What Chip Kelly Doesnt Mean for Eagles Quarterback Situation

What Chip Kelly Doesnt Mean for Eagles Quarterback Situation

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We’ll be getting to know/dissecting the Chip Kelly hiring
for days, weeks, months, and years, but what immediately jumps out at everybody
is this spread offense he ran at Oregon. More specifically, if the new head
coach of the Philadelphia Eagles plans on implementing that system here, who
will be his field general?

It’s highly debatable whether that exact scheme is coming to
Philly, but let’s say the Eagles’ offense will be heavily reliant on the spread
like many seem to expect. Let’s look at a few of the shall we say myths about
how different players might or might not fit into the quarterback situation.

It doesn’t mean
Michael Vick is coming back

There are two major impediments to Vick returning for another
season in midnight green. Number one, Vick is owed a base salary of $16.5
million in 2013, which is an outrageous sum for an erratic quarterback that can’t
stay healthy. Translation: the Eagles don’t want to pay that. The problem is
Vick doesn’t want to renegotiate, either. Now it’s possible he realizes his
last best shot is under Chip and swallows his pride on financials, but there is
no indication that might be the case so far.

And that might not even be the biggest problem. When people
talk about Kelly’s philosophies, one of the first things that always comes up
is the man hates turnovers. Well, he’s an offensive-minded football coach, so
of course he would, but I mean really
hates them. At no point in Vick’s 10-year NFL career has he discovered a magic
elixir for his penchant for giveaways, and at age 33, I doubt he suddenly would
now.

One more thing: if Vick is presumed to be a fit for Kelly’s
offense because he’s mobile, ask yourself if he really makes sense in a system
that exposes him to even more hits.

It doesn’t mean the
Eagles will draft Geno Smith

So then the Eagles need a quarterback to operate Kelly’s
read-option offense, they have the fourth-overall pick in April’s draft, and
Geno Smith is the highest-rated quarterback according to many rankings. Sounds
like a match made in heaven, right?

Apparently a lot of folks don’t realize that Smith is a
pocket passer, and by that I mean he is not fast. I assume he has a reputation
for being an athletic quarterback because he’s black, but that’s simply not the
case. Smith might be closer to Nick Foles in terms of pure speed than he is
Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, or Colin Kapernick. Plus, there is a chance he won't even be available by the time the Birds are on the clock.

That doesn’t mean the Eagles don’t like Smith, either, but
it wouldn’t have anything to do with his mobility – or lack thereof in this
case. However, it’s worth noting that many experts don’t think there is a QB
worthy of a high first-round pick.

It doesn’t mean Nick
Foles is out of the picture

Did you know that the New England Patriots are running
aspects of the spread offense with Tom Brady? The notion that mobility under
center is a must in this scheme is entirely false. True, the zone-read running
play that Oregon’s offense is based off of requires the quarterback to become a
ball carrier from time to time, but that’s what they do at Oregon. There are
other elements to the system that translate at the NFL level, and will suit a
pocket passer such as Foles just fine.

In fact, it may surprise you to learn Chip really likes
Foles having seen a lot of him in the Pac-12. Here’s what he had to say about
the Eagles’ second-year quarterback in 2011:

“I’ll tell you what; I’m glad Nick Foles is graduating,”
Oregon coach Chip Kelly said after his team’s 56-31 victory Saturday night.

“I catch myself watching him in awe sometimes. … Nick is a
hell of a football player. That kid’s a warrior. He’s as good as anyone in the
country.”

Foles is not out of the picture yet, and I would still be
surprised if he is not the starting quarterback in 2013. After you consider all
the angles, who else is there?

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Vince Velasquez feels the heat in Phillies' Sunday loss to Pirates

Vince Velasquez feels the heat in Phillies' Sunday loss to Pirates

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH --- Vince Velasquez wasn’t able to stand the heat Sunday afternoon.

The game-time temperature was 89 degrees with humidity to match at PNC Park. The Phillies' right-hander admitted he didn’t handle the weather well.

"You're going to go through various conditions, and it's something that you've got to really take into consideration -- to really lock in, stay hydrated because it can mentally drain you,” Velasquez said. “It kind of took a toll on me but I have to make the best of what I've got.”

