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Harrington in tough spot

Newhouse News Service The Spokesman-Review

Joey Harrington is going to have an interesting day July 26. He’ll be at Atlanta Falcons practice in Georgia. It’s the first day of training camp. The guy he’s backing up will be in court. It’s Michael Vick’s first court appearance related to the federal indictment he was handed Tuesday.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Web site wondered if the Falcons were about to reignite last season’s Miami Dolphins quarterback competition. That would be Harrington (already under contract with Atlanta) and Daunte Culpepper (recently released by the Dolphins).

By e-mail, Harrington, the former University of Oregon quarterback, said he didn’t want to comment on Vick or the odd situations Harrington keeps finding himself in.

First, there was Detroit. That was four seasons of a tough, unruly, almost unmanageable situation that culminated in a season of musical quarterbacks and insulting chants.

Harrington got out and signed with the Dolphins, who also had signed Culpepper, who was recovering from knee surgery. Turned out Culpepper couldn’t run, was sacked 21 times in the first four games and sent to the bench.

In came Harrington, who played OK, talked regularly about regaining his confidence, then was cut.

Harrington signed with Atlanta as a backup after Falcons backup Matt Schaub signed with the Houston Texans — and now Atlanta’s starter has been indicted.

The playbook on how to handle allegations of involvement in dog-fighting by one of the most recognizable football players in the country is pretty thin.

And there lives speculation, about what it means for Vick, and what it means for the Falcons.

What happens next?

On July 26, the day the Falcons start camp, and Vick’s in court, Harrington should get a lot of snaps in practice.

Nike stops shoe release

Vick’s legal troubles prompted Nike to suspend the release of its latest product line named after the Atlanta Falcons quarterback.

Nike has told retailers it will not release a fifth signature shoe, the Air Zoom Vick V, this summer. Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said the four shoe products and three shirts that currently bear Vick’s name will remain in stores.

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