Apr 17, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon

Philadelphia Eagles

article image

11NFL Playoff Preview: New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The NFL has given us what could be a spectacular playoff game on Saturday night between two offenses that have the potential to be explosive. Let’s take a closer look at the wildcard matchup between the Saints and Eagles.

HOW THEY GOT HERE?
Earlier in the season, the Saints were arguably the top team in the NFC, but they struggled heading down the stretch and in the end they needed to beat Tampa Bay in week 17 to secure a playoff spot after losing three of their previous four games. Even more troubling is that they’ve lost their last three road games, and their only road win since week 5 is a close game against the Falcons. As for the Eagles, they weren’t in great shape at the midway point of the season, but they went 7-1 during the second half of the season and won the NFC East, so they enter the postseason with plenty of momentum.

NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE VS. PHILADELPHIA DEFENSE
This is a matchup, which some might call a mismatch, between one of the top passing offenses in the NFL and one of the most porous pass defenses. Drew Brees had another outstanding season, but like the rest of the team he struggled on the road down the stretch, throwing three touchdowns and four interceptions in the team’s three most recent losses. The forecast calls for low temperatures, but little wind or precipitation, which should help keep Brees somewhat comfortable throwing the ball, although the conditions are not what the Saints would like them to be. If Brees plays well and isn’t hindered by the weather conditions, he has the weapons to do a lot of damage against the Philadelphia defense, especially Jimmy Graham, who should be a matchup nightmare for the Eagles. However, New Orleans doesn’t have the most balanced offense, and sometimes their running game is either under-utilized or ineffective. The Eagles are strong up front and have been good at stuffing the run most of the season, especially lately. Between that and a high-scoring offense, the Eagles have a chance to make New Orleans one-dimensional on offense, which would allow the Eagles to attack with their pass rush, and teams with a good pass rush have been kryptonite to the Saints this year. If Philadelphia is able to get consistent pressure on Brees, the New Orleans offense could have trouble moving the ball down the field consistently.

PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE VS. NEW ORLEANS DEFENSE
Over the last eight games, the Philadelphia offense has been nearly impossible to slow down for four quarters. Even in their only loss in the last eight weeks, the Eagles scored 30 points; and even when they were held scoreless for the first half in the snow against Detroit, the Eagles ended up with 34 points. Nick Foles has received a lot of the credit for making good decisions and playing mistake-free football, but LeSean McCoy has been the real catalyst for the offense. McCoy is averaging five yards per carry this season, and the fear opposing defenses have of him breaking containment along with a strong offensive line have given Foles time in the pocket and open passing lanes. However, the Saints have one of the best defenses the Eagles have seen in a long time, as New Orleans ranks second against the pass, allowing less than 200 yards per game. The Saints have the fourth most sacks in the NFL this season, and even against a good offensive line they’re going to have the ability to put pressure on Foles, which could lead to sacks, as Foles tends to hold the ball instead of risking throws that could lead to turnovers. If New Orleans can get pressure on Foles and keep the Eagles in long-yardage situations, it will make McCoy less dangerous and keep Philadelphia from moving up and down the field with great ease on every drive. However, stopping McCoy on early downs is another issue, and the Eagles will be able to get in a good rhythm and open up the playbook if McCoy is getting big chunks of yards on first down, so slowing him down on early downs will be the key to the game for the New Orleans defense.

PREDICTION
This is a tough game to call; both teams can put a lot of points on the board, but both defenses have a chance to pressure the quarterback and at least slow down the opposing offense. Weather may not be much of a factor, outside of cold temperatures, but momentum coming into the game will play a role. The Eagles have played great football over the second half of the season and have won their last four home games, while the Saints have struggled on the road, especially on offense. Ultimately, the Philadelphia offense will be harder to keep under wraps for four quarters, and the Eagles will get the job done at home against a New Orleans team that looked more threatening two months ago than they do right now. Philadelphia 30, New Orleans 20.


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

article image

11Michael Vick Again Forbes' Most-Disliked NFL Player, Doesn't Seem to Care

Michael Vick has once again topped Forbes’ annual list of the most disliked NFL players, reports the NY Daily News.

