Where to go?

Don't like that parallel? Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan also regained world-class form after lengthy absences.

Point is: Dedicated, gifted and fortunate athletes are capable of shedding rust if given the chance. And while no owner, coach or general manager is raising his hand and shouting, "Me, me, me," it's hard to fathom every team taking a pass.

Yes, media will descend, while some fans and animal-rights advocates object. But will the noise be any more distracting than what accompanied the recent returns of A-Roid and Manny?

At last check, their teams were basking in first place.

Some have mentioned the Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals, the Father Flanagans of the NFL, as possible Vick destinations. But Al Davis' Raiders are a farce, and Bengals owner Mike Brown says no thanks.

The Miami Dolphins and Bill Parcells? They drafted West Virginia's Pat White, a younger Vick, sans baggage.

The Washington Redskins? Put nothing past owner Dan Snyder, but a fledgling, short-leashed coach such as Jim Zorn is the last thing Vick needs.

The New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers or Indianapolis Colts? From the owner's suite to front office to locker room, they certainly have the organizational strength to develop Vick.

This brings us to Dungy, as decent a gentleman as you're likely to find. He knows far too much about personal loss — his son committed suicide — and has graciously volunteered to mentor Vick.

Uncertain terms notwithstanding — Vick is cleared for practice and two of four exhibition games, with regular-season eligibility to be determined by mid-October, at the latest — Dungy applauded Goodell's decision.

"When I was coaching and came across a player who had had troubles before coming to our team," Dungy wrote on his blog Tuesday, "I would always lay out what was expected and let that player know that he wasn't going to be treated like everyone else.

"He wouldn't get the benefit of the doubt, and his behavior would have to be above reproach. That's the way he could prove to me that he had changed and that he understood what we were looking for. …

"I think Michael deserves the chance to show people he has changed and learned from past mistakes. But my true hope is that he will make sound decisions about his future and, at the same time, let people know more about the person I've come to know recently. I know the public will be skeptical, but I think, over time, people will find there's a different side to him than what they've seen so far."

Well said by a principled voice. Here's hoping the right NFL team listens.

NFL teams uninterested in Vick

BENGALS: Cincinnati said Tuesday that with three QBs already on the roster, it won't pursue Vick.

DOLPHINS: While Vick would fit into their Wildcat formation, Miami's GM said Tuesday the team isn't interested.

FALCONS: Vick's former team released him in June.

David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at dteel@dailypress.com. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime.
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