Football

Vick back home in Virginia

Suspended NFL player Michael Vick arrived at his Virginia home by car Thursday, a day after being released from a federal prison in Kansas.

Suspended NFL player Michael Vick arrived at his Virginia home by car Thursday, a day after being released from a federal prison in Kansas.

Vick will now begin home confinement and a job in construction but has hopes of making it back to the playing field someday.

Four cars pulled up to Vick's five-bedroom brick home at the end of a cul-de-sac at about 8:25 a.m., led by a black Kia Sedona with blackout curtains in the back and sunshields on the front side windows.

Vick was in the Sedona, said Chris Garrett, a member of Vick's support and legal team.

A man got out of the lead vehicle and moved aside orange cones blocking the driveway, then the Sedona drove into a garage on the side of the house and out of sight of the street.

The other three cars followed into the driveway.

Two men, presumably security guards who were part of the travelling party, stood in the driveway and three others took up posts near the front door as though to prevent anyone from approaching.

"He's happy to be reunited with his family," Garrett said 10 minutes after the cars arrived.

Vick spent 19 months at the prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, after his conviction for financing a dog fighting operation.

He will spend the next two months under home confinement wearing an electronic monitor and working a $10-an-hour job as a labourer for a construction company.

He's scheduled to be released from federal custody on July 20, and then faces three more years of supervised probation.

His ultimate goal is a return to the NFL.

Chief among his challenges is rehabilitating his image and convincing the public and Goodell that he is truly sorry for his crime, and that he is prepared to live a different life — goals that will depend more on deeds than words.

"It goes beyond, 'Has he paid his debt to society?' Because I think that from a legal standpoint and financially and personally, he has," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said at an NFL owners' meeting Wednesday.

Part of Vick's problem was the company he kept, Blank said, and weeding out the bad influences and associating with people who have his best interests at heart will be a key to redemption and a possible return to the NFL.

"There's the expression 'you are what you eat.' To some extent, you are who you hang with too, and that does have an effect on lives for all of us," he said.

Vick's NFL future remains a mystery.

"Mike's already paid his dues," Falcons receiver and former teammate Roddy White said Wednesday.

"He wants to play football. I think if he gets reinstated before the season, there'll be a couple of teams that will be after him and give him a chance to play."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Vick doesn't deserve that chance until he passes psychological tests proving he is capable of feeling genuine remorse.

"Our position would be the opportunity to play in the NFL is a privilege, not a right," PETA spokesman Dan Shannon said.

First up for Vick is a $10-an-hour job as a labourer for a construction company.

That job is part of his probation, and he will find out more about the restrictions he faces in home confinement when he meets with his probation officer later this week.

He also will be equipped with an electronic monitor.

The Humane Society of the United States said Vick met its president recently in prison and wants to work on a program aimed at eradicating dogfighting among urban teens.

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