Although hard-core NFL fans have been willing to forgive Michael Vick’s involvement in the “Bad Newz Kennels” dog-fighting ring, the poll shows that animal lovers apparently still have seething memories of his 2007 arrest and a lingering distrust of Michael Vick’s widely publicized recovery from pitting dogs against each other in life-or-death battles.

Michael Vick has been a spokesman the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Anti-Dog Fighting campaign. He has not been in any kind of trouble after serving 18 months in federal prison, ESPN reports.

“NFL fans, those who identify as pretty hard-core fans, like him. He’s kind of shaken off the off-field stuff with them,” Tom Van Riper of Forbes said of the Philly quarterback,

“More casual fans or people who aren’t particularly NFL fans, they’re the ones who continue to put him near the top because they still know him as ‘that dog fighting guy’,” Van Riper said.

Vick has been voted the No. 1 most disliked NFL player in two of the three polls conducted by E-Poll (he’s also a regular near the top of the list of most disliked athletes), the NY Daily News reports.

The scientific survey polls 1,100 people above the age of 13 and those who were surveyed were only asked about active players. Van Riper said that included only players who are an NFL quarterback, skill position player or “halfway high-profile.

ESPN reported that on Tuesday, October 22, Michael Vick talked to reporters about the results of the latest poll.

“I care nothing about that,” Vick said. “I care nothing about people that dislike me. I care nothing about people who still have ill feelings about me. What matters most to me is the people I do know care about me. That’s something you can never take away from me,” he said.

Sources: NY Daily News, ESPN


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

article image

11Chip Kelly Says Eagles’ Offense is Too Slow, Ignores Team's Real Issues

If you want to be picky, there are quite a few things one could be critical of when examining Chip Kelly’s debut with the Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, they beat the Washington Redskins 33-27 on Monday night. Yes, they ran 53 plays in the first half. Yes, they were up 26-7 at one point. And if the game ended at halftime, that would have all been great.

But it didn’t.

Despite Robert Griffin III looking like someone coming off a very serious injury who hadn’t played football in a really long time, Kelly’s Eagles nearly choked that lead away – giving up 20 points in the second half. More importantly, though, they only scored seven after that initial burst. You can sell yourself as a great offensive team and thus dismiss defensive failings, but in order to do that, you have to first establish yourself as a great offensive team. One half of football doesn’t do that.

When asked by the media to diagnose his team’s second half woes, Kelly made this observation:

Obviously the Eagles offense slowed down a bit in the second half because of their big lead. That being said, it was also sped up in the first half by RGIII’s inability to do, well, anything. So that sort of cancels it out. Couple that with the fact that Washington will likely have one of the league’s less impressive defenses this year. And the fact that, presumably, there was a certain element of surprise at work in Kelly’s first NFL. And the fact that Michael Vick, who looked really fragile on Monday night, will only slow down from here. And the fact that a ton of players looked gassed in the second half.

What do you get when you mix all of that together? A whole lot of uncertainty as to what the future holds.

Will Kelly be successful at this level? Maybe. Probably. But folks should hold off on crowning him after one half of one game.


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

article image

11Philadelphia Eagles Riley Cooper, Cary Williams Fight At Practice (Video)

It’s been a long summer for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, and with just hours away from the official kickoff of the 2013 NFL season, Cooper again found himself in the midst of controversy.

Cooper and fellow Eagle cornerback Cary Williams engaged in a shoving match Thursday morning at practice after Williams brought Cooper to the ground during a passing drill. Cooper ran a slant toward the left sideline, and Williams deflected a pass thrown to him, dragging Cooper to the ground to finish the play.

Both Eagles sprang up immediately after and began shoving at each other, with cornerback Brandon Boykin helping to separate the two. Cooper walked away, but Williams threw his helmet to the ground and followed after him before quarterback Michael Vick grabbed Williams and calmed him down. Practice was then closed off to the media.

Williams has a history of losing his cool on the field. He was sidelined during a joint practice with the New England Patriots after grabbing another player’s facemask during a play, andwas fined a twice of times last season as a Baltimore Raven.

