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Redman to start for Falcons

POSTED: December 17, 2007 5:02 a.m.

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Atlanta Falcons knew it would be tough to find a replacement for Michael Vick.

With only a month to go in a miserable season, they’re still looking.

Chris Redman, who was out of the league the last three seasons, became the third starter of the post-Vick era Thursday, getting the nod after a strong performance in relief of Joey Harrington.

With Byron Leftwich still hurting and Harrington clearly not the answer, the Falcons (3-9) had little choice except to go with a quarterback who was selling insurance a year ago for their Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints.

"We liked the way he finished the game the other day," coach Bobby Petrino said after Redman practiced with the first team n a chilly afternoon. "He gave us a lift. He’s got a lot of confidence. So we’re going to start with him."

Who knows how long he’ll last? "It’s unbelievable," he said. "I have a chance to be on a pedestal that I never thought I would be on again, to be honest. I want to take advantage of this opportunity."

Redman spent four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, playing 10 games with six starts, but his career was sidetracked by shoulder and back problems. He didn’t play at all from 2004-06, getting cut by New England and Tennessee and flopping in a tryout with the Cincinnati Bengals.He was signed by Atlanta mainly because of his ties to Petrino, who was the offensive coordinator at Louisville during one of Redman’s college seasons.

Both hope that familiarity will lead to a more cohesive, productive offense. Without Vick, the Falcons rank 26th in total yards and next-to-last in scoring at just 14.2 points a game.

"It’s great for me," Redman said of his history with Petrino. "I feel real relaxed back there because he’s calling plays. We have a good relationship."

Redman replaced Harrington at the start of the fourth quarter last Sunday with the Falcons trailing 21-3 at St. Louis. The backup completed 16-of-24 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-16 loss.

Remaining dogs placed with rescue groups

RICHMOND, Va. — The remaining 47 pit bulls seized from suspended NFL star Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation are being placed with rescue organizations.

Federal judge Henry E. Hudson on Thursday signed off on recommendations by the court-appointed guardian for the dogs from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels operation.

Rebecca J. Huss, an animal law expert, recommended the dogs be placed with eight organizations, including 22 to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah and 10 to Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls in California. The transfers should take place within the next month, according to Tom Shaer, a spokeman for Huss.

Vick faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Monday for his role in a dogfighting conspiracy that operated on his 15-acre property beginning in 2001. Vick and his co-defendants still face state charges in Surry County in southeastern Virginia.


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