DAVIE, Fla. -- On a field filled with NFL prospects, Marcus Vick looked smaller than his listed height of 6 feet, especially when he crouched behind center to take a snap.
"It was kind of crazy seeing him over there," said linebacker
Sam McGrew, who played against Vick in college. Now they're
teammates -- for the weekend, anyway -- at the Miami Dolphins' rookie
Bypassed in the draft last week following a turbulent,
abbreviated career at Virginia Tech, Vick eagerly accepted coach
Nick Saban's invitation to take part in the three-day camp. The
audition began Friday, and Saban stressed there's no guarantee that
Vick has a future in Miami beyond Sunday.
"It's a date," Saban said. "We're not getting married."
Vick was one of three quarterbacks taking part in the camp,
which included other undrafted free agents, a handful of unsigned
veterans and the Dolphins' six draft picks. The scramble for spots
on the roster began with the offense running three plays over and
over in the first practice.
Vick looked fast and elusive -- but small.
"The guy has obviously got a lot of ability," Saban said. "We
certainly thought he had the potential to contribute at some
position in the NFL."
That position might be as a kick returner or receiver, if not as
a quarterback. While deciding where Vick might play, Saban will
gauge his personality and attitude.
"The guy is a tremendous competitor," Saban said. "Maybe
sometimes he hasn't channeled his emotions in the right direction
as a competitor, and that's probably a maturity issue and obviously
something he needs to work on.
"I haven't had a sit-down with him. But that will be part of
the process of evaluating him."
Also among the unsigned players trying out was veteran Kyle Turley, who has battled back trouble and last played in 2003 for the St. Louis Rams. He's trying to make a switch from tackle to tight end, and his weight is listed at 260 pounds.
"Here's a player who has had some success in this league,"
Saban said. "It's an opportunity for us to look at him and see if
he does have any potential as a tight end."
Saban declined to let Vick, Turley or other unsigned players speak with reporters. But McGrew, a former Florida State star, offered an endorsement of Vick.
"Marcus Vick is a great guy. He's one of those guys that if you
give him time, I believe he'll be a team leader," said McGrew, who
played against Vick in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship
game last season.
"When we played against him, I saw how he got his guys up and
he was hyping them like, 'Let's go, let's go, come on, get
everything right!' Seeing that, that lets you know what type of
player and guy he is."
Vick sat out the 2004 season for disciplinary reasons, then
passed for 2,393 yards and 17 touchdowns last year. Saban decided
to give him a shot after talking this week with Virginia Tech coach
"Some guys have a lot to offer athletically, and other issues
create concerns about whether they're the kind of people you want
on your team, and how they affect the team chemistry and affect
this organization," Saban said. "But we're also about giving
Wearing a knee brace, QB Daunte Culpepper is running
and throwing in the offseason program, and he received a favorable
report when examined recently by specialist Dr. James Andrews,
Saban said. ... Tennessee DB Jason Allen, the Dolphins' first-round
pick a week ago, will work mostly at safety this weekend, Saban
said. He'll likely get time later at cornerback. ... Among nine
rookie free agents whose signings were announced was running back Gerald Riggs Jr. of Tennessee, son of the former NFL star of the same name.