Tag:Michael Vick
Posted on: March 31, 2011 8:47 am

PETA wants Vick out of Madden cover tourney

Vick Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With the upcoming release of the next version of EA Sports’ “Madden,” there’s plenty of controversy already brewing.

First, you’ve got the 32-player bracket in which fans can vote for the cover boy that has already led to “upsets” of Bills WR Steve Johnson (by Patriots RB Danny Woodhead) and of Broncos QB Tim Tebow (by a surprising Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, who dominated Tebow 64 percent-36 percent) in the first-round matchups.

Now, you’ve got the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who want Eagles QB Michael Vick evicted from the tournament (you know, the whole dogfighting thing).

That, however, won’t stop EA Sports president Peter Moore from putting Vick on the cover if that is the result of the fan vote.

"We believe that Michael Vick, as the runner-up in MVP for the league and the comeback player of the year, deserved his slot," Moore told CNBC.com. “I can tell you we've already received the letters from our good friends at PETA urging us to take him out of the bracket. I'm not here to comment on what he did. I personally believe, and this is personal commentary right now, that Michael served his time. He's had a tremendous season."

Vick also believes he deserves the honor, as he’s taken to his Twitter page to encourage fans to vote for him.

Moore also declared his company was wrong for originally allowing players who suffered concussions on the virtual field to return to the game. That’s why, in Madden ’12, that won’t be an option (my heart breaks for those who have Colts WR Austin Collie on their team).

According to the AP, Moore said “we have an obligation in our industry" to recognize that brain injuries are one of the leading issues of the day.

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Posted on: March 28, 2011 3:15 pm

Offseason Checkup: Philadelphia Eagles

Posted by Andy Benoit

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our checkup podcast:

Michael Vick wrote one of the greatest bounce back stories in the history of professional sports, giving the Eagles not just football’s fastest offense, but also its most entertaining.

Turns out, the 30-year-old Vick is a pied piper to young guns Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy (all of whom took a collective step forward in 2010).

Philly’s magic began to dissipate once teams realized that this defense was not far above average and that this offense could not read complex blitzes prior to the snap.

An improved front five could put the Eagles over the top in 2011. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo has moved to the defensive coordinator role (not a typo…the offensive line coach is now the defensive coordinator).

Filling Castillo’s old spot is longtime Colts assistant Howard Mudd, whom many believe is the best line coach in the industry. Mudd will simplify everything Philly’s offensive linemen do.

Whereas before they had a handful of different pass protection methods to learn, they’ll now have just one. Expect to see major improvements right away. Mudd was a big reason the Colts were able to survive with low-drafted and undrafted blockers for so many years.

1. Outside Linebacker
Ernie Sims is a great athlete who has no idea what he’s doing half the time. Opposing offenses love spotting him in coverage. Moise Fokou has good downhill attack speed, but he’s a fringe starter at best.

2. Safety
It would be wise to re-sign veteran leader Quintin Mikell. But if that doesn’t happen, the Eagles will likely need a more consistent replacement strong safety than Kurt Coleman. Also, keep in mind, free safety Nate Allen tore his ACL in December.

3. Cronerback
Everyone thinks Nnamdi Asomugha would be a great fit on this team. Asomugha, however, is a man-to-man specialist. Castillo will run a zone-based scheme. The Eagles would be wise to spend the money elsewhere. And while upgrades would be nice, the Eagles don’t necessarily have to spend at this spot to begin with. As much as Dmitri Patterson struggled down the stretch, the first-time starter also looked very good at times, playing with aggression and confidence early on.

There is a lot of pressure on Michael Vick in 2011. He is being asked to lead a team that many expect to contend for a title. If he answers the challenge, he’ll almost certainly be signed to a long-term mega contract that could make most of the financial woes left over from his dogfighting retribution disappear.

If he fails, he’ll still get a big contract somewhere, but the mega contract will never come. Assuming Philly’s defense is fine (and granted, that’s not a light assumption), Vick’s performance will determine this team’s fate.

