- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FLOWERY BRANCH, GA. (AP) - There will be no “my house” declarations from Michael Vick _ no matter how many fans at the Georgia Dome are cheering for him or wearing an Atlanta Falcons jersey adorned with No. 7.

Maybe in his younger days, Vick could’ve been persuaded to say something Deion-like.

Not anymore.

“That’s not my house,” Vick said Wednesday. “That’s Matt Ryan’s house. I’m just a visitor.”

Vick is getting ready to face his former team for the second time since being released from federal prison and, by all indications, turning his once-wayward life around. Two years ago, he was just getting started on that reclamation project when he returned to Atlanta as a sparingly used backup for the Philadelphia Eagles.

He wound up throwing for one touchdown and running for another in a 34-7 rout, the few boos completely drowned out by the raucous cheers of Falcons fans who remembered the good times with him as their team’s quarterback, before he was caught running a dogfighting operation.

That’s a day he still talks about fondly.

“I just remember being in the Dome with the crowd cheering my name, which was special to me and all my teammates,” Vick recalled. “They thought that was the greatest thing in the world. Everybody on the sideline came up to me to say how excited they were to be part of a situation like that. They had never seen it before.”

He felt no need to repeat the pompous boast that Deion Sanders made after returning to the Dome and leading the 49ers to victory over his former team. “I built this house!” the Neon One said. “This is MY house.”

Vick was gracious two years ago, and he remains that way preparing for another trip to Atlanta.

“I will always remember that day, and not for the plays I made,” he said. “That was just a fraction of the joy I felt that day. It’s just the appreciation from the Atlanta Falcons fans I felt that day, even though I was in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform.”

Now, he’s the Eagles‘ undisputed starter, complete with a $100 million contract, lofty expectations and the adulation of a new city.

Nothing personal, A-T-L, but Vick has moved on. He doesn’t spend a lot of time assessing his career with the Falcons _ or what might’ve been.

“To be honest, I’ve not really thought about that in a while,” Vick said in a conference call from Philadelphia. “It may cross my mind every once in a while, but I’m so thankful to be in Philly right now. I know things happen for a reason. Maybe it was meant for me to be here. I couldn’t have landed in a better city, a better place. This is my home, this is where I want to be. I’m just thankful for that.”

Ryan took over as the Falcons quarterback after Vick was sent to prison, and there are no complaints in these parts about the way things turned out with Matty Ice.

Story Continues →