Michael Vick Avoids Madden Cover Jinx

28 04 2011

By Bo Wulf

After running past the competition to the finals of the Madden cover vote, Michael Vick fell to Peyton Hillis – good news for those Eagles fans who were worried about the notorious Madden cover jinx.

After over 13 million votes during a five-week period, Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis was voted as the Madden 12 cover athlete, beating out Eagles quarterback Michael Vick with 66 percent of the vote. Vick made it to the finals after beating out DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys, Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans, Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings.

“I think it’s great for Peyton,” said Vick on ESPN’s SportsNation, gracious in defeat. “It goes to show that he has a broad fan base. People admire what he does, he takes pride in what he does and he’s very deserving.

“I made it this far, that’s a big plus for me.”

The last time an Eagle was on the cover of Madden was Madden 06, when Donovan McNabb graced the cover. Vick adorned the front of Madden 04, back when he was the starting quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. He would have been the first two-time Madden cover athlete.

On the eve of the NFL Draft, Vick was also asked about his hopes for the team’s draft. Like many fans, his eyes are on the secondary.

“Hopefully we can go out and get maybe a cornerback to complement Asante. I think if you put two good cornerbacks on each side, it makes it tough on opposing teams,” he said. “I think we’re pretty stacked on offense.”

Last 10 Players On Madden Cover

Madden 02 – Daunte Culpepper
Madden 03 – Marshall Faulk
Madden 04 – Michael Vick
Madden 05 – Ray Lewis
Madden 06 – Donovan McNabb
Madden 07 – Shaun Alexander
Madden 08 – Vince Young
Madden 09 – Brett Favre
Madden 10 – Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu
Madden 11 – Drew Brees

Full Article Here


Oswalt Leaves Phils

27 04 2011

By Matt Snyder

Phillies starting pitcher Roy Oswalt has left his team due to personal reasons, it was revealed early Wednesday afternoon. Amidst questions and speculation, the Phillies public relations department released a statement to let everyone know why Oswalt left. It reads as follows:

“There has been a tremendous amount of tornado activity near Roy’s home in Mississippi resulting in several tragic deaths and significant devastation to the area. Because of this, Roy is concerned about his family’s well-being. He has chosen to take time to make sure there wasn’t significant damage to his home, but more importantly, to make certain that his wife and children are okay. It is almost a year to the day that his parents’ home was destroyed by a tornado which has heightened his concern about the current situation. We are hopeful that he will rejoin the team for his next start, but will take that day by day.”

Oswalt may have been distracted during his Tuesday night outing, and it’s hard to blame him. CSNPhilly.com is reporting that Oswalt was alone with his cell phone in the dugout for a “long period of time” and appeared to be “reading and sending messages” just hours before the game against Arizona began. Then, after the game, Oswalt left before the clubhouse was open to reporters, a rarity for a standup guy like Oswalt. He took his first loss of the 2011 season (3-1) with a three-inning outing. He lasted only three innings, allowing six hits, five earned runs and a walk with no strikeouts. It ballooned his ERA up to 3.33 from 1.88.

Oswalt, 33, is a three-time All-Star who went 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA for the Phillies last season after coming over in a trade from the Astros. He had previously spent his entire career with Houston. A few starts back, he left early with a back injury, but the Phillies have reiterated he’s completely healthy and the leave is purely for family purposes.

General manager Ruben Amaro noted the Phillies expect Oswalt back before his next scheduled start, which is Tuesday. (CSNPhilly.com )

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Quintin Mikell Will Find Something Better To Do Than Watch NFL Draft

19 04 2011

Count at least one Eagles player amongst those that do not have the stomach for the NFL Draft this year.

“I usually am [a big NFL Draft guy], but I won’t be watching it this year,” said Quintin Mikell. “I’m going to find something better to do with my time.”

In talking to several players at Power Train in Cherry Hill, the temperature is luke-warm at best when it comes to the upcoming draft. Much like the fans, their excitement level has been affected by the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming season.

Plus, for them, it’s a very personal matter.