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Posted on: March 23, 2011 4:25 pm

Vick's Q rating improves a little

Vick Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In September, Eagles QB Michael Vick had the highest negative Q score of any athlete in professional sports (I assume you know why).

According to CNBC.com, his image today has begun to improve – at least from an advertising standpoint. We told you something similar a few weeks ago when we wrote about Vick landing his second endorsement deal (Core Synergy’s silicone wristbands) since his release from prison.

Now, CNBC reports, his negative score has dropped to 49 percent (which is better), tied with Tiger Woods for the worst professional athlete score (not so good).

Considering Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have much better negative scores than Vick, it appears that he still has plenty of work to do to convince the public he’s not such a bad guy anymore.

But hey, at least less people totally hate the guy.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 23, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 12:20 pm

Hot Routes 3.23.11: Buddy Ryan has cancer

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Once again, former coaching standout Buddy Ryan has cancer, according to Jets coach Rex Ryan. But Rex is confident in his father. Said Rex: "He's 80 years old, but he's doing great. He's tougher than (s---). He's had other things in his life. He overcame encephalitis. He's overcome cancer twice. He's tough."
  • Sounds like the students at Assumption Catholic Church in St. Louis had a blast with Rams RB Steven Jackson. Even if this was a team-sponsored event (the Rams had to get special permission before Jackson could appear).

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Posted on: March 22, 2011 10:01 am
Edited on: March 22, 2011 12:38 pm

Report: Eagles would take 2012 picks for Kolb

Posted by Will Brinson

Kevin Kolb's future with the Eagles seemed all but tied to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement -- after all, it seems unlikely that Andy Reid would end up dealing him unless players were cleared to swap rosters before the 2011 NFL Draft. (Even though, yes, the rumors that Kolb could be dealt are certainly heating up.)

However, according to a report from ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, the Eagles would in fact be interested in taking on 2012 picks in exchange for Kolb.

"Even if he can't trade Kevin Kolb until after the draft ... [Andy Reid] would be interested in a pick in 2012," said Paolantonio. "He would definitely consider that."

What makes this particularly interesting is that it brings several different teams into play for Kolb.

Kevin Kolb: So Hot Right Now
For instance, the Panthers typically would have zero interest in trading for the backup Eagles quarterback, because their pick this year is at the top of the draft. However, the Eagles and Panthers have certainly engaged in swapping first-rounders before (that's how Carolina landed Jeff Otah a few years back), so something like 2012's first-rounder for Kolb could actually make sense.

That's an application that can work with any number of teams that are holding higher first-round picks, and it would certainly crank up the market for Kolb.

Being able to land a talented defensive player at the top of this year's draft AND land a potential franchise quarterback is, almost without question, a preferable solution for many teams to gambling on someone like Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton or Ryan Mallett.

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: March 22, 2011 10:22 am

Kevin Kolb trade looks very likely now

Posted by Andy Benoit
K. Kolb (US Presswire)
Indications are getting stronger and stronger that Kevin Kolb could be on the move. Last week, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman talked openly with Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer about the fourth-year quarterback’s trade value.

"There are a lot of teams looking for quarterbacks," Roseman said. "It's a quarterback-driven league. And when you have a quarterback who's proven what he can do in the NFL and has the characteristics that Kevin Kolb has, there's going to be a lot of interest from teams."
Obviously these sentiments are not a declaration that Kolb is on the trading block. But on Monday, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King wrote that there’s at least one team willing to trade a first-round pick for the 26-year-old.

Whatever team it is likely has a pick late in the first round, as King says Andy Reid is waiting to see if a team with an earlier first-round pick might step up.

If you’re up for speculating, the best guess for which team talked to Reid would be the Seahawks. They’re picking 25th overall. Matt Hasselbeck is a free agent, and Seattle runs an offense well suited for Kolb’s skills.

The only other teams in need of a quarterback who are drafting outside of the top 10 are the Vikings (12th), Dolphins (15th) and Jaguars (16th). It’s doubtful any club would be willing to offer a pick in the top half of Round One.

