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.

Penn State falls to Pitt as comeback bid comes up short

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Penn State falls to Pitt as comeback bid comes up short

NEWARK, N.J. -- Michael Young had 29 points and nine rebounds as Pittsburgh held on to defeat Penn State 81-73 on Saturday in the Never Forget Tribute Classic.

Jamel Artis had 16 points and eight rebounds, Cameron Johnson scored 10 and Sheldon Jeter added eight points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots for Pitt.

A 3-pointer by Ryan Luther gave the Panthers (8-2) a 50-26 lead with 16:50 to play but Penn State used an 11-2 run to trim its deficit to 15 about four minutes later. Shep Garner scored four points during a 6-0 spurt that pulled the Nittany Lions within five with 1:50 left but Jeter answered with a 3-pointer and they would get no closer.

Mike Watkins had 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, while Tony Carr and Payton Banks scored 13 points apiece for Penn State (6-5). Garner added 12.

Big Picture
Penn State: After George Mason snapped Penn State's four-game winning streak, the Nittany Lions have lost two in a row for the second time this season. Penn State had lost to No. 1 Duke and No. 24 Cincinnati

Pitt: Young has led the Panthers in scoring in the past nine games, and came in to the contest ranked 17th in the country in scoring, averaging 22.3 points per game.

Up Next
Penn State: After a week off, the Nittany Lions will remain on the road when they travel to Madison Square Garden to face St. John's next Sunday before closing out their non-conference schedule at home against Morgan State.

Pitt: The Panthers return to the court next Saturday to face Rice at 7 p.m. to begin a five-game home stand.

Penn falls to hot-shooting George Mason

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Penn Athletics

Penn falls to hot-shooting George Mason

PHILADELPHIA -- Jalen Jenkins scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds to help lead George Mason over Penn 79-60 on Saturday.

Jenkins was 9 of 11 from the field and hit all four of his free throws for the Patriots (8-3), who have won seven straight. Marquise Moore added 17 points and led the team with 16 rebounds -- his eighth double-double this season -- along with 10 assists. Otis Livingston II had 13 points.

Jenkins sank two jumpers and a layup and Jaire Grayer hit a 3-pointer as part of a 13-0 run late in the second period that gave the Patriots a 70-55 lead with 3:18 remaining.

George Mason trailed 44-40 early in the second. Livingston and Karmari Newman sank 3-pointers and Moore drained a layup midway that put the Patriots back on top, 55-48, with 10:39 to play.

Matt Howard scored 15 points with seven rebounds for the Quakers (3-5).