Eagles lose top scout Brett Veach to Chiefs

slideshow-030713-chiefs-reid-uspresswire.jpg

Eagles lose top scout Brett Veach to Chiefs

With the start of free agency right around the corner and the NFL draft less than two months away, the Eagles have lost a significant member of their personnel department.

Brett Veach, who was entering his fourth season in the scouting department and third as the team’s Southeast region scout, left the team to reunite with Andy Reid in Kansas City for an undetermined scouting role for the Chiefs.

Veach first broke into the NFL as an intern with the Eagles in 2004 and was later hired as Reid’s assistant in 2007. He ascended quickly in the front office and was considered one of the team’s keenest scouts.

“Basically, an opportunity presented itself in Kansas City to be a part of Coach Reid’s staff again and [general manager] John Dorsey staff, and it was an opportunity I was excited about,” Veach, a native of Mount Carmel, Pa., and former University of Delaware standout, told CSNPhilly.com.

Veach said he left on great terms with the Eagles, calling his time there “six unbelieveable years” of learning under general manager Howie Roseman, former player personnel chief Ryan Grigson (now the Colts’ general manager) and director of college scouting Anthony Patch.

“Those guys taught me everything I know to this point,” Veach said. “You’re talking about three really sharp minds that I learned from every day.”

Veach left the Eagles shortly after the NFL Scouting Combine in late February and said Roseman graciously allowed him to go. The Eagles didn’t respond to comment and it’s unclear if they’ve filled Veach’s spot.

Ed Marynowitz, who joined the Eagles’ staff last May as assistant director of pro scouting, represented the Eagles at Miami’s and Florida International’s Pro Days on Thursday. Marynowitz had been the director of player personnel at the University of Alabama for four years before he joined the Eagles.

But Veach’s departure leaves the Eagles without one of their most prominent field scouts during the most critical time period for general managers and coaches to lean heavily on their personnel staff. Free agency starts 4 p.m. Tuesday and the draft starts April 25.

For the next seven weeks, personnel staffs will be hosting college prospects for interviews along with traveling the countryside to examine more prospects at Pro Days and private workouts. One league source said NFL teams rarely let scouts get away in the heart of the pre-draft process.

Several of the Eagles’ draft picks over the past few years have come from the prospect-rich Southeast region and from the prestigious Southeastern Conference, including last year’s first-round pick, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. The Eagles traded up to pluck Cox at 12th overall.

The Eagles also picked cornerback Brandon Boykin in the fourth round. Boykin edged incumbent Joselio Hanson for the nickelback job and played the position all year, along with returning kickoffs.

After his internship in 2004, Veach went back to work in Delaware’s athletic department until his second chance to work for Reid came in 2007, when he was named assistant to the head coach. He served that position for three years until his promotion to college and pro scout in 2010.

Veach was assigned to study wide receivers in 2008 leading up to the draft. That year, the Eagles picked DeSean Jackson in the second round. Jackson has made two Pro Bowls.

The Eagles promoted Veach to regional college scout in 2011 and assigned Veach to the country’s most fertile ground for college football standouts.

When the chance came to work again for Reid, who was fired by the Eagles at the end of last season and quickly hired by the Chiefs, Veach embraced the opportunity.

“Now I get a chance to work with John Dorsey,” Veach said. “It was just an exciting opportunity to learn from another great NFL mind.”

Phillies-Diamondbacks 5 things: Erratic Hellickson facing his former team

Phillies-Diamondbacks 5 things: Erratic Hellickson facing his former team

Phillies (24-49) at Diamondbacks (47-28)
4:10 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

After Friday's victory, the Phillies couldn't keep the good times rolling, losing 9-2 to the Diamondbacks on Saturday night. Jeremy Hellickson will take on his former team in Game 3 of the four-game set, opposing spot starter Randall Delgado.

Here are five things to know for Sunday afternoon:

1. Hellickson vs. his former 'mates
A year after he was traded by his original franchise, the Tampa Bay Rays, Hellickson was dealt by the D-backs on Nov. 14, 2015 to the Phillies for minor leaguer Sam McWilliams. 

