Younger Vick Joins Dolphins 

Younger Vick Joins Dolphins

Miami signed Marcus Vick on Monday, but the former quarterback at Virginia Tech probably will not play that position if he makes the team.

The Dolphins signed Marcus Vick as a free agent Monday. Don't expect the former Virginia Tech quarterback and brother of Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick to play quarterback should he make the roster.

Vick possessed the most notable name among the four free agents -- Vick, linebacker Keith Newman, cornerback Michael Lehan and tight end Keith Heinrich -- signed by the Dolphins on Monday. Vick will join the team's ''organized training activity'' with other rookies today.

Like his brother, Marcus Vick played quarterback at Virginia Tech. Unlike his brother, the Dolphins likely won't see him as a quarterback. They didn't even work him out at quarterback during the final day of rookie camp, instead playing him at receiver.

The Dolphins already have three quarterbacks. But the talents and size (6-0, 216 pounds) of Vick are similar to those of Antwaan Randle El. Pittsburgh drafted the 5-10, 192-pound Indiana University quarterback, then deployed him as a wide receiver and returner because of his explosiveness in the open field.

Also, Randle El's passing ability allowed him to be used on trick plays and to perplex defenses by lining up as quarterback in the shotgun. After four productive years in Pittsburgh, Randle El signed with Washington this summer.

The main difference between the two is Randle El was a second-round draft pick and Vick is a free agent. The Dolphins have nothing invested in him, so it's reasonable to expect he won't make the team unless he can beat out someone at a position.

Vick's best opportunity to make the roster might be as a punt returner, where Wes Welker has defined ''dependable, but pedestrian'' over the past two seasons. Welker averaged 9.1 yards per return with a long of 47 last season.

A big reason Vick wasn't drafted was a stream of on- and off-the-field incidents while in college. He was suspended for the 2004 season and kicked off the team after the 2005 season. When Vick stomped on a calf of Louisville defensive end Elvis Dumervil during the Jan. 2 Gator Bowl, he might as well have been stomping on the rest of his college career. Soon after, he was charged with three counts of brandishing a firearm in Suffolk, Va.

''I want to make it very clear that we will not condone any behavior issues in the future relative to Marcus Vick,'' Dolphins coach Nick Saban said. ``Marcus acknowledges that he has made some mistakes, all of which have resulted in severe consequences for him. They have helped him learn that he will need to make much better choices and decisions in the future or risk similar consequences that could jeopardize his career as a professional.

''As an organization, we did an enormous amount of research, including consulting with professionals in detailed, in-depth analysis to feel comfortable that giving Marcus an opportunity as a free agent is a risk worth taking,'' Saban said. ``Marcus has made a commitment to this organization and our fans to represent the Miami Dolphins in a first-class manner.''

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