Archive for the ‘Michael Vick’ Category

Every week it is proclaimed that Peyton Manning is back, and then the next week he’s even more back. Soon enough he’ll be so back that time will actually move backwards, and he’ll just rejoin the Colts. I’m not sure what would come of Andrew Luck in this cosmic scenario, but I do know that Benjamin Button eventually becomes a baby and then dies.

We know that Manning has been really, really ridiculously good looking, especially this past Sunday when he seemed to remember how to throw a deep ball, and especially when he gives us two million free pizzas. Fantasy owners are rather pleased, as despite his age and the overwhelming concern about his health prior to this season, Manning is the fifth-highest overall scorer using standard ESPN scoring (142 points). That’s 15 more points than Arian Foster, who was widely a first overall pick.

But is he truly, really, seriously back? Instead of just speculating and wondering, I thought I’d do some real reporting (rare, yes) and ask someone who’s watched nearly every throw from Manning since he became a Bronco. Cecil Lammey comes aboard for this week’s Five Questions. He’s the NFL insider for ESPN Denver, a senior writer at Football Guys, and the host of their excellent and thorough podcast (The Audible).

Before getting to Manning we also discussed the fantasy values of the backup quarterbacks for the Jets and Eagles if widely-speculated moves are eventually made with Michael Vick and Mark Sanchez. And what of this Ronnie Hillman fellow who broke out Sunday night? That also seems like a good question for a Broncos insider.

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When the beleaguered Philadelphia Eagles head to New Orleans and attempt to save their season — again — Michael Vick will be their starting Quarterback.

To be honest the whole ‘save their season’ cliche is one of the worst in all of sports — I’m guilty of using it, for that I apologize. But in some instances it’s apt. This is one of those cases. The Saints are terrible — their defense has given up more yards than any other team in league history at this point in the season. At 3-4, the Eagles are three games back of the Giants and two wins out of a wild card spot. It’s highly possible a 10-win team will miss out on the post-season in the NFC, so 3-5 means another lost season.

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There are two inevitable truths in the NFL if a team is underachieving, and those struggles are perceived to be centered around the quarterback. First, the quarterback will be benched. Failing that, the head coach will be benched. Forever.

That’s about to happen in Philadelphia, according to Howard Eskin from WIP Sports Radio, with the most anticipated yet still least surprising QB benching in recent memory likely forthcoming. Eskin reports that Andy Reid is indeed leaning towards a change at the position, sitting Michael Vick in favor of third-round rookie Nick Foles. However, Reuben Frank from CSN Philly reports that a benching hasn’t happened yet, and “as of now” Vick remains the starter.

If Reid does finally sever his tether to Vick, Foles needs to be added immediately in all fantasy leagues, and he should be one of the top waiver claims of the week. Starting him isn’t advisable this week if the move is made, except for those in deep leagues who are dealing with Tom Brady’s bye. But with the weapons in Philly’s offense and Foles’ lack of knowledge that he’s supposed to suck as a rookie making his first start in Week 9, buy low on the upside and take a bench flier, and then dump and run if he implodes.

Sure, Vick has struggled, averaging just 5.5 yards per pass attempt yesterday, and he’s infamously turned the ball over 13 times over seven games. It could be worse too since Vick’s fumbled nine times overall and lost only five of them. Last year over 13 games he had 10 fumbles, losing five.

But similar to the fabricated sense of slate cleansing that was brought on by the firing of Juan Castillo, installing a rookie quarterback at midseason won’t turn around an offense that’s playing far below its potential. Vick has been a problem with his overall regression, and failure to protect the football and use his unique athletic ability to thrive through improvising as he’s done in the past.

A far greater problem, though, is the fact that Vick or Foles or whoever can’t play defense.

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With the Bills on a bye week — salvation from the heartache, thank you — I thought I’d stick to what feels natural. In this case natural means watching a horrible football team fail to meet expectations.

