Ray's Replies: Is Kelly 'looking dumb' by waiting on Vick?

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Ray's Replies: Is Kelly 'looking dumb' by waiting on Vick?

Q. Some reporters keep repeating the Eagles have nothing to lose by keeping Mike Vick and not making a decision until the last possible minute. I totally disagree. Chip Kelly is a brand new coach so everyone is watching every move he makes to see if he knows what he is doing. This is his first and most important player personnel decision in the NFL.

Logically, a new coach would immediately dump an old, declining quarterback like Vick. He has failed miserably the past three years. It is a no-brainer. Kelly is looking dumb and indecisive and showing a lack of strong leadership by being wishy-washy on this obvious but important decision.

I think a poor perception of Kelly is more harmful than possibly a seventh-round draft pick they could get in a trade (for Vick).

-Domenic Z.


A. I think you are overreacting, Domenic. I don’t think the rest of the NFL will judge Kelly on this decision nor should they. This is just one of many decisions the new coach has to make as he begins cleaning up the mess he inherited from Andy Reid. The question of whether he knows what he is doing won’t be answered in this offseason. It will take time.

I don’t have a problem with Kelly keeping Vick on the roster for now. The Eagles don’t have to pay Vick the $3 million until March, so they have time to weigh their options and that’s what they are doing. It doesn’t mean Kelly is dumb or indecisive. It has nothing to do with leadership. He is just doing his homework and taking his time. That’s fine.

I don’t know what Kelly ultimately plans to do, but if it were up to me, I would cut ties with Vick at some point within the next month. In that regard, Domenic, we agree.

Even if Vick agreed to accept a pay cut, it wouldn’t make sense for the Eagles to keep him around. It’s time to move on, turn the page, pick any cliché you like. Vick will find a QB job for next season, but it should not be here.

Some see Vick as a fit for Kelly’s offense. I don’t. For one thing, he never has run anything like Kelly’s option, which means he would be trying to learn a new offense. The reads, the ball-handling and timing are totally different. Asking a soon-to-be 33-year-old quarterback, who isn’t always the best pupil, to make that kind of transition does not make sense.

Those who try to project Vick in this offense do so because they still think of him as a running threat. He’s not anymore. He hasn’t just lost a step, he has lost more than that and in the NFL that’s the difference between explosive and ordinary. The option is a different kind of running anyway. It is not scrambling; it is assignment running, reading on the move and reacting. Again, it would be new to Vick.

Kelly has said he can’t play with quarterbacks who take bad sacks and quarterbacks who turn the ball over. Those are the things that characterized Vick’s play the past two seasons. If Kelly is studying the tape, he will see ample evidence of that.

Also, in the option, the quarterback gets hit a lot. He doesn’t have the rules to protect him in the same way they protect a drop-back passer. So how does a player as injury-prone as Vick figure in that equation? Simply put, he doesn’t.

In my opinion, keeping Vick around would be a waste of time. Even if you think he can run this offense, could you foresee him running it two years from now? He’ll be 34 then with an even thicker medical file. There’s no point.

Vick would be, at best, a one-year stop gap and Kelly would have to start over with another quarterback the following year. He would be better off trying to develop that quarterback now. Keeping Vick for another year will only slow down the process.

Tonight's Lineup: Ryan Howard (surprisingly) starts at 1B

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Tonight's Lineup: Ryan Howard (surprisingly) starts at 1B

So much for trimming Ryan Howard's playing time.

One day after Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he plans on giving 24-year-old Tommy Joseph more starts against right-handed pitchers, Mackanin flipped the switch Monday.

Howard is penciled in as the starting first baseman for the Phils' series-opener against the Nationals on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park against Tanner Roark (3-4, 2.71).

After the Phillies were clobbered by the MLB-best Chicago Cubs on Sunday — and the weekend, really — Mackanin said the Phils have to get a longer look at Joseph.

"We brought up Joseph up here for a reason, to get a look at him," the manager said after the Phillies' 7-2 on Sunday afternoon (see story). "I can't let him stagnate on the bench like (Darin) Ruf ended up doing, so he's going to face some right-handed pitchers to keep his timing."

Joseph will have to wait another day to get in the lineup. To be fair, Joseph did face five righties last week, but three of those came with the designated hitter in play.

