Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vick is third QB for second straight week

For Michael Vick, the only difference between this week and last is that he is slated to suit up and join his teammates on the sideline as the third quarterback.

Last week Vick didn't take the field or warm up as he did Sunday.

The Eagles made the announcement 90 minutes before the game.

Vick also arrived with the rest of the team, unlike last week when he showed up no more than 45 minutes before the opening kickoff.

Vick, Young and Kolb get together

Eagles quarterbacks Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb huddled with Titans counterpart Vince Young in the pregame warmups here at LP Field.

Vick later threw to Harold Carmichael and Eagles assistants while Young, nursing injuries to his left knee and ankle, warmed-up  in front of head coach Jeff Fisher and a trainer.

Vick is clad in warmup shorts, not game gear as are Kolb and Eagles rookie quarterback Mike Kafka.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Kevin Kolb fined $5,000

Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb didn't get away with the horse collar tackle he used to pull down Falcons safety Will Moore, who intercepted him last Sunday.

The NFL fined Kolb $5,000 for unnecessary roughness – horse collar tackle.

Kolb also was penalized 15 yards for the tackle.

Overlooked by NFL disciplinarian Ray Anderson, who has made headlines this week for steep fines and threats of suspensions of players hitting defenseless opponents, is the vicious chop block by Falcons offensive tackle Tyson Clabo on Eagles defensive tackle Brandon Graham.

Graham felt he was engaged with another Falcon when he was hit. Graham exited with a knee injury.

The Eagles were ticked off enough to send film of what they felt was an illegal block to Anderson and his crew.

Hard to believe defensive players aren't enamored about their level of protection compared to their offensive counterparts.

"It’s tough when you’re not looking and somebody comes and chops you," Graham said. "But you’ve got to know that you’ve got to have your head on a swivel all the time. That was just my fault just not seeing my surroundings. I mean, you’re not going to be able to catch everything. There is some cheap stuff out there. You’ve got to run with it."
Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson was fined $50,000 for a shot to the head of Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who will sit out this week's game after sustaining a concussion.
Robinson said he would appeal the fine.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NFL instructional 'hits' video is ABC's of hard tackling

Looking at the instructional video the NFL mandated players view, there are some pretty big hits players can get away with despite the moaning and groaning about the recent wave of fines along with the threat of suspensions.

Some seriously big hits (

In a nutshell, proper tackling protocol basically is this - shoulder to the chest of defenseless player good; helmet-to-helmet, helmet or shoulder to the neck or head of defenseless player, fine and/or suspension.

One of the featured don'ts was the Dunta Robinson hit on Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson that knocked both players out last weekend. The Falcons' Robinson is appealing the $50,000 fine.

"As you can say in this play, it's bang-bang," was the narration by NFL disciplinarian Ray Anderson, who metes out the punishment. "But it's illegal."

Robinson caught Jackson with a shoulder to the neck and chin area.

Titans QB's Young, Collins banged-up

The Titans are showing wear and tear from their Monday night win over the Jaguars.

Quarterbacks Vince Young and Kerry Collins both were held out of the Wednesday walkthrough.

Young has ankle and knee sprains sustained recovering a fumble Monday, Collins a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand.

Collins said his right hand hit an opponent. Right.

Right. (

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vent with Roger 'Goodwill'

NFL Comissioner Roger Goodell wants to know how you feel about his initiative to clean up the dirty head-hunting and make pro football the game you and your family can watch together.

You like it the way it is? Tell him. The chat begins at 4 p.m.

Click http://NFL.COM/.

Eagles send film of Falcon Clabo's chop-block to league

Various Eagles felt Falcons offensive tackle Tyson Clabo deserved to be fined for what they felt was an illegal chop block on defensive tackle Brandon Graham.

Graham felt he was engaged with another Falcon when he was hit. Graham exited with a knee injury.

"It’s tough when you’re not looking and somebody comes and chops you," Graham said. "But you’ve got to know that you’ve got to have your head on a swivel all the time. That was just my fault just not seeing my surroundings. I mean, you’re not going to be able to catch everything. There is some cheap stuff out there. You’ve got to run with it."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Robinson fined $50K, threatened with suspension after hit on DJax

The NFL fined Dunta Robinson $50,000 Tuesday for his frightening hit to the head of Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Though players typically appeal fines in an attempt to reduce the cost, there is little chance Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robinson or two other players billed for concussive hits this past Sunday will prevail.

League disciplinarian Ray Anderson warned Robinson and the others that “Future offenses will result in an escalation of fines up to and including suspension.”

The heavy and prompt action is part of the NFL crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits of defenseless players.

James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers was fined $75,000 for two head shots this past weekend, Brandon Meriweather of the New England Patriots $50,000 for another hit to the head.

All of the fines technically are for “flagrant violations of player safety rules.”
In the case of Robinson’s hit on Jackson, NFL Executive Vice President 
of Football Operations Anderson wrote:

“In the second quarter of Atlanta’s game against Philadelphia, Robinson unnecessarily struck a defenseless receiver. That action violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 (g) of the NFL Official Playing Rules, which states that it is unnecessary roughness if the initial force of the contact by a defender’s helmet, forearm, or shoulder is to the head or neck area of a defenseless receiver who is catching or attempting to catch a pass.”

While replays showed Robinson appeared to be lining his shoulder up to hit Jackson, he wound up using the helmet. Both players were knocked unconscious.

Jackson is a longshot to play this week. He likely will sit out the next three weeks, as the Eagles’ bye week follows their game this weekend with the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.

