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Falcons' options limited without Vick

By JOANNE KORTH, Times Staff Writer
Published July 25, 2007


Now that Michael Vick has been told to stay away, the Falcons will open training camp Thursday  with Joey Harrington as their starting quarterback.

Yes, that Joey Harrington.

The former first-round pick was 18-37 as a starter for four seasons in Detroit and 5-6 last season in Miami. Seems like the Falcons picked the wrong draft day to trade away popular and promising backup Matt Schaub, eh?

Atlanta could bring in another quarterback or stand pat with the current roster: Harrington, former Louisville star Chris Redman and local favorite D. J. Shockley, a Georgia product. Even if the Falcons were willing to give up, say, a third-round draft pick in trade for a quarterback with starting experience, the pickins' are pretty slim.

And the list of guys sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring is downright depressing.

Better than nothing

Daunte Culpepper, free agent -- The Falcons would be looking for a one-year fill-in until Vick's future is determined, and word is Culpepper and his damaged knee are still a year away from being a viable starter. Still, there must be some reason he hasn't signed with Jacksonville yet.

Brian Griese/Kyle Orton, Chicago -- Lovie Smith said it 1,027 times last season: "Rex Grossman is our starting quarterback." So why do they need both of these guys on the bench?

Chris Simms, Tampa Bay -- Former Bucs and current Falcons GM Rich McKay drafted Simms in 2003. Maybe McKay still likes Simms better than Jon Gruden does.

Thanks, but no thanks

Kyle Boller, Baltimore -- He and Harrington were separated at birth.

Doug Johnson, Cincinnati -- Been there, done that.

Chris Weinke, free agent -- 2-17 as a starter in Carolina. Ouch.

Even the Bucs wouldn't sign these guys

Aaron Brooks, free agent -- Released by Oakland, he is Vick's cousin. 'Nuff said.

Drew Bledsoe, retired -- Hmmm, from Vick to the least mobile quarterback in the history of the NFL.

Vinny Testaverde, free agent -- Turns 74 in November.

Call us crazy...

Steve Young, ESPN analyst -- Sure, he's been out of the game long enough to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but Vick failed for years to emulate this left-handed scrambler, so why not get the original?

Keanu Reeves, actor -- Only if there's room on the coaching staff for Gene Hackman.

Steve Bartkowski, Falcons board of directors -- Atlanta's No.1 overall pick in 1975. Think of the jersey sales.