McWilliams is a 21-year-old righty in Single A for the D-backs right now, but his value is basically a bonus for Arizona: Hellickson was basically salary dumped on the Phillies, who bought low on the veteran righty.

While the 30-year-old lost his only start against Arizona last season, he went seven innings while allowing just three runs. And he provided a fair amount of value to the Phillies, pitching to a 3.71 ERA over 189 innings. 

He leads the team with 15 starts this season, but he hasn't lived up to the promise of last season nor the qualifying offer he signed in the offseason. He has a 4.61 ERA and has allowed 16 home runs in 84 innings, all while watching his strikeout rate dwindle to a career-low. 

Hellickson is actually coming off one of his better starts this year. He allowed just one run to the Cardinals in seven innings, even striking out four batters. He left with the game tied, but the Phillies' bullpen surrendered seven runs in a loss. The veteran righty hasn't won a start since May 19.

Hellickson has relatively good numbers against the current Diamondbacks squad, buoyed by a 1 for 11 mark from backup catcher Jeff Mathis. Paul Goldschmidt is 0 for 2 with three walks and a HBP against him, while Jake Lamb is 2 for 3 with a home run.

2. Randall on the spot
Delgado has seen his role on the D-backs staff flip-flop over the last month. He's moved from the bullpen to the rotation back to the bullpen.

And now he's back in the rotation. 

Delgado is making a spot start to keep the pitching staff fresh in the middle of a stretch where the team plays 13 games in 13 nights. He's not unfamiliar to starting, having worked in the Braves' rotation to begin his career. However, he started just once in the 2015 and 2016 seasons combined before making four starts this season. 

In his four starts, he was 0-1 with a 3.15 ERA over 20 innings, striking out 20. He threw just 25 pitches in his last appearance, which came in a two-inning relief appearance on June 21. He was stretched out to more than 90 pitches as a starter, but he will be 16 days removed from his last start. Therefore, the D-backs' bullpen will be on notice.

Delgado hasn't started against the Phillies since 2013 and holds a 3.29 ERA over 27 1/3 innings in nine total appearances against them. No current Phillie has faced him more than six times with Howie Kendrick going 0 for 5 with a walk against the righty. Maikel Franco is 3 for 3 with two home runs and a double.

3. The road ahead
Sunday's contest will be just the third game of a nine-game road trip for the Phillies. On Monday, they play the wraparound series finale against the D-backs and their ace, Zack Greinke, before traveling to Seattle for a two-game series.

The Phillies haven't played at Safeco Field since June 17-19, 2011. In that three-game set, the Phils lost two of three. The winning pitchers for the Mariners in that series, Michael Pineda and Jason Vargas, have been solid this season in the American League, albeit for the Yankees and Royals respectively. 

After the quick two-game set, the Phillies will play three games at Citi Field before returning home. The Phillies are 2-4 against the Mets, who they haven't faced since April. The Mets are just 33-41 this season and could field an All-Star team with their disabled list. 

Once the road trip ends, the Phillies play a pair of lackluster teams in the Pirates and Padres for seven games at Citizens Bank Park before the All-Star break. The Pirates are 35-40 while the Padres are 31-44. 

4. Players to watch
Phillies
: Freddy Galvis has picked up at least two hits for the fourth straight game. The switch-hitting shortstop has gone 9 for 18 with three doubles, one triple and a homer during that stretch.

Diamondbacks: After going 1 for 4 with a walk and a run scored on Saturday, Paul Goldschmidt is batting .331/.448/.610 on the season. That line has All-Star written all over it.

5. This and that
• Ben Lively became the first Phillies pitcher to hit a home run since Chad Billingsley vs. the Mets in 2015. Bet you didn't expect a Billingsley reference in these game notes!

• Saturday was the Phillies' first loss at Chase Field since Aug. 11, 2015. The starter for the D-backs in that game? Jeremy Hellickson.

• Going into Saturday, the Diamondbacks rotation led all of baseball with 9.5 Wins Above Replacement and a 3.51 ERA. 