If a single play could define the fortunes of a football team Philadelphia’s last ditch, down by 13 in an empty stadium, lateral frenzy was it. As Andy Reid stared into the abyss it was hard not acknowledge the truth. This is the end. Joe Banner, Andy Reid’s long term backer, is now in Cleveland. Reid’s sparkling post bye week record now has a blemish. Read the rest of this entry »

We live in trying times. Politicians are yelling something about Big Bird and binders of women, being a cab driver is no longer a lucrative occupation, and it’s raining outside where I am. Worse yet, two of the top quarterbacks on draft boards back in August — Cam Newton and Michael Vick — are struggling, and struggling mightily.

So what should you do? Should you stay calm? Or should you use $15 worth of tools to record frantic messages that a large red button can repeat on demand?

I talked to Evan Silva, the senior editor at Rotoworld who also writes at ProFootballTalk, and I asked him about Vick and Newton before discussing happier QB times with two rising arms, in addition to the outlook for Stevan Ridley and Alfred Morris going forward, and the possible fall of Andre Johnson.

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The lives of NFL coaches are an anomaly. They’re extremely well compensated for their craft while working absurd hours. One year of success is cast aside when a losing season is suffered.

Andy Reid’s tenure in Philadelphia is coming to an end. Juan Castillo’s firing was the decision of a desperate man. We’ve ruminated on former stars and their inability to cope with normal life. Reid’s decision to continue coaching after the death of his son during training camp was stunning to outside observers – he’s really going to take no time off? But for Reid, a person who can’t see himself as anything else but the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, it was standard. The Eagles have been near the top of the NFL during Reid’s tenure. Consider how many coaches have been fired since 1999 – his first year in Philly. The Bills alone have had six different head coaches during that span.

Sunday’s loss against Detroit marked the end for Castillo. Nnamdi Asomugha calling out his defensive coordinator for changing coverage packages on Calvin Johnson that had been working was the first time Eagles players openly questioned the braintrust’s decision making.

Which brings us back to Reid. Michael Vick has played poorly, the Offensive line is terrible (why was Castillo was moved to defense again?). Reid’s in game decision making continues to baffle Eagles fans and neutrals alike. Though yards against isn’t the best metric to analyze a defense, the Eagles rank 12th in that category and that’s without Trent Cole and Jason Babin doing much of anything. It isn’t the defense that is holding Philadelphia back.

Owner Jeffrey Lurie states he had doubts over the Castillo hiring. Asante Samuel is taking swipes at his former boss on twitter. The sharks have circled.

Reid is left with one choice. Turn to rookie QB Nick Foles and hope.

The Philly Inquirer’s Jeff McLane:

Reid was asked if was willing to roll the dice on the rookie in light of the success a number of young quarterbacks have had in the NFL over the last few seasons. “I’m looking at everything,” Reid said. “I’m going to try and do what’s best for our offense in this case and then whatever that decision is, I’m going to do. Right now, Michael’s the guy.”

Financially this a move that the front office might induce anyways. Vick’s out clause after the season would save the team $13 million dollars. For Reid, Foles is the guy he drafted. After taking a flier on Vick, he and Marty Mornhinweg can start over with Foles, who performed well in the preseason.
Andy Reid’s future in Philly will be determined by the fortunes of a third round pick. 1999 was a long time ago.

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Every week, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick seems to get absolutely crushed at least a dozen times. Each time he drops back to pass, thousands of fantasy football owners suddenly transform into religious zealots, quietly praying for Vick to escape the play unscathed.

I have no problem with religion. I just think it’s strange that fans fervently pray for their teams to win, or for their fantasy players to perform. If there is a God, he doesn’t care about your fantasy football team and it’s quasi-clever name (usually an obscure Simpsons reference).

It seems that some of you weren’t praying hard enough, because on the Eagles’ final play from scrimmage on Sunday (a game the Eagles won 19-17), Vick tweaked his knee and came up limping.

“Something happened with my knee on the last drive,” Vick told reporters after the game.  “I’m all right though.  I’ll be ready for next week.  Hopefully.”

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