said simply "Yeah,"
before ending the interview.

Hall said the players wanted to show they were thinking of Vick
as more than a football player.

"We did that for the simple fact we wanted to let him know
we're still thinking about him," Hall said. "That was my personal
thing for doing it.

"I don't want to say this franchise doesn't want to acknowledge
the situation, but that's kind of the way you feel. All his
pictures all gone, no more jerseys, no more nothing. We just wanted
to let him know we're still thinking about him. We care about him
as a human being, not just as a football player and as a running
quarterback."

Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison earlier Monday
on his guilty plea to dogfighting changes. He will miss at least
two full seasons while serving his time and is unlikely to play
again for the Falcons.

Hall said he wanted to send "a tribute to Mike" but wanted to
avoid any thought the Vick sentencing affected the team's play.

"We had a game to play and we had to do what we needed to do
and it didn't have anything to do with Mike," Hall said. "Mike
took the blame for the losses when he was here, and he didn't throw
the way y'all wanted him to throw or didn't complete as many
passes.

"We're still blaming him for losses we're getting as a team and
he's not even here to play. It's a catch-22 he can't win. I just
wanted to let him know we're still thinking about him and we still
love him."