From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Michael Vick will take his next snap in the season opener for the Philadelphia Eagles. Who replaces him if he gets hurt again remains a question.Vick is back at practice after leaving last Monday's game with injured ribs. He didn't play in Friday's game at Cleveland, but returned to the field Sunday night for Philadelphia's annual practice party at Lincoln Financial Field."I think he's real close to 100 percent," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Monday. "I thought he threw the ball last night just beautifully; threw it strong and aggressively. So, I think he's ready to rock and roll. That's my point on that. I think he's ready to go."Vick has taken just 12 snaps in two preseason games and isn't expected to play against the New York Jets in the preseason finale Thursday. The Eagles visit Cleveland in Week 1 on Sept. 9."I think in that ballgame that he got hurt, I think he would have played in the game if it was a regular season game," Mornhinweg said. "I don't know that for sure, but that was just my thought at the time."The more important thought in the coordinator's mind right now revolves around the backup quarterbacks. Philadelphia has Mike Kafka, Trent Edwards and Nick Foles in the fold right now.Foles, a rookie third-round pick from Arizona, has been impressive in the first three games. He threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and led the Eagles to a 27-10 victory over the Browns last Friday. Foles finished the victory 12 of 19 for 146 yards with one interception. He's 36 of 57 passes for 507 yards, with six TDs and two interceptions so far.Kafka, the incumbent backup, hasn't played the last two games because of a hand injury. It would seem that Foles has moved up the depth chart, but Mornhinweg wasn't ready to say it."That choice has not been made," Mornhinweg said. "We've got several different things to evaluate there. I certainly have great confidence in all of our quarterbacks to do all of the jobs that we would ask them to do: backup and the number three. (Quarterbacks coach) Doug Pederson has done just an outstanding job with all four of the quarterbacks."Kafka, a third-year pro, might even be in danger of losing his roster spot. Edwards has also been outstanding in the preseason. The 28-year-old veteran is 32 of 48 for 292 yards with two TDs and no interceptions. Edwards was 14-18 as a starter for Buffalo between 2007-10. He was released by Oakland last year and sat out the season."Well, we haven't come to that decision. We've got some days of practice and the last preseason game to evaluate that and discuss it," Mornhinweg said. "We've got four quarterbacks here (who) really can play at a high level. Those are good things. Those are good things that you have to come to a decision on at some point here and it's coming up pretty quick."The Eagles (No. 8 in the AP Pro32), who closed the regular season on a four-game winning streak last year, are 3-0 this preseason and have scored 78 points along the way.
Gruden is looking for Cousins to become a Redskins coach on the field
While it’s still possible for the Redskins to trade quarterback Kirk Cousins, team president Bruce Allen has said that no talks have taken place and coach Jay Gruden is looking forward to having Cousins at the helm for the third straight year.
“He’s getting ready, he’s excited about the season, been in contact about what he wants to work on,” said Gruden on Tuesday at the NFL meetings in Phoenix. “We’ve addressed that so when OTAs hit we can hit hard. It’s great to have a guy who’s been in the system for two years now can just jump right in to hard core situational work, just really fine tune the other things like cadence, just the little things you want to fine tune without starting from scratch. He can be a big part in the teaching process also with the young players.”
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Actually, Cousins has been “in the system” for all three years that Gruden has been the head coach in Washington. He started five game in 2014 before turnover problems sent him to the bench. The following seasons Gruden named Cousins the starter at the end of August and he has played every meaningful snap since then.
Cousins has played well, passing for over 9,000 yards and leading the team to its first back-to-back winning seasons since 1997-1997. Gruden will be looking for more out of his quarterback, who will be making $24 million this year if he plays on the franchise tag.
“In a perfect world, you want your quarterback to be an extension of the coaching staff,” said Gruden. “I think that’s why you look at the great quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, they’re extensions of the coaching staff. The coach doesn’t have to go out and tell everybody what to do all the time. Sometimes the quarterback can just go right out and whisper it to them. It helps that we’re saying the same thing and speaking the same language and that takes time.
“It’s not perfect yet but being in the third year of the system I think he’ll be a lot more comfortable in that role. I hope he does because we can’t see everything out there on the field all the time and it’s good to have the corrections come within the team and not just from the coaches all the time.”
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Although Cousins’ future with the team is very uncertain—even if he is around this year there is a good chance he will be able to leave as a free agent in 2018—the quarterback and Gruden will do the only thing that they can do. The will get ready for the coming season and let the chips fall where they may after that.
Gruden pointed out that Cousins is not the only player on the roster with just one year left on his deal. Indeed, WR Terrelle Pryor, OT Morgan Moses, CB Bashaud Breeland, and C Spencer Long are all set to be free agents a year from now.
“We’re going to have a number of guys on one-year contracts and I fully anticipate them coming in and working their tails off and being prepared and doing everything they can to win a championship,” said Gruden. That’s what it’s all about. And at the end of the year we’ll come back to the negotiating table to try to get something done. But ideally, you’d like to have everybody under long-term contracts and that’s obviously not possible.”
Gruden confirmed that Cousins was in Tampa yesterday along with some of his receivers including Pryor, Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder getting in some work with Gruden’s brother Jon. It looks like it will be business as usual unless and until something happens change things.
John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 10:30 p.m.
TV: CSN+ (coverage begins at 10 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Fight to the finish
The Wizards locked up their first division title in 38 years on Tuesday night by beating the Lakers, but more important in the short-term is the fact they held off the Raptors for yet another day. The Wizards are third in the East and just one game ahead of Toronto, the hottest team in the conference with a six-game winning streak. The Wizards have won four straight to maintain their standing.
The Wizards' road is also about to get a lot tougher. They play at the Clippers, then at the Jazz and Warriors. All three teams rank in the top five in the West by record. If they can keep rolling, they could put some pressure on the Cavs who are 1 1/2 games ahead in second.
Rematch of one of year's best games
If Wednesday night plays out anything like the first time these two teams met this season, then we're all in for a treat. It was Dec. 18 at the Verizon Center when the Wizards edged the Clippers 117-110 behind Bradley Beal's 41 points, just one off his career-high. The Wizards shot 53.1 percent that day and went 10-of-19 (52.6%) from three. Markieff Morris had one of his best games of the season with 23 points, nine rebounds and three steals.
Morris will be key in the rematch on Wednesday because of his defense against Blake Griffin in the first meeting. Griffin had 26 points in the game, but none in the fourth quarter as Morris effectively shut him down.
That win was arguably one of the best of the Wizards' entire season, and at the time it was certainly their best of the year so far. The Wizards were 11-14 before that matchup and since have gone 35-14. The Clippers at the time were one of the best teams in the NBA at 20-7. They are exactly 24-24 since.
Clippers battling inconsistency
The Clippers have won four of their last six games and currently hold the fifth spot in the Western Conference, but they have experienced some mixed results lately. Two of those four wins have come against the Cavaliers and Jazz, which are among the very best teams in the NBA. But their two losses have been at the hands of the Mavs and Kings, two of basketball's worst teams.
Defense hasn't been the issue lately for the Clips, who have held opponents to just 97 points per game in their last six contests. But in three of their last four losses, they have failed to eclipse the 100-point mark on offense.
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