He and current teammate DeSean Jackson were each fined $10,000 for fighting during a game in September, and Williams was fined $15,750 for a late hit in a game against the Denver Broncos. Yet, he was not punished for shoving an official during the Super Bowl.

Cooper, on the other hand, made headlines in June when he was filmed drunkenly using “n*****” at Kenny Chesney concert. In the video, Cooper can be heard saying “I will fight every n***** here,” after he was denied access to backstage. He apologized for his transgression and was fined an undisclosed amount, but his actions created a rift between him and several teammates, including running back LeSean McCoy, who told reporters “I can’t respect a guy like that.”

Eagles beat reporters say the incident between Cooper and Williams had nothing to do with his racially offensive remarks.

Sources: ESPN, Deadspin


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

article image

11Philadelphia Eagles Riley Cooper, Cary Williams Fight At Practice

It’s been a long summer for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, and with just hours away from the official kickoff of the 2013 NFL season, Cooper again found himself in the midst of controversy.

Cooper and fellow Eagle cornerback Cary Williams engaged in a shoving match Thursday morning at practice after Williams brought Cooper to the ground during a passing drill. Cooper ran a slant toward the left sideline, and Williams deflected a pass thrown to him, dragging Cooper to the ground to finish the play.

Both Eagles sprang up immediately after and began shoving at each other, with cornerback Brandon Boykin helping to separate the two. Cooper walked away, but Williams threw his helmet to the ground and followed after him before quarterback Michael Vick grabbed Williams and calmed him down. Practice was then closed off to the media.

Williams has a history of losing his cool on the field. He was sidelined during a joint practice with the New England Patriots after grabbing another player’s facemask during a play, andwas fined a twice of times last season as a Baltimore Raven.

He and current teammate DeSean Jackson were each fined $10,000 for fighting during a game in September, and Williams was fined $15,750 for a late hit in a game against the Denver Broncos. Yet, he was not punished for shoving an official during the Super Bowl.

Cooper, on the other hand, made headlines in June when he was filmed drunkenly using “n*****” at Kenny Chesney concert. In the video, Cooper can be heard saying “I will fight every n***** here,” after he was denied access to backstage. He apologized for his transgression and was fined an undisclosed amount, but his actions created a rift between him and several teammates, including running back LeSean McCoy, who told reporters “I can’t respect a guy like that.”

Eagles beat reporters say the incident between Cooper and Williams had nothing to do with his racially offensive remarks.

Sources: ESPN, Deadspin


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

article image

11What Will the Philadelphia Eagles Defense Look Like?

Chip Kelly has brought a lot of excitement and intrigue to the Philadelphia Eagles, but almost all of that is on the offensive side of the ball. All of the attention this offseason has been on the quarterback competition and what their offense will look like, but if the Eagles are going to be competitive this season, they will need to have an effective defense as well, especially in a division where they’ll have to stop Eli Manning, Tony Romo, and most likely Robert Griffin III. So what exactly can we expect from Philadelphia’s defense in 2013?

The first thing to look for is a change from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense. Not only will the Philadelphia offense be radically different this season under Kelly, but the defense has also undergone a significant transformation that could require an extended period of time of adjustment. Through two preseason games there has already been some growing pains due to the fact that the personnel in place does not necessarily fit a 3-4 scheme. Kelly has indicated that if things aren’t working out that he may attempt to stop the transition and orchestrate a scheme that fits the personnel; however, doing that at the wrong time could create a lot of chaos and confusion, which is something to look out for on the Eagle’s defense this season.

As for the talent on Philadelphia’s defense, there should be enough to make the Eagles at least an average defense, but only if the players are able to adjust to whichever scheme they end up playing. Across the front line, the Eagles have plenty of size, as well as a couple of young and talented players with a lot of promise in Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton. However, both Cox and Thornton are natural defensive tackles that will be playing defensive end in the 3-4 scheme, so both may need some time to adjust before they start to fulfill some of that promise.

