Vick Vick Vick Vick! (But Really Westbrook) (Except Not Really)

Vick Vick Vick Vick! (But Really Westbrook) (Except Not Really)

Update: So much for our Westbrook hype.  Les Bowen reports the running back will not play, despite participating in warm-ups.  No word yet on why the plan changed.

While the whole world waits with baited breath for the return of the most electrifying man in sports entertainment, somebody significantly more important on the Eagles roster is taking the field to far less fanfare.  Only three months removed from a surgery many speculated would keep him out for the start of the regular season, Brian Westbrook is ready to go just in time for the big dress rehearsal.

Is anything more exciting than having Westbrook back in the lineup?  All the hoopla is naturally over Vick, but this offense has always been about 36.  He'll probably only play a few series, and that's plenty.  We only need a taste of that classic shifty style to know everything will be alright.

Of course the big story this week was not if Vick would play, but when?  Reid raised some eyebrows when he told reporters McNabb would take the first three quarters (as expected) and Kolb would get the fourth, adding Vick would not play in the final period.  All we can do is guess at this point as to exactly how they will utilize their new toy.  That alone is worth the price of admission.

Complicating the matter was Vick's appearance in bankruptcy court today in Virginia.  He spent most of the day traveling, and missed today's walkthrough as a result.  He obviously hasn't played in a long time, and they've only had two weeks to work on whatever it is the coaches have planned.  Don't be surprised if it looks ugly, but expect at least one play where Vick shows us there is still some amazing talent there.

The offense should be able to go vertical against the Jags, tonight's opponent in case you hadn't heard.  Besides having one of the weakest pass rushes in the league, their secondary is in rough shape as well, specifically at safety.  Football Outsiders describes Reggie Nelson as "a walking disaster in coverage," and the immortal Sean Considine man's the other position.  If you check out the highlights over at NFL.com from last week's Jaguars game, you'll literally hear "Sean Considine" and "arm tackle" in the same sentence.

Ideally, the defense will bounce back after a pair of games against the top two quarterbacks in the league.  The Jaguars invested first and second round picks in their offensive line, plus signed Tra Thomas and added WR Torry Holt, so their offense should be improved compared to last season.  The Eagles must try to confuse those young offensive linemen and get after QB David Garrard.

Jacksonville should have a much better campaign in '09, but we would like to see the Eagles starters exit the game with at least a 7-point lead, despite the fact they're still not anywhere close to full strength.  Stacy Andrews will play for the first time, but Shawn Andrews, Todd Herremans, and Leonard Weaver are held out again, and Sheldon Brown and Omar Gaither are out for the defense.  The Eagles are in another class though, and we would all like to see that more than any individual performance from numbers like 7 or 36.

Enrico says: Feel free to use this as a place to comment on both the Phillies and Eagles games tonight. With all due respect to the WFC, a game three against the Pirates may take second billing on this much anticipated night for the Eagles.

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).