Now if Kelly and the Eagles can only restructure Vick, they might have something.
On the surface, Vick is the type of mobile athletic QB that Kelly favors. Maybe Kelly won’t install his entire Oregon offense in Philly, but the Eagles’ version will certainly have elements of it. And Vick is in place already.
But this doesn’t solve the basic Vick problem, which is actually twofold: He isn’t a great passer, and he isn’t durable.
Vick is 32 and missed six games last season with a concussion. He threw 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Eagles were 4-12 last season, last in the NFC East. It’s not fair to pin all the blame on Vick. But he definitely deserves a heaping helping. And while Kelly is a masterful and innovative coach, there’s only so much any coach can do with somebody whose most notable trait is a tendency to turn the ball over.
So Chip Kelly or no Chip Kelly, Eagles fans won’t be witnessing an East Coast version of Colin Kaepernick. It’ll be more like the maddeningly ineffective Vick they grew accustomed to seeing under Andy Reid. Vick will be slightly improved, because Kelly will bring fun and energy to a team badly in need of those ingredients, and therefore Vick will benefit.
Yet this signing of Vick simply says, “He’ll do until we can find a permanent replacement.” Nothing more.
Choosing your words
George Carlin used to do a hilarious routine about how the words we use tell a lot about us. One example in particular involved a speech given by an anti-porn crusader. I can’t repeat it here, because I don’t want to be responsible for a blushing pandemic. Suffice to say that the anti-porn crusader in question is unnaturally obsessed with the very topic he decries.
This leads me to the new report by the Paterno family that makes an effort to clear the name of the late Joe Paterno and the former head coach’s involvement in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal at Penn State. Words: They tell a lot about us.
The title is the most obvious, and it is already being derided in media outlets throughout the land: “The Rush to Injustice Regarding Joe Paterno.” Now if I were advising the family, I would have gone with something drier and less judgmental, like: “An Analysis of Joe Paterno and the NCAA Investigation at Penn State.” Because what they have now reads more like: “The Real Truth about Joe Paterno, Not The Garbage You’ve Been Fed By That Big Fat Liar Louis Freeh.”
But there are other terms used in the Paterno family’s report directed at the Freeh report, like “failure,” “rank speculation,” “innuendo” and “subjective opinions” that, given the circumstances, sound more like insults a fourth-grader might hurl at another fourth-grader.
In short, the language used in the Paterno report is so biased that it’s hard to take it seriously as an effort to refute bias.
Time to let it go
Somebody needs to remind Bob Knight that Myles Brand is dead.
Brand is the former president of Indiana University who sent Knight packing after a series of incidents that included an ex-player who claimed the coach once tried to choke him in practice and another involving Knight grabbing the arm of a freshman.
Since then, Knight has been Michael Corleone to Indiana’s Fredo. He won’t even consider patching things up between he and the school where he accomplished most of his great coaching feats. His most recent dig took place when the Hoosiers visited Ohio State and Knight — once a Buckeye player — delivered a message from the video board that said, “I used to coach a little bit, and there’s nothing better than Ohio State basketball.”
Knight wouldn’t even attend his own induction into Indiana’s athletic hall of fame.
C’mon, Bob. Lighten up, for heaven’s sake. All the people you have a vendetta against are gone. Brand died in 2009. All the new people like you. Most of the students, and probably even some of the faculty, like you. Indiana University is an institution, and it’s bizarre to hold a grudge against an institution. It’s like refusing to use a sink because the faucet once came on suddenly and splashed water on your pants.
Bob Knight is known for a lot of things, most of which are positive. He was a terrific basketball coach and he helped a lot of people.
And it’s possible that the cantankerous, unreasonable, petty Bob Knight could fade from memory, if the decent Bob Knight would only step in and let him.
The party (should be) over
Johnny Manziel is tiring me out!
The star Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner seems to be everywhere: courtside at basketball games, at the Super Bowl, at Mardi Gras. He poses for photos more often than Kate Upton. He is probably maintaining a larger profile than Tim Tebow did when he was in college, only because Tebow’s act was more reserved, whereas Manziel’s is more rowdy.
I don’t have a problem with the kid enjoying himself. I just wonder if he’ll eventually become too exhausted by the pressure of sudden stardom to play football.
After all, Johnny Football is only a freshman. He’ll enter the fall as a sophomore with one Heisman already in the can and the prospect of becoming only the second college player since Ohio State’s Archie Griffin to win the hardware twice. That’s a lot of scrutiny.
It might be wiser for Johnny to drop out of sight and eschew the fruits of fame in favor of a fanatical devotion to improving as a quarterback. And I admit, he might be doing that, too. He might be a coach’s dream in the offseason. Maybe he’s just mixing in some partying to break the monotony of film work and conditioning.
But he’s creating the perception that he’s a one-man “Animal House.” And that’s not good, because before he knows it, he’ll be done with his junior year, and NFL scouts will be holding up a picture of Johnny with a cocktail in one hand and a goofy hat to match his smile at some raucous social gathering and they’ll ask, “Want to explain this?”
Maybe Johnny should have a little chat with Matt Leinart, another former Heisman winner who liked to enjoy himself, about how perceptions die hard in sports.
A game of pepper
Antawn Jamison of the Lakers said he believes Michael Jordan could still average in double figures today at the age of 50. I bet the Lakers would be more impressed if Jamison (8.0) would do it at age 36. …
How would you like to be the doctor assigned to evaluate the Felix Hernandez physical so he could get a $175 million extension from the Seattle Mariners? I bet he goes through a couple of extra tongue depressors at least. …
Mike Piazza writes in his new autobiography that he once took karate lessons to prepare himself to someday fight Roger Clemens. In a bout between the two, I have to think that Clemens’ weight advantage would be negated by Piazza’s mask and chest protector. …
Rapper Lil Wayne claimed he was kicked out of the Heat-Lakers game on Sunday in Miami because he was rooting for the Lakers. Maybe they kicked him out because his rooting contained explicit lyrics. …
Saw a photo of Bill Murray’s mustache at Pebble Beach. Enough years have gone by that now he’s looking like the head greenskeeper at Bushwood rather than the assistant. …
There is a report that the New Orleans Saints have placed a gag order on newly hired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. So basically they put a bounty on his mouth.
Michael Ventre is a regular contributor to NBCSports.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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