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Redman offers support to departed coach Petrino


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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Quarterback Chris Redman might be the only Atlanta Falcons player who supports Bobby Petrino.

A day after many of his teammates called the former coach "a coward" for his abrupt resignation, Redman stood by the man who helped him return to the NFL.

"I appreciated everything he did," Redman said Thursday. "Do I agree with the way he left? No, not really, but he left us a note in our locker saying he was doing what was best for him and his family to go ahead and resign. If he feels that way, I wish him the best of luck."

Redman went more than 3½ seasons without taking a snap in a regular-season game, but his long wait ended when he completed his only attempt last month at Carolina.

Now he is preparing to start his second straight game for the Falcons (3-10), who visit Tampa Bay (8-5) this weekend.

"It's definitely going to be a challenge, but our guys will be ready to play," Redman said. "We're professionals and we want to put a product on the field that our fans will enjoy watching."

Petrino's quick departure to Arkansas, after just 13 games with Atlanta, infuriated many players who cited poor communication skills as the coach's worst liability.

It was clear Petrino made an exception with Redman, who first played under him at Louisville in 1998. On the few occasions reporters saw Petrino walk through the locker room, Redman was usually the only player he stopped to speak with.

Even so, Redman had not talked to Petrino as of Thursday.

"I'm sure he's busy, but I'll talk to him down the road," Redman said. "He gave me a great opportunity here, and I think I've earned it. I don't think it was just given to me and I appreciate that."

During their one season together at Louisville, Petrino was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach when Redman helped the Cardinals finish 7-5, a six-win improvement over the previous season.

Petrino left the following year to take the coordinator's job at Jacksonville, but he stayed in touch with Redman, who was drafted by Baltimore in the third round of 2000 and went 3-3 over a 10-game stint that ended with back surgery in '03.

Redman spent part of the 2005 offseason with New England and Tennessee. But he had returned to sell insurance in his hometown of Louisville when Petrino offered him a chance to compete with Joey Harrington for the No. 2 spot behind Michael Vick.

After the NFL suspended Vick indefinitely for his role in federal dogfighting crimes, Harrington and Byron Leftwich took turns as starters, but the Falcons went just 3-9 before Redman earned his chance.

Despite a 34-14 loss last Monday to New Orleans, Redman has retained the job. Interim Falcons coach Emmitt Thomas never hesitated given Redman's 91.8 passer rating this year and 479 yards, four touchdowns and two interception in 65 attempts.

"We thought he played well Monday night," Thomas said. "Against Tampa, he'll get the ball out of his hands real quick. He has command of the system."

Redman will rely heavily on Roddy White, who needs 5 yards to become the Falcons' first receiver since Terence Mathis in 1999 to have a 1,000-yard season.

Both White and rookie wideout Laurent Robinson confirmed that Petrino's brother, Paul Petrino, contacted them on Tuesday night.

"He gave me a call and he was wishing me the best of luck and that it was great working with you," Robinson said. "He said that if I ever needed anything to call him. I felt very comfortable with him. I'll probably keep in touch."

General manager Rich McKay briefly praised Paul Petrino on Wednesday for his influence in helping former first-round pick White improve dramatically. McKay indicated that Paul Petrino was offered a chance to work the final three games, but the receivers coach thought his presence would cause more disruption.

Redman hopes to return in 2008 with the Falcons, but if their new coach isn't interested, he believes another team will give him a chance to stay in the NFL.

"Definitely. I'm going to play until they throw me out of here, so I'm excited," Redman said. "I've always thought that like I'm coming into my prime. I never really got there and hopefully I'll have a chance to establish that again."

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Hey...how about giving Redman a break here?

We all detest Petrino/Quit-reeno, but Redman was being gracious for the opportunity he had been given to get back to the NFL and nothing more.

IMHO, Redman should have simply walked away with no comment, rather than give anyone a sound-bite, but he didn't.