“It’s going to be a little frustrating,” said Mikell. “How are we going to have a draft and there’s not going to be any football? How are you going to have a first-rounder cross the stage and shake [Commissioner Roger Goodell’s] hand?

“‘Welcome to the NFL. You have no job.’ ”

Reports surfaced in March that the NFL Players Association was encouraging top prospects not to attend the draft in New York City, though that movement appears to have lost traction. Draftees are in an awkward position where they will be immediately locked out by the team and league that selects them; just another oddity in an uncomfortable offseason.

“Whether rookies go up and shake the commissioner’s hand, that’s not really a big deal to me,” said defensive end Victor Abiamiri. “I just want to focus on the season getting here, playing football and making that money.”

Far from a boycott, Brent Celek and Todd Herremans will be throwing a draft party on April 30 at their new bar in Old City, “879.” But that appears to be more of a business decision, and less an endorsement of the event.

“I used to be into it, not too much any more,” said Celek. “I like that stuff, right now I just don’t have the time for it. I’m doing my own thing.”

Philadelphia Eagles: Offensive Line, Not a Top Priority?

16 04 2011

Greg Cosell has been with NFL Films for 31 years and is the Executive Producer of NFL Matchup on ESPN. His expertise is film study. He spends countless hours breaking down tape, dissecting schemes and of course, critiquing players on the NFL and collegiate level. He is providing an inside look at what the Eagles need to do for the 2011 NFL Draft like only he can. Click here for complete article from Philadelphia Sports Daily.

I know many believe that offensive line is a position of great need for the Eagles. While reinforcements are necessary, and can be fortified with later rounMichael Vickd draft choices, this team can contend with its present unit, new offensive line coach Howard Mudd, and an improved Michael Vick.

This is a critical off-season for Vick. He must continue to develop further as a structured timing and rhythm passer who allows the system to work for him, rather than circumventing structure to play randomly. Improvisation produces inconsistency. There’s a reason coaches don’t just roll the ball out, and say “go make a play.”

Mudd is pivotal in this process. As the Colts offensive line coach from 1998-2009, he worked with Peyton Manning. Few in NFL history possessed the internal pocket clock that Manning has perfected. Mudd understands better than most the paramount role the quarterback plays in limiting sacks. Here’s the template: 3 step drop, the ball must be out of the quarterback’s hands in 1.5 seconds;  5 step drop, 2.1 seconds; 7 step drop, 2.6 seconds. Vick must intuitively reach those goals. If he can, the Eagles offensive line will look significantly better. Always remember quarterbacks who move always get sacked more, not less.

The bottom line: this draft must be about the defensive side of the ball. They cannot compete with the defense as it is presently constituted. The talent level is just not good enough.

Philadelphia Eagles Draft Needs

14 04 2011

We’ve all read and heard the windfall of reports on how the current NFL owner’s lockout has rendered free agency dead, and how teams with new coaches looking to put players in position or start working with pieces in place are hamstrung and rendered unable to do anything having to do with the game of football.

The Philadelphia Eagles are no different. Unlike teams like the San Francisco 49ers, who have a new coach in place trying to figure out who is going to lead his team at the quarterback position and beginning the work of that person learning a system, the Eagles have QBs to spare. Heading into the draft, the Eagles will be very interested in whether Nelson (at least temporarily pending appeal) lifts the lockout, allowing the Eagles to hopefully jump on the phones and have the myriad of teams pining for backup Kevin Kolb start the bidding. That would make the 2011 NFL Draft on April 28 wholly different for the Birds. Read the rest of this entry »

Collins: Evan Turner Gets Increased Minutes With Lou Williams Out

5 04 2011

Lou Williams will miss the remainder of the regular season with a strained right hamstring that he suffered in Saturday’s loss to the Bucks.

Even though the Sixers have added veteran guard Antonio Daniels to the roster, coach Doug Collins announced that rookie Evan Turner’s role will increase in the wake of Williams’ injury.

Collins said after Monday’s practice that Turner will get a chance to reclaim a regular reserve role after having fallen out of Collins’ rotation.

Collins said that Turner, the second pick in last June’s draft, is most comfortable with the ball in his hands, which Turner will have as the backup point guard to starter Jrue Holiday.