Jerry Sandusky conviction: 5 years later, still many unresolved issues

apsandusky.jpg
AP Images

Jerry Sandusky conviction: 5 years later, still many unresolved issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- It's been five years since ex-Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. His appeal is just one of many issues related to the scandal that are still working their way through the courts.

A look at some of the pending legal cases:

Sandusky's appeal
Sandusky, 73, is pursuing an appeal under the state's Post Conviction Relief Act as he serves a 30- to 60-year prison sentence. After several court hearings in the matter, Sandusky's lawyers are currently drafting proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. After that, state prosecutors will get a chance to respond. The judge in the case has indicated he plans to rule later this year.

His appeals lawyers say the central issues involve a claim that Sandusky did not get effective representation by his attorneys during the 2012 trial. They argue that prosecutors should have turned over information that some of Sandusky's victims had changed their stories, and that grand jury leaks compromised the fairness of the proceedings.

They also say Sandusky should have been advised against giving an interview to NBC sportscaster Bob Costas shortly after his arrest.

Sandusky is seeking dismissal of charges, a longshot, or to be granted a new trial.

"We're making some very serious allegations," said his current lawyer, Al Lindsay. "We think we're entitled to get one."

A spokesman for the attorney general's office says prosecutors believe Sandusky's conviction will be upheld.

Penn State administrators
Former president Graham Spanier was convicted by a jury in March of misdemeanor child endangerment for his failure to notify child-welfare authorities of a 2001 complaint about Sandusky apparently sexually abusing a boy in a campus shower. Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former university vice president Gary Schultz had earlier pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Sandusky was not arrested until a decade later after authorities got an anonymous tip. At least four of Sandusky's victims testified that they suffered abuse in the years after the shower incident.

All three former Penn State administrators are scheduled to report to county prison July 15 to serve two or three months.

Spanier, 68, earlier this month filed a motion seeking to have his conviction overturned or to get a new trial. His lawyers have argued the statute of limitations had expired, and are disputing that there is proof that his actions fit the crime for which he was found guilty. Prosecutors say they're confident his conviction will be upheld. He's facing two months in jail, followed by house arrest.

Curley, 63, has asked that his three-month jail sentence be revised so he will serve seven months of house arrest. Curley told the judge he has incurable lung cancer and liver damage.

Schultz, 67, has asked the judge to reconsider the portion of his sentence that calls for two months in jail, instead wanting to serve the sentence as six months of house arrest. He cited a family member's health problems.

State prosecutors have deferred the house arrest decisions to the judge, who hasn't ruled.

Spanier V. Penn State, Spanier V. Freeh
Spanier is pursuing a lawsuit against Penn State, where he still works, accusing it of violating an agreement made when he was forced out as president days after Sandusky's arrest. He claims the school has not lived up to the terms of the agreement regarding office space, teaching options and legal fees, and has improperly made public statements critical of him.

Penn State's countersuit alleges Spanier violated his employment agreement by not disclosing what he knew about Sandusky. Spanier is trying to get that claim dismissed.

Spanier also has a pending defamation lawsuit against former FBI director Louis Freeh, who led a team that produced a university-commissioned report into the Sandusky scandal in 2012 that was highly critical of Spanier. It seeks damages for reputational and economic harm he claims resulted from the report. In his defense, Freeh's lawyers cited Spanier's conviction in a new filing last month.

Paterno family V. NCAA
A judge recently granted both sides permission to file under seal documents in a lawsuit by the family of Joe Paterno, who supervised Sandusky, against the NCAA. The lawsuit claims the NCAA damaged the Paterno estate's commercial interests by its use of the Freeh report, which alleged Paterno and other administrators hushed up the 2001 complaint against Sandusky for fear of bad publicity.

The Paternos have said the coach did nothing wrong. His son Jay and a fellow former assistant football coach are also suing, claiming the Freeh report rendered them unable to find comparable work. Jay Paterno was recently elected by alumni to the Penn State board. Joe Paterno died in 2012, just months after he was fired, following Sandusky's arrest.