Velasquez wound up pitching six innings in the blistering heat but did not factor in the decision as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Phillies 5-4 on pinch-hitter Adam Frazier’s leadoff home run in the seventh inning, his first in the major leagues, off fellow rookie Edubray Ramos (see Instant Replay).

Velasquez had his worst of his five starts since coming off the disabled list June 26, allowing four runs and seven hits while walking four and striking out five. He threw 107 pitches, 64 for strikes.

In his first four outings after begin activated, he was 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA to raise his record to 8-2.

“Just looking at his body language, he showed that he was struggling to find the strike zone,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “He didn't have his best location. He did a good job; he just made a couple bad pitches when they scored the two runs. Obviously, he wasn't at his best, but he kept us in the game.”

While that kind of outing can breed confidence in a 24-year-old pitcher, Velasquez took no consolation in it. He was bothered about not being able to hold a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving up a tying two-run home run to Matt Joyce.

“I knew it was my last inning when I went out there and I have to be able to close it out there,” Velasquez said. “I’m disappointed in that. I need to be better in that situation.”

Joyce’s blast came on pitch after Starling Marte doubled on an 0-2 pitch. That, too, annoyed Velasquez.

“That's just a matter of finishing at-bats,” Velasquez said. “You've got to lock in on 0-2 counts when you're ahead. You've got to finish the at-bat. Knowing that that was my last inning, that's where you have to bear down and give it all you've got.”

Ramos then gave up the game-winning homer to Frazier an inning later, the first long ball given up by the 23-year-old right-hander in 14 career outings. The Phillies wound up losing two of three games in the series and are 3-7 since the All-Star break to drop to 10 games under .500 at 45-55 through 100 games.

“It’s a game we should have won but I put us in position to lose it,” Velasquez said.

Dallas Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

Dallas Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

KINGMAN, Ariz. -- Four people were killed Sunday when bus carrying Dallas Cowboys staffers but no players collided with a van on a northwestern Arizona highway.

The fatalities were passengers in the van, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Quentin Mehr said. But the bus occupants emerged uninjured.

"All on the bus came through OK with some bumps and bruises," Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple (DAHL'-rimp-ul) said in an email.

Dalrymple said the bus was only carrying members of the franchise's staff but would not say how many. There were no players on board.

The two vehicles collided in the afternoon on U.S. 93, about 30 miles north of the city of Kingman, according to DPS.

The crash shut down at least one lane of the highway that serves as the main route between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The bus was on its way to a Dallas Cowboys fan event in Las Vegas. Charles Cooper, manager of GameWorks entertainment center in Vegas, said the session with 50 to 75 fans was scheduled for 3 p.m. PDT. People were already waiting when the president of a Las Vegas Cowboys fan club called to relay news of the accident. The event was subsequently canceled. Cooper says the team mascot was supposed to appear.

After the Las Vegas stop, the bus was scheduled to go on to Oxnard, California for the team's training camp. Members of the organization typically take a bus two weeks before the camp starts and make stops along the way.

Report: Phillies preparing for possible Jeremy Hellickson trade to Marlins

Report: Phillies preparing for possible Jeremy Hellickson trade to Marlins

Jeremy Hellickson may be staying in the NL East past the trade deadline. 

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the Phillies are scouting the Marlins' minor league teams in advance of a possible Hellickson deal. 

This comes on the heels of a report from a radio host in Miami that Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen may need Tommy John surgery. Chen left with an elbow sprain during Wednesday's loss to the Phillies and was placed on the disabled list. Ironically, Chen was starting against Hellickson, who will face Jarred Cosart in place of Chen on Monday.

Hellickson's value rebounded significantly this season after struggling in Arizona and Tampa Bay the last few seasons. After dealing with a shoulder injury, Hellickson pitched to ERAs above 4.50 in each season from 2013-15, leading to the Diamondbacks trading him to the Phillies for limited value. 

However, in 20 starts, Hellickson, who will be a free agent after the year, has anchored the Phillies' rotation, bringing a 3.84 ERA over 119 ⅔ innings into Monday's scheduled start. He also has a nearly career-best strikeout rate and has regained his signature command that made him a strong performer with the Rays.

The Phillies are aided this trade deadline by a lack of starting pitching options available on the market. With many teams in contention looking for an additional starter, Hellickson is an attractive piece who could help a team in a pennant race.