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Cowboys and Eagles Should Sit Romo and Vick This Week

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo has a cracked rib and a punctured lung. Currently, it hurts when he laughs. Brian Orakpo just shared this on facebook.

I can’t believe I have to say this…but I really don’t think that Tony Romo and Michael Vick should play Sunday (Eagles/Giants) and Monday (Cowboys/Redskins). To catch you up, Romo suffered a cracked rib and punctured lung against the San Francisco 49ers. And Vick was concussed in the game against the Atlanta Falcons. 4 days later and Romo is expected to play on Monday and Vick is currently a game time decision having participated in team walk throughs the last couple of days.

I realize that football players are the superest of humans, but this is so dumb it’s sickening. I get that football season is short and that every win counts, and you certainly want to nail those wins against teams that aren’t great lessening the blow of not beating superior teams. But if ever there was a good chance for backup QBs Kitna and Kafka to win games in their starters’ absence it’s against the Redskins (umm yeah I know they’re 2 and 0) and the depleted Giants.

How can a league that changed kickoffs in the interest of safety also send two players out to play given what they experienced last week? Redskins Cornerback D’Angelo Hall has already publicly said he will target Romo’s injury which is appropriate football strategy (however terrible some people thought it sounded). Whether Hall makes will make it over the line of scrimmage I don’t know, but there’s a HIGH probability OLB Brian Orakpo will. And SS Laron Landry is coming back off injury with something to prove. What better way to welcome yourself back then to grab a couple of sacks against your division rival?

Romo could be without his best receivers leaving him vulnerable to holding the ball longer when he has to pass. But I suppose it’ll be okay because we’ve been assured that the puncture was “small” and could clear up in a matter of “days?”

I don’t care!

Kafka had a good showing for the Eagles last week when Vick had to leave the game. And if Vince Young’s hammy feel better this week he’s likely to be available to play as well. The Eagles have a former starter and a promising youngin backing up Vick and are headed to play an injured team whose best strength the past couple seasons has been getting to the QB. Given the Eagles offensive line woes if Vick absorbs more hits, knockdowns and sacks in the next game while he’s already feeling badly…the likelihood of him fulfilling the gruesome prophecy held by many that he’s going to miss most of the season increases exponentially.

I ain’t with it.

There were a number of other players that suffered concussions this week, and I’ll try to keep track of who plays and who doesn’t for a future post.


Dungy: Peyton Manning’s Neck Injury Result of Illegal Hit by Phillip Daniels in 2006

Indianpolis Colts QB Peyton Manning recently underwent a cervical fusion

Indianpolis Colts QB Peyton Manning recently underwent a cervical fusion

Peyton Manning’s former Coach Tony Dungy provided a little background on what he thinks marked the beginning of Manning’s problems with his neck. According to Dungy, in a 2006 game against the Redskins Manning’s neck was twisted and his helmet pulled off by the Redskins Phillip Daniels during a high low hit by Daniels and Andre Carter. Manning finished the game that day with impressive numbers, but Dungy believes that it spelled the beginning of marked decline in the heralded quarterback.

“Then we sort of forgot about it at halftime, and Peyton seemed fine,” Dungy said. “He lit it up in the second half. He was on fire [throwing for 244 yards and three touchdowns]. But that’s the year we started cutting back on his throws at practice. I’m not putting two plus two together. I just figure he’s getting older and he needs some time off, he’s made enough throws. But now, as I look back on it, there’s no doubt in my mind that this was the start of his neck problems.”

Manning’s 2nd neck surgery, a cervical fusion, took place last week. And I’m still confused as to why he hasn’t retired. I just don’t see any reason for his career to proceed at this point. The NFL contains about as much parity as you can ask for in a professional sport. I know it’s only week 1, but if the Colts are this bad without Manning, it’s not likely that they would be good enough to win a Super Bowl with Manning against the high level teams that are competing right now. At 36 and with a fragile neck, I see no reason for Manning to continue unless a Superbowl win was imminent. And honestly, taking off my “fan of the sport” fitted cap and putting on my “caring woman” sequined fedora, superbowl or not I wouldn’t want my loved one out there.