Monday, October 18, 2010

NFL 'hit' policy not working

After a weekend of concussive hits the NFL is going to get involved according to the Associated Press (

Eagles Pro Bowl wide receiver and Dunta Robinson, the Falcons cornerback who hit him in the chin helmet-first Sunday, both were knocked out.

Vick story changes again

Now Andy Reid says there only was a "1 percent chance" Michael Vick could have played Sunday, and that the veteran quarterback stayed inside during the game to get treatment on his still injured ribs.

But just in case Vick was that 1 in 100, he completed the far out drill in his uniform and shoulder pads - and with his helmet nearby.

That was the latest spin on Vick, who arrived at 12:15 p.m. knowing he was the third quarterback, dressed for the game, but never came out of the tunnel.

No way Vick stayed indoors because he was late, Reid allowed at his Monday news conference.

Despite the revolutionary therapy in a game-type setting Vick still isn't healthy enough to assume the starting job that remains his, according to Reid.

“There's a pretty good chance Kevin (Kolb) is the guy this week,” Reid said. "If (Vick) feels like he does today it would be a reach.”

Big Red also said the Eagles won’t shop Kolb or Vick before the trade deadline at 4 p.m. Tuesday because "I’m pretty happy with them."

Then again, it doesn't cost anything to listen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vick doesn't dress

The Eagles designated Michael Vick their third quarterback, which basically means he’s been scratched.

But Vick and his injured ribs weren’t seen in the pre-game warm-ups or on the sideline once the game began.

Eagles spokesman Derek Boyko denied reports Vick wasn’t at Lincoln Financial Field. Boyko said Vick wouldn’t be on the sideline, though, fueling speculation the veteran might have felt slighted being designated the third guy behind rookie Mike Kafka.

The Eagles said Vick would remain inside unless needed.

The Eagles led 21-0 in the first half.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rookie DT Owens signed to 53-man roster

With Brodrick Bunkley facing elbow surgery, reports the Eagles promoted seventh-round draft pick Jeff Owens from the practice squad to the active roster.

Bunkley could be placed on injured reserve to make room on the roster for Owens.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sportswriting in the year 2010

Sometimes I wonder if there's anyone really who likes to read sports stories dripping with description.

I need to see sports figures humanized. I need to see them sweat and cry in words.

The focus now is on getting the news out fast and furiously. Even such soft news as Michael Vick still is the Eagles' starting quarterback (Kevin Kolb didn't exactly make Andy Reid want to hurry back to Philly to evaluate tape before deciding on the starter this coming weekend).

Jay Fry really addresses the change in this genre a lot of us are still trying to figure out.

It's worth a read. (

These words passed on by Fry ring true - "With a blog, publishing is instantaneous — but Google is forever."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eagles-Niners pregame chat Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

Michael Vick update, Kevin Kolb's start versus San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park.

Tune in at 6:30 p.m. at

Vick a 'longshot' for next week

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is rehabbing hard to return from cartilage damage to his ribs.
But Vick still is considered a "longshot" to return the lineup this coming week according to Fox Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer.
Vick wants badly to get back on the field to oppose his first employer, the Atlanta Falcons. The Eagles entertain the Falcons next Sunday.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mikell fined $7,500 for unnecessary roughness

Quintin Mikell expected the bill.
Whether he appeals the NFL's $7,500 fine for unnecessary roughness, his horse collar tackle of Skins running back Clinton Portis notwithstanding, is another matter.
'Horse collar tackle' popped out of the mouths of almost every reporter in the press box at the Linc before the penalty flags came out for the illegal tackle on the first series of the game last Sunday.
Obvious as it was Mikell would have virtually no chance winning the appeal. It's unlikely the fine even would be reduced.
Worse he was run over just a few plays later on a touchdown run by Ryan Torrain.
It might be better just to let this one go.

Mikell fined

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

McCoy eyeing limited practice Thursday

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is all for taking a shot at playing this weekend with padding to protect his cracked lower rib.
McCoy could give the rib and the padding a test Thursday. That's what the Eagles are shooting for.
"Whatever pain is there you just have to try to block it out," he said. "So we'll see what happens. I played with it basically the whole second half, and with a lot of touches, a lot of banging and hits."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vick says "Hopefully" 1-to-2 weeks for cracked rib

Michael Vick says ice, a hyperbaric chamber and rest is the immediate road back from a rib injury sustained Sunday (

Sounds like this is going to be a lingering, performance-affecting injury.

Kevin Kolb gets another chance to win back the starting quarterback job ... because we all know Eagles players can lose jobs to injuries. At least Kolb knows this.

Friday, October 1, 2010

NFL Injury Report - Week Four

The Week 4 official injury report--

More sacks on third down than first and second combined? Guess again ...

I'm not the only guy who thinks NFL teams get more sacks on third down than on first and second downs combined.

Face it first and second downs are for running the ball and play action. Third down is for letting it rip.

The reality is that while more sacks are registered on third down, there are a ton of quarterback drops on first and second down.

Last season there was a total of 654 sacks on first and second downs compared to 426 sacks on fourth down. Thirty-two percent of the total sacks were on first down, 27 percent on second down, 38.7 percent on third down and 1.9 percent on fourth down.

This year teams have notched 52 sacks on first down, 64 on second down, 73 on third down and 2 on fourth down.

The Eagles numbers mirror the above figures.

Last year the Eagles registered 12 sacks on first down, 13 on second down, 17 on third down and 2 on fourth down.

So far this year the Eagles have 4 sacks on first down, 5 on second and 3 on third down.