Eagles Finish Up Preseason Against Jets Sorry, No Tebow

Eagles Finish Up Preseason Against Jets Sorry, No Tebow

Both the Eagles and Jets will rest their starters tonight in anticipation of the regular season slate beginning in little over a week, as is traditionally done in this fourth and final preseason encounter. And while Tim Tebow is not technically the starting quarterback for New York, the team has been ultra-secretive all summer about their intentions for the media darling, and the thinking is he will be featured heavily in the offense once the games are underway.

There are still a few reasons to tune in, chief among them being Nick Foles under center for his second start of the preseason. Foles seemingly has been elevated to number two behind Michael Vick on the depth chart by Andy Reid -- along with coach's infamous disclaimer "right now" -- but even though the rookie may have already solidified the job, he's been plenty fun to watch.

Speaking of Birds quarterbacks, Mike Kafka remains out of action, and there is growing sentiment he may wind up left off the roster. Trent Edwards had a strong preseason, though it should be noted those performances came at the expense of players who won't be making NFL rosters, but folks are enamored with his experience. If Foles really is the backup, does it make more sense to carry a QB who started 33 games at this level? It's a fair point, but I don't fully understand why everybody hates Kafka so much based on how little we've seen.

That's just one example of what's really at stake tonight: roster spots. Having said that, the Eagles actually don't appear to have too many that are really up for grabs.

The majority of the offense seems to be in place. Stanley Havili is among the players who won't see action tonight, suggesting he's locked down fullback. That makes it even less likely the club would carry four running backs, meaning Chris Polk is likely the odd man out there with Bryce Brown still ahead of him. Meanwhile, undrafted Damaris Johnson clearly outplayed sixth rounder Marvin McNutt, probably earning that fifth wide receiver spot. Hard to envision any of that changing tonight.

The same can hardly be said on defense, where plenty of depth spots should be up for grabs. That's not necessarily the case on the defensive line, where they have an embarrassment of riches, and will likely have to dump a Darryl Tapp, perhaps in some sort of trade. Linebacker is interesting though, where Jamar Chaney, Keenan Clayton, Casey Matthews, and Brian Rolle are battling for three spots. If the Eagles carry six corners, the decision comes down to either Brandon Hughes and Trevard Lindley, while Jaiquawn Jarrett is in a position he must prove his worth daily to stick at safety.

Kickoff is at 6:30, so if you're into this sort of thing, there is plenty to play for tonight. Final cuts are due by Friday night at 9 p.m., and then finally this season will truly be upon us.

Rookies Keegan Rosenberry, Fabian Herbers help Union top Crew

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Rookies Keegan Rosenberry, Fabian Herbers help Union top Crew

BOX SCORE

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Rookies Keegan Rosenberry and Fabian Herbers scored to help the Union beat the Columbus Crew 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Rosenberry gave the Union (10-9-7) a 2-1 lead in the 74th minute. Tranquillo Barnetta one-timed a feed to Rosenberry who trapped it with his right foot and blasted a left-footer through a pair of defenders and past goalkeeper Steve Clark.

Herbers, making his fifth start of the season, opened the scoring in the 60th. Chris Pontius tapped it to Herbers who, from the top of the box, had a shot blocked by Hector Jimenez before side-netting the rebound. Both of his two career goals have come against Columbus (4-9-11).

Adam Jahn tied it in the 73rd minute. Tony Tchani's header, off the corner by Federico Higuain, was deflected off the crossbar by goalkeeper Andre Blake and -- after a failed clearance by the Union -- Jahn tapped it in from close range.

It was the Union's third consecutive home win.

Columbus has one win in its last 11 matches.

Source: Phillies have gotten trade 'nibbles' on Carlos Ruiz

Source: Phillies have gotten trade 'nibbles' on Carlos Ruiz

CHICAGO — Another trade deadline arrives next Wednesday.

Could a Phillies veteran such as Ryan Howard or Carlos Ruiz, the lone holdovers from the 2008 World Series championship team, be on the move?

ESPN reports that both players have cleared waivers, which would make them eligible to be dealt. Players traded after Aug. 1 must first clear waivers. They have to be on a new team’s roster by Sept. 1 to gain postseason eligibility. Players traded after Sept. 1 are not eligible for the postseason.

Howard has been available for a trade for a couple of seasons, but there has been no interest. Even now, with him hitting .339 with seven homers, 16 RBIs and a .742 slugging percentage since the All-Star break (entering Wednesday), there remains little interest, according to sources. Howard is still owed about $16 million in the form of salary and a $10 million contract buyout for 2017, but that would not be an impediment to a deal as the Phils would eat that. Still, it’s unlikely he will be traded because most of the American League contenders are set at designated hitter, which would be his optimal role.

So, Howard, 36, is likely to play out the final year of his contract with the Phils, take his well-earned bows and exit either to retirement or a new team next season. He says he wants to keep playing.

Ruiz, 37, is also in the final year of his contract. Like Howard, he has swung the bat well recently, hitting .298 with a .433 on-base percentage in his last 26 games. He’s a backup catcher at this stage of his career, but that could appeal to a team like Cleveland or Boston, contenders who could be in the market for catching depth.

A baseball source said the Phillies have received some recent “nibbles” on Ruiz. It’s unclear if a deal will reach the finish line.

As players with 10 seasons in the majors and five consecutive with the same team, Howard and Ruiz both have the power to block a trade. It’s doubtful that either would because both have stated that their goal is to play in the postseason again.

“I’m still happy here,” Ruiz said. “We’ll see what happens. If that happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I'm going to play.”

Howard has taken the same attitude.

“Those are situations where I guess you’ve got to see what presents itself,” he said. “You know me. The last 12 years I’ve just been focused on playing ball. If it presents itself, it presents itself. You handle that situation. Otherwise, I just try to stay in the moment, stay in the now and prepare for the game.”

Trace McSorley named Penn State's starting quarterback

Trace McSorley named Penn State's starting quarterback

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Trace McSorley will start at quarterback for Penn State when the Nittany Lions open against Kent State on Sept 3.

Coach James Franklin settled on the sophomore after McSorley battled redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens for the job through the spring and summer.

"We're excited what he brings to our offense," Franklin said Wednesday. "I think the biggest thing is he's been the backup quarterback for two years. He has game experience and there's value in that. You've been able to see it already, you're not projecting as much."

McSorley will make his first career start at home against Kent State.

"It's a lot of weight off my shoulders," McSorley said. "Over the whole offseason, Tommy and I were pushing each other. This team will be better because of how this competition went with us pushing each other."

Both quarterbacks are strong runners, but McSorley's experience gave him the edge.

His shiftiness was utilized in practice throughout his tenure as Christian Hackenberg's backup. He usually led the scout team against the top defense, offering a similar look to the opposing running quarterbacks Penn State would play.

Although he's played sparingly on Saturdays in that time, McSorley saw meaningful snaps in Penn State's bowl game in relief of an injured Hackenberg. Then, McSorley completed 14 of 17 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, ran seven times for 31 yards and nearly led a comeback against Georgia.

Now, McSorley will try and turn around a unit that's ranked 105th and 114th in total offense the last two seasons. He'll do so in a spread-based offense designed for a mobile quarterback and led by new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead.

"I think the best thing about the way he runs the ball is he's savvy," linebacker Jason Cabinda said. "He sets up his cuts. You play a guy who's a statue in the pocket and you cover well, he gets sacked. Now we have another element. Not only do you have to worry about covering guys, but when that four or five seconds is up there's that option of scrambling, another aspect of the play you have to worry about."