Manning should be looking forward to the Hall of Fame. Not dodging sacks from 6’4, 260lbs ++ Outside linebackers like Mario Williams and Brian Orakpo. Besides, it puts guys in a difficult situation. With an injury like Mannings, should he return, nobody wants to be the guy that paralyzes Manning for the rest of his life. Again, why haven’t we wrapped this retirement thing up?

Manning should hang up the cleats and crip walk…wait…riverdance (is that racist?) into the Hall of Fame as a healthy and happy husband and father of twins.  He’s collected his roster bonus of $3 million dollars already and the Colts have the option not to pick him up going forward. Why draw this out?

As far as the current Colts, I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see it for Kerry Collins. Not sure how many weeks he can make it without injury. At the very least the Colts could use a better backup, can we toss up some things and add recently-and-unceremoniously-fired former Jacksonville Jaguars QB David Garrard to the equation? I will admit I have no idea what their current backup Curtis Painter is capable of, but the one bit of play action he saw that I witnessed wasn’t very good. Garrard can at least withstand some heat and is 6 years younger than Collins. And I doubt he would perform so well that it would put them out of contention for Andrew Luck…assuming the Colts are even thinking about that.








Michael Vick Aims to be First Eagles QB in 3 Years To Survive Week 1

Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick Looks for a Receiver

Michael Vick Will Need More Than Good Legs to Survive The Season

Yes you read that right. Two years ago Donovan McNabb was knocked out of game 1. Last year Kevin Kolb was knocked out of game 1. This year, prayer for the Eagles starting QB is needed more than ever. With the hodge podge Philadelphia has on its offensive line, not to mention a fresh-out-of-retirement offensive coordinator Howard Mudd, Vick will be lucky to survive the first couple blitzes.

Philadelphia media has reamed the Eagles front office and coach Andy Reid for 1. assuming 26 year old rookie guard Danny Watkins would be ready week 1 (he’s since been replaced, at least temporarily) and 2. For not making stability of the offensive line a priority given how important Vick is.

Count me among the folks who don’t understand why the offensive line wasn’t a top priority even more than solidifying the pass defense. I don’t begrudge the signing of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers Cromartie, but Vick is the real centerpiece of the team. Without him the cards can come crumbling down pretty quickly.

The Eagles are like the Colts in the sense that they are supremely QB reliant. As panic sets in across Indianapolis at the thought that Manning’s neck injury means he may never play again -which is HIGHLY likely- other teams have to take note of the need for succession planning. As annoying as the Patriots can be, it’s one thing that they understand very well, and that has contributed to them being a solid team (if not a playoff team) pretty much every year since the late 90s. I’m glad the Eagles signed Vince Young as backup, but this deep team has high expectations and Vick is the only real present QB option that can meet them.

The Eagles are known to patchwork lines on both sides of the ball, but this year, with the front office saying they’re going “all in” it seems like protecting Vick would have been move numero uno. Make no mistake, this year he will be targeted more than ever:

With the Eagles boasting so many explosive offensive players, getting to Michael Vick might be the only sure way to slow down the Birds scoring. Expect the Rams to try, especially after surrendering nearly 224 passing yards per game last year.

The Eagles, meanwhile, counter with a rookie at center, Jason Kelce; a journeyman, Evan Mathis, at left guard; a right tackle, Todd Herremans, who has played one game at tackle since 2006; a right guard, Kyle DeVan, who first practiced with the team Monday; and left tackle Jason Peters, the only piece of continuity from a year ago.

Mathis did not play with the first team at all in the preseason and Herremans did not play at tackle in the Eagles dress rehearsals. Each will be facing live competition Sunday for the first time in their current roles.

The lineup change is partly a result of miscalculation - first-round pick Danny Watkins not being ready to start, for example - and partly a result of last year’s poor pass protection. The Eagles sought to overhaul their offensive line with new coach Howard Mudd after the team allowed 49 sacks last season, fourth most in the NFL.

But the change has been hampered by the lockout and a search for healthy personnel who can play Mudd’s style.

PRAYER NEEDED. Or else Michael Vick will be looking at a season full of injuries and…condoms.

For Vick’s part, he’s remaining his normal chirpy self:

Vick’s confidence in his abilities may be unparalleled.

“You can never have too much bravado, man,” the 31-year-old said. “Never.”