For Howard, however, the club icon is in a major rut that has had many outsiders calling for him to retire or for the team to release him. He's hitting .154 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in 136 at-bats and is 6 for 62 (.097) with 25 strikeouts in May.

Here's the silver lining, however. Howard is a career .333 hitter in 12 at-bats against Roark, who he's taken deep once and has six RBIs against.

The Phillies turn to Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.97) to snap their three-game skid. He's faced the Nationals twice this season, allowing six — five earned — runs over 10⅓ innings.

Here is the Phillies' full lineup:

Phillies
1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Carlos Ruiz, C
6. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
7. Tyler Goeddel, LF
8. Jeremy Hellickson, P
9. Peter Bourjos, RF

For more on tonight's game, check out Steven Tyding's game notes.

P.J. Carlesimo turns down Sixers' associate head coach job for 'family reasons'

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P.J. Carlesimo turns down Sixers' associate head coach job for 'family reasons'

Thirty-five years is more than enough time to get a sense of who a person is and how they do their job. That is how long Brett Brown has known P.J. Carlesimo, which made it easy for the Sixers' head coach to have interest in adding him to the staff. 

With Mike D’Antoni leaving to coach the Rockets, the Sixers had a vacancy at the associate head coach position. On Sunday, though, Carlesimo decided not to join the Sixers’ staff and remain a television analyst.

“He was a natural fit for me,” Brown said Monday following a pre-draft workout. “For family reasons, he just couldn’t do it. We talked a lot and it was an emotional thing from P.J.’s perspective. 

“P.J. is a very close friend of mine and he made that decision for family reasons and I understand it. The phone call really didn’t surprise me knowing what I know of him and how he views his family, having to travel across the country the whole time.”

Like D’Antoni, Carlesimo has a lengthy résumé on the NBA sidelines. He was a head coach for parts of nine seasons and worked five as an assistant coach. Brown called working with D’Antoni “a real learning experience,” and an ideal candidate would have similar experience to help both the staff and the young roster.

“That role will be filled with maybe that type of flavor,” Brown said. “I know this, we are still in a complete development mode. We still have a bunch of 20 year olds, guys that could be with us for a long time, but they’re not old, that we have to make sure that the city and me, we remember that. We still need people and teachers that can teach and coach and establish relationships. 

“So you tick boxes on relationships, teaching, development, those still rule the day. If you can do that with some veteran wisdom and some type of experiences like Mike’s, say, or P.J. had, well then you’re really knocking it out of the park.”

Coaching vacancies are coveted at this level. With the No. 1 pick in the draft, a revamped front office, and a 125,000-square foot training facility under construction, the Sixers have enhanced the appeal of the role. 

"My phone is very active, as you can imagine," Brown said. "I think it’s a highly attractive position. … Like our draft picks, I too spend a lot of time studying who will be the best fit for me and our program."

MLB Notes: Mets' manager Terry Collins worried David Wright might be headed for DL

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MLB Notes: Mets' manager Terry Collins worried David Wright might be headed for DL

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins is worried David Wright may wind up on the disabled list because of a neck injury.

New York's captain and third baseman was out of the starting lineup for the third straight day Monday because of his neck. He was given anti-inflammatory medicine over the weekend.

Now 33, Wright was on the disabled list from April 15 to Aug. 24 last year when he strained his right hamstring and then developed spinal stenosis. He has a lengthy physical therapy routine he must go through before each game.

Wright homered in three straight games last week before getting hurt. He is batting .226 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and 55 strikeouts in 137 at-bats.

White Sox: Shuck called up with Jackson injured
NEW YORK -- With Austin Jackson bothered by turf toe, the Chicago White Sox recalled outfielder J.B. Shuck from Charlotte and optioned right-hander Tommy Kahnle to the Triple-A farm team.

Jackson left Sunday's game in the eighth inning because of his left foot.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said before Monday's series opener against the New York Mets that he doesn't think Jackson's injury at this point merits a move to the disabled list. He adds that the team does not "necessarily want to lose him for two weeks right away."

Shuck was batting fifth and playing center field Monday. He was 0 for 9 with the White Sox before he was sent down April 18 when Chicago needed to add a pitcher. He is hitting .299 at Charlotte with two homers and 17 RBIs.

Kahnle is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four games over three stints with Chicago this season.