Dump all you want on that disloyal, lying, slimy piece of pig excrement ex-coach, but give our QB a break.

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NewFalcon (12/13/2007)
Hey...how about giving Redman a break here?

We all detest Petrino/Quit-reeno, but Redman was being gracious for the opportunity he had been given to get back to the NFL and nothing more.

IMHO, Redman should have simply walked away with no comment, rather than give anyone a sound-bite, but he didn't.

Dump all you want on that disloyal, lying, slimy piece of pig excrement ex-coach, but give our QB a break.

Yea, and what is Redman - a full-time insurance salesman and a practice-squad QB for any other NFL team other than this one if he's lucky.

Redman F*d up saying this. I won't be surprised if the O-Line acts like turn-styles on every pass play this weekend. You don't publically say ##### like that when the entire rest of the team you play on says the exact opposite - especially when you are QB of said team.

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I think everyone should calm down. Redman made it clear he did not agree with the manner and way Petrino left. Redman merely was stating his gratitude to Petrino for giving him an opportunity when nobody else would. You sychophants and hippocrites on this board crack me up. You scream for him one week and are ready to hang him this week. If he plays badly you will all be yelling for Joey who you phonies have back stabbed time and time again.

Atlanta should be loose and confident going down to Tampa. This is a great opportunity to try and get some momentum for next year. If Atlanta wins this game it could really help prepare players mentally for next year.

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monson007 (12/13/2007)
I think everyone should calm down. Redman made it clear he did not agree with the manner and way Petrino left. Redman merely was stating his gratitude to Petrino for giving him an opportunity when nobody else would. You sychophants and hippocrites on this board crack me up. You scream for him one week and are ready to hang him this week. If he plays badly you will all be yelling for Joey who you phonies have back stabbed time and time again.

Atlanta should be loose and confident going down to Tampa. This is a great opportunity to try and get some momentum for next year. If Atlanta wins this game it could really help prepare players mentally for next year.

Our best Defensive Lineman, aside from Abraham, is playing in Jacksonville right now because of that #####-clown.

The locker room was destroyed, the team chemistry was sent to ****, Hall got fined 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS for bull-sh*t and was wanting to leave, and we are looking forward to our 4th win of the season after week 13.

To defend that ##### at this point is asinine.

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JediFalcon (12/13/2007)[hr

Yea, and what is Redman - a full-time insurance salesman and a practice-squad QB for any other NFL team other than this one if he's lucky.

Redman F*d up saying this. I won't be surprised if the O-Line acts like turn-styles on every pass play this weekend. You don't publically say ##### like that when the entire rest of the team you play on says the exact opposite - especially when you are QB of said team.

For a Jedi, you seem to be consumed with anger and hate. Have you turned to the dark side????:)

Like it or not, Redman is the best QB we have on the team.

Seriously: the players will take his dumb statements in context, and work out any issues they might have during practice this week. On Sunday, they will work together as professionals and do their best to create an opportunity for us to win the game.

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Our best Defensive Lineman, aside from Abraham, is playing in Jacksonville right now because of that #####-clown.

You were one of the clowns calling him "Gravy" when he got cut if I remember correctly. As for D. Hall, he should have been fined. We lost that first game to Carolina because he could not keep his cool. Had he of done that we would have won the game. It was his penalites that got them critical first downs which helped them down the field and into the endzone.

If you want to be a sunshine patriot or summer soldier then go ahead and be one. Atlanta has done nothing but lose for most of its existense.

No sense in hanging Redman.

As for the line being like a turnstyle, **** they have been nothing but that all year long. Redman is going to take some hits. You can cheer that if it happens. Feel better now.

I think if you were more positive and actually hope for a win you will feel better.

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Not saying he should hate Petrino, because Petrino did help him out and give him a chance, but he should have kept his mouth shut. Petrino's name is the same as the devil and that locker room, and the players will see that as blasphemy. He will already have a hard enough time getting the trust of his teammates, this will make it a lot worse.

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