You can see it in the way he fearlessly plays, in the way he often carries his team, and in the way he frequently talks about himself. But isn’t it possible to have too much confidence and to lose sight of your limitations, even for a quarterback?

That very question could sum up the 2011 Eagles as they open their season Sunday at the St. Louis Rams. They are stocked with talent and equipped, in many ways, for a Super Bowl run. But the Eagles have holes that maybe not even Vick can cover.

Don’t tell him that, as reporters have tried recently in bringing up the Eagles’ patchwork offensive line. “I’m going to give defenses fits anyway,” Vick said a few weeks ago. His unbridled confidence may just be the Eagles’ best hope.

“I’m afraid to fail, and I think that’s what keeps me going,” Vick said late last month, just hours after he signed a five-year, $80 million contract. “I think that’s why I keep my confidence up at a high level, because I’m afraid to fail.”

I hope he can instill the same fear of failure in his blockers.




Clinton Portis Shows Up to Patriots Workout Completely Out of Shape

One of my favorite players ever, Clinton Portis, in brighter days.

Clinton Portis is one of my favorite players of all time. I envisioned him leaving the Washington Redskins where he had a very productive career despite the dysfunction, and helping out some team at 2nd string at least a couple more years. I kept waiting on news on him and finally I got it. Portis tried out with the Patriots last week. Unfortunately, he showed up completely out of shape and said he lost 25lbs in the last two weeks.

This is definitely not the way I wanted Portis to end his career. Portis will go down as one of the greatest Redskins in history. He should also be known as one of the most effective and fearless blockers. He was never afraid to sacrifice his body on a play. I really think that last year he was in much more pain than he let on. Worried about his position and career, he came back way too soon from a groin injury, and at that time I thought it might be a death knell. That alone could have forced him into retirement.

With all that his body has gone through, I see why he’s on his way out. I just don’t understand why retiring wasn’t preferable to showing up to Pats camp (of ALL places) out of shape. Portis is one of the wealthier and friendlier guys in the NFL-there are probably plenty of guys he could have worked out with and elite places he could have trained at during the lockout. The decision to show up and make the only news about him this season the fact that he was totally unprepared for football just doesn’t make sense to me. It also makes me sad.


Miami Dolphins Brandon Marshall Has Borderline Personality Disorder-Films Documentary

I don’t know where to begin on this one. As most of you know, Brandon Marshalls wife was arrested for stabbing him a few months ago and the charges have since been dropped. Apparently, Marshall was inspired by all the talk about he and his wife to share a little more about what makes him tick. He decided to announce to the world that he has borderline personality disorder via the Sun-Sentinel.

Marshall has long struggled with so-called character issues off the field. Apparently, the NFL had ordered him into therapy, and after four years he has now been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

During Marshall’s treatment at McLean, he learned how to defuse the bomb inside of his head. Now with the tools and a new perspective he’s returning to the real world, to the NFL, to a marriage he admittedly broke, and to a wife who feels vilified. He must use the skills he’s learned to survive, if not thrive.

He has informed the Dolphins of his diagnosis and said he is revealing his story with the goal of creating more awareness of BPD and advocating for better treatment and medical coverage for a treatment program that cost him $60,000.

From NIH:

Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which a person makes impulsive actions, and has an unstable mood and chaotic relationships. Symptoms: Relationships with others are intense and unstable.

Worth noting, Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the personality disorders that escaped removal from the Fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that is slated for release in 2013.

Based on Marshall’s tweets and this article, he is trying to take responsibility for the issues he has caused in his marriage. That doesn’t really change the face of what happened, though. Whenever there is a domestic abuse incident I assume either or both people in a couple has some sort of problem. Only difference is Marshall’s condition has a name that we know.

Update: I thought this article in the NY Times was interesting. It’s about a renowned expert on mental illness who struggled with it herself. She said that one of the reasons she committed to battling her own illness is so that she could help others who were suicidal, usually as a result of borderline personality disorder. BPD often causes a gap between who you are and who you want to be. Thought that was pretty deep.

Also, Brandon has released the trailer to his documentary “Borderline Beast.” Most powerful line? Marshall says he’s been trapped all his life, not by man or by beast, but by his own emotions.

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