Who Ya Got: Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb?

Who Ya Got: Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb?

Before the 2012 NFL season ever kicked off, most Philadelphia Eagles fans never thought twice about the Eagles decision to ship Kevin Kolb out to Arizona for DRC and a second round pick. Aside from getting a huge payday, Kolb's tenure in the desert had been a miserable one, losing his starting job to John Skelton along the way.

And during that time in Philly, Andy Reid was supposedly grooming Mike Vick into becoming a mature, hard-working quarterback that many believed could lead the Birds to the Super Bowl.

Then they started playing football this season.

CSN's Reuben Frank had some fun after yesterday's Eagles loss to the Cardinals playing the what-if game. The tables have turned quite a bit after just three games into the 2012 season. Roob lists the key talking points:

Since replacing an injured John Skelton on opening day -- just like Vick
replaced an injured Kolb in the 2010 opener against the Packers -- Kolb
has led the Cards to wins over the Seahawks, Patriots and Eagles and
their first 3-0 start since 1974.
He’s thrown four touchdowns,
and for the first time in his career, he’s gone three straight games
without throwing an interception.
Kolb’s passer rating is 108.6, Vick’s is 66.3.
Kolb has committed zero turnovers, Vick nine.

Holy crap that last one is eye-popping. Vick has nine turnovers in three games.

I'll admit I have been pretty pro-Vick in the past and never thought he'd be so careless with the ball. I always bought into the "man, the bounces just really aren't going his way" argument when a tipped pass would get picked or he'd hurt his ribs. And to his defense, Vick is getting beaten up like the hanging hunk of meat in Rocky. He takes a beating every single game.

The things that worry me the most are the carelessness with which Vick seems to take care of the ball and the lack of awareness of what's going on around him in the pocket. If he has one bad game where he coughs it up, you can live with that. But this is three-straight weeks.

Is he never going to learn?

Kolb has obviously had quite a bit of success early this season after looking lost for much of his past. Roob says the two quarterback's career paths are diverging, and perhaps they are to some extent after just three games into 2012.

In playing with Roob's what-if game, and you could have one of these two quarterbacks to lead your team to the Super Bowl, knowing what we now know, who you got?

Vick of Kolb?

>>Kolb makes you wonder: what if? [CSN]

Ivan Provorov's 8-year-old brother is already really good at hockey

Ivan Provorov's 8-year-old brother is already really good at hockey

Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov made his NHL debut just four games ago, and while the 19-year-old is surely tackling a lot of new experiences, he has always had his younger brother, 8-year-old Vladimir, by his side.
Ivan was seen at practice today with his much younger, and eye-poppingly talented, brother working on his skills.
This is not the first time Vladimir has been seen on the ice with his older brother. Last season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, Vladimir showed off his puck-handling and shooting skills in a video posted to their Facebook page.
There’s nothing like family bonding and having an older sibling as a role model.

Travis Konecny getting rookie introduction to physicality of NHL game

Travis Konecny getting rookie introduction to physicality of NHL game

VOORHEES, N.J. – There are some things in the NHL that are expected to happen on the ice with rookie players.

They will be challenged. They will be tested. And they will be hit – clean or otherwise.

Four games into Travis Konecny’s career, teams are taking target practice on the Flyers’ smallest player. The London, Ont. forward is listed at 5-foot-10 but 5-9 or less is closer to the truth.

On Thursday night, Josh Manson’s elbow made contact with the back of Konecny’s head during the opening minutes of a 3-2 Flyers loss to Anaheim. Manson served a minor for elbowing.

Konency admitted on Friday afternoon that he placed himself in a bad situation by “ducking” to avoid Mason’s check on the boards.

“That was my fault,” Konecny said. “I tried to duck under the hit and make room for myself. He came through and put a check on me and I got underneath him.”

Konecny doesn’t feel teams are targeting him. At the same time, he doesn’t deny he is taking some hard licks out there. He has four assists, tied for the rookie lead in the NHL.

“It’s part of the game,” he said. “Part of being a young guy, too. Being in the league, I am trying to make space for myself and hit guys.

“Obviously, some guys who have been in the league 10 years, don’t like guys doing that. So I expect it. Doesn’t bother me.”

His linemate, Jakub Voracek, said all of this has to be expected.

“I don’t think he is the only one in the league who is getting this kind of treatment,” Voracek said. “He is a good player. He is small and shifty. They try to get under his skin ... That’s the way it always works.

“You are a new guy, a young guy, especially if you have a good start like he did. You’re gonna get that treatment. He’s a big fellow and he can handle it ... Sometimes you can be small, but if you can handle things, better to handle it when you are 5-11 than 6-4 and being a p---y.”

Flyers coach Dave Hakstol doesn’t feel Konecny is being targeted.

“I haven’t seen anything out of bounds,” he said.

With Radko Gudas serving a six-game suspension for a head shot during pre-season, the Flyers don’t have a big, punishing player that opponents fear on the ice to balance things out on the scoresheet.

Would Gudas’ presence alleviate the questionable hits on Konecny?

“No, I haven’t seen any difference there,” Hakstol replied. “A night like last night, I mentioned after the game, that’s a big, heavy team we’re playing … you certainly miss a big, heavy body like Gudy on the back end that just naturally matches that physicality.”

Gap coverage
The Flyers didn’t show any lineup changes during Friday’s practice in preparation for Saturday’s game against Carolina.

One element they worked on and saw video was gap coverage between their forwards and defense. It burned them against the Ducks and even Chicago.

“That’s a fair assessment,” Hakstol said. “I don’t think we were very good in that area [against Anaheim] and had been extremely good in that area during the first, couple games of the year. It’s an area we have to do a little better job at.”

The challenge there is that Carolina has some speed and the Canes will attempt to exploit holes in the Flyers’ gap coverage, especially, off transition.