Michael Vick grateful for new chapter with FOX Sports

Michael Vick got a second chance to play again in the NFL. He admits he wasn't sure he would get a first chance in broadcasting.

Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 after spending 18 months in prison for his involvement in a dog fighting ring. In demand as a unique talent at quarterback, he eventually played with the Jets and Pittsburgh through the 2015 season.

However, there are plenty of former players who can fill roles as analysts when it comes to TV. Given his history, and the networks' usual penchant to avoid polarizing figures, Vick had some realistic doubts about whether anyone would hire him to talk about football.

"Honestly, I did," Vick said. "But I just felt at some point there would be an opportunity. I didn't know with who."

It turned out FOX Sports stepped up to give Vick a shot. The network hired him to appear on FOX NFL Kickoff, the show that leads into FOX NFL Sunday. Vick also is featured on various studio shows on FOX Sports 1.

FOX Sports isn't a stranger to bringing in controversial sports personalities. It hired Alex Rodriguez and Pete Rose to work on its baseball coverage.

FOX Sports President Eric Shanks says Vick paid his debt to society, and has been active in community work since returning to the NFL. He believes Vick deserved the opportunity.

"I always felt God would send that person who says, 'Hey, what do you think about this?'" Vick said. "I just felt that in my heart. I'm thankful the people at FOX believe in me."

Cris Carter actually started Vick on his "latest chapter." Earlier this year, Carter called and asked Vick if he wanted to appear on his new FOX Sports 1 show, First Things First. Vick always enjoys talking about football. He figured he would be a natural on TV.

"I told Cris, 'I'll be ready for you,'" Vick said. "Cris said, 'You won't be ready, but I'll get you ready.' I started to think, maybe there's more to this than what you see."

Indeed, Vick, out of his element, initially felt nervous when he did an audition for FOX NFL Kickoff. Once the lights went on and working with new TV teammate Tony Gonzalez, he relaxed and passed the test.

However, Vick is far from a finished product as a TV analyst. As is the case with most new analysts, Vick says one of the biggest challenges is learning how to be concise with his thoughts. It is an art.

"You want to say a lot because you have a lot to say, but you don't have the time," Vick said. "Try to hit the point and get out."

Vick says he brings an insider perspective to his analysis as a recently retired former player. He also spent the summer working as a coaching intern for his former coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs.

"My approach is to try to be as realistic as possible," Vick said. "I understand organizations. I know how teams work. I can see things coming before they happen. These were things I lived through as a player. I have that type of knowledge [to share with viewers]."

Vick also knows what it is like to be on the receiving end of criticism during his years in the league. There were times he knew the knocks were valid, and others when they weren't because the analyst wasn't privy to all the information.

"Understand that you're only seeing a small frame of the big picture," Vick said. "You don't know everything because you're not in the locker room."

Vick now spends his days studying the previous week's games. He also is trying to soak up as much information as he can on teams and players.

Coaching might be in his future, but for now, the FOX job gives him a way to stay connected to the game.

"Football is in my blood," Vick said.

Vick says he still reflects on what happened, on how he fell from the peak of being a NFL star. He believes there is a reason why it occurred, although he admits, "I'm still trying to figure out what that reason is."

Vick credits people like Reid, Carter, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and others with supporting him through the tough times. Now he is grateful to FOX for what he terms "another second chance."

"FOX has given me a great platform," Vick said. "I want it to last, and will work hard to make it last. I feel I can get better at this."

Twins: Tiki Barber will join his twin brother Ronde in the booth for FOX's coverage of the Giants-Tampa Bay game on Oct. 1. Kenny Albert will be on the call.

"I probably wouldn't want to be part of a three-man booth with too many people, but I'm happy to share the FOX booth with Tiki," Ronde said. "Tiki is a novice in terms of calling games, and there are so many different mechanics that go along with it. We have always shared our life experiences with each other, so he knows what he is getting into by virtue of me."

Ronde has served as a Fox NFL analyst since 2013, while Tiki co-hosts "Tiki and Tierney" on CBS Sports Radio.

Emmitt's turn: Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, will be the subject of the latest A Football Life, airing Friday at 9 p.m. ET on NFL Network. Interviews include Jerry Jones, Troy Aikman, Jimmy Johnson, and Jim Brown.

"That was our finest hour during my tenure with the Dallas Cowboys," Jones said. "That really doesn't happen without Emmitt Smith's will to be there."

Extra points: New CBS No. 1 analyst Tony Romo will get his most national exposure with CBS' coverage of the Cincinnati-Green Bay game Sunday at 4:25 ET. It will be seen throughout most of the country as this week's featured doubleheader game.

The third season of The Timeline debuts Thursday with The Greatest Show on Turf, offering an in-depth look at the Rams' record-breaking offense from 1999-2001. It will air following the Los Angeles Rams-San Francisco 49ers game on NFL Network.

Beth Mowins will do her first play-by-play for CBS Sunday, working with Jay Feely for the Cleveland-Indianapolis game.

Week 3 announcer lineup

Thursday

NFL Network, 8:25 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth

Sunday

CBS 1:00 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh at Chicago: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green

Denver at Buffalo: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

Houston at New England: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts

Miami at New York Jets: Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein

Cleveland at Indianapolis: Beth Mowins, Jay Feely

CBS 4:25 p.m. ET

Cincinnati at Green Bay: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo

Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

FOX 1:00 p.m ET

Giants at Philadelphia: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman

Tampa Bay at Minnesota: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman

Atlanta at Detroit: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston

New Orleans at Carolina: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber

FOX 4:05 p.m. ET

Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis

NBC 8:30 p.m. ET

Oakland at Washington: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth

Monday

ESPN 8:30 p.m. ET

Dallas at Arizona: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden

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