On the surface, it may seem a little strange that the Eagles would be willing to trade their 26-year-old passer. Reading between the lines, the club still isn’t completely sold on Michael Vick. Philly could have signed the 30-year-old Vick to a long-term contract after this past season. Instead, they franchise tagged him.

If Vick plays at a high level again this season, his price will only be steeper next year (especially considering that Peyton Manning’s contract will reset the quarterback market). The only reason the Eagles would delay Vick’s long-term deal is if they had serious reservations about his ability to stay healthy or maintain his 2010 magic. Keep in mind, Vick tailed off down the stretch after teams started exploiting his presnap shortcomings.

Kevin Kolb: So Hot Right Now

Kolb will only cost the Eagles $1.392 million in 2011. That’s a great price for a backup quarterback, let alone one who has been groomed to take over the franchise. However, keeping him for another year would be counterproductive. If Kolb rides the bench again, his trade value will plummet. Plus, like Vick, he’ll be a free agent in 2012 anyway. The Eagles won’t be able to keep both.

Thus, thanks to the financial factors of pro football, the Eagles must decide now whether to keep Vick or Kolb. They seem to like Vick better and could get more in a trade for Kolb. That simplifies what would have been a complicated situation.

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Posted on: March 20, 2011 12:02 am

Vick, Dungy visit Tampa area prison

Posted by Andy Benoit

So what is Michael Vick doing during the lockout? Heading to prison – sort of. With Tony Dungy, the Eagles quarterback visited about 1,000 soon-to-be-released inmates at Avon Park (Fla.) Correctional Institution.

"It was very humbling and at the same time, a bit overwhelming. You really didn't know what to expect," Vick told the Associated Press via Pro Football Talk. "Hopefully I can be an example to somebody. The thing that I was trying to get across is that we all can be instruments of change. That's something that I've been proactive about since I stepped out of prison and I'm enjoying every minute of it."

Dungy said, “I told Michael when we met in Leavenworth is that he’d be able to do some things, say some things and reach some people that no one else can. Other people can go in and say ‘Here is what you should do.’  It may be coming from somebody who they really respect, but not somebody who really knows what they’ve been through.

“When they see Mike, they say, ‘Here’s somebody that lived in my shoes for two years.’”

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Posted on: March 18, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: March 18, 2011 12:13 pm

Reid confirms Eagles willingness to deal Kolb

Posted by Will Brinson

Have we mentioned that Kevin Kolb is a popular guy in NFL circles these days? Because he is: the lack of quarterbacks available for a pile of teams that need a quarterback ASAP has driven Kolb's value through the roof.

We mentioned a while back that three teams were "considering" a trade for Kolb, and Andy Reid confirmed in a recent interview with the Eagles' website that not only have teams contacted Philly about their backup quarterback, but that they're at least interested in listening to the offers.

"People have shown a little interest (in Kolb), and as this thing picks up, I'm sure it will continue," Reid said. "Listen, we'll sit back and we’ll evaluate."

Reid did, however, point out once again that the Eagles aren't just going to dump Kolb simply because they have two talented quarterbacks on their roster.
Eagles Offseason

"He's ours," Reid said. "Everything else from there is easy. It's kind of like what I said last year. If people are interested, they'll come to you. But on the other hand, do we love Kevin Kolb? Are you kidding me?"

Despite an obvious need to play up Kolb's value, Reid's not acting at all -- yeah, Kolb's gotten the shaft thanks to Michael Vick's resurgence recently. But don't forget that once upon a time, the former Houston star was drafted in the second round, in a move that appeared to be a slap in Donovan McNabb's face.

Really, though, whether Kolb is moved comes down to one thing: the lockout being lifted. If teams can't trade players before the draft, it's a pretty good bet that Kolb will stay on the Eagles (barring some sort of "you draft this guy in the first round and we'll give you Kevin later" move, but that involves a lot of trusting amongst GM's).

It doesn't do Reid any good to dump him for a 2012 pick, but given the talent the Eagles have, an extra first-rounder this year might certainly make it worth his while to consider moving his backup and helping the team in other areas.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com