The biggest key to Philadelphia’s defense this season may be their pass rush, where once again they will be relying on players switching positions. Trent Cole and Brandon Graham are two key pass rushers that will be moving from defensive end to outside linebacker in the new scheme. Both could improve as pass rushers now that they’ll be standing up, but if they’re forced to drop back in coverage, they could struggle. To help out the defense in its transition, the Eagles also signed free agent Connor Barwin, who should give them an outside linebacker with some experience at that position.

The secondary is where there could be the most question marks, as much of the defensive backs on the roster are new, following the departure of former main stays Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. To replace those players, the Eagles signed free-agent cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, and both should step into the starting lineup right away. Both are big cornerbacks that should be able to play press coverage, and both bring plenty of experience to the table as well, with Williams coming off a Super Bowl victory with the Baltimore Ravens last year. At safety, free-agent addition Patrick Chun should step into a starting spot, as should Kenny Phillips, although Phillips is recovering from a knee injury and may not be 100%, so they may need to go with holdover Nate Allen.

As a whole, the Eagles have a good collection of talent on defense, but there are a lot of moving parts, both in terms of players that are new to the team and players that are switching positions as a result of a change of schemes. There could be a lot of growing pains for Philadelphia on defense this season, but if everything comes together, they have the potential to be a solid complement to an offense that is also high on potential but low on predictability, which is why the Eagles may be the most intriguing team in the NFL in 2013.


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

article image

11Making Sense of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Quarterback Situation

There should be no quarterback competition this preseason more intriguing than the one involving the Philadelphia Eagles. New head coach Chip Kelly is in no hurry to name a starter, despite protests from some of the competitors, and with three rather under-whelming options all trying to learn a new offense, Kelly has no reason to rush a decision, which should make the preseason competition all the more interesting. With the Eagles beginning their preseason schedule tonight, let’s handicap each of the three candidates.

MICHAEL VICK

In theory, Vick makes the most sense and could be looked at as the favorite to win the starting job. He obviously has the most experience, despite his somewhat advanced age he can still run, and the Eagles chose to keep him this offseason when they could have decided to let him go, so all that points to Vick being the guy. But there’s plenty working against Vick as well. He’s not the most accurate passer and he has a tendency to be turnover prone, two things that Kelly won’t tolerate. Kelly would probably prefer to go with Vick, but only if he avoids making mistakes and earns Kelly’s trust during the preseason.

NICK FOLES

At first glance, Foles doesn’t seem to fit the profile for Kelly’s offense, but if he proves to be the best candidate, then Kelly will orchestrate the offense around his skill set. Foles doesn’t have the athleticism or the experience that Vick does, which could make it hard for him to win the starting job, unless Vick really struggles in the preseason. Foles had an acceptable completion percentage in five of the seven games he played last season, and if he can perform like that during the preseason, but with more consistency he stands a good chance to challenge Vick.

MATT BARKLEY

Barkley is the most intriguing of the three candidates. On the one hand, he had questionable arm strength coming out of college, and having shoulder surgery towards the end of his college career didn’t exactly put those concerns to rest. But on the other hand, he was hand picked by Kelly, who is familiar with Barkley from their days in the Pac 12 together. Barkley may not be the ideal athlete to run Kelly’s system, but he was a four-year starter, which gives him plenty of experience running an offense, and that might allow him to learn Kelly’s offense just as quick as the other candidates, giving him a legitimate chance to winning the job. More than anything else, Kelly wants a quarterback that can make quick decisions, get the ball out quickly, and avoid turnovers, and those are three things Barkley is capable of doing. Kelly doesn’t want to rebuild; he wants to win right away, so starting a rookie could be risky, but if Barkley proves to be the quarterback that gives the Eagles the best chance to win, he’ll be the starter.


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

article image

113 Burning NFL Questions: Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, New Orleans Saints

The NFL year officially commenced on Thursday, with the Cowboys notching a 24-20 victory over the Dolphins in the first preseason game of 2013. That’s right— regular season football is just around the corner, so it’s time to address three burning questions facing NFC teams this fall.

1. How will Chip Kelly’s spread-option attack transition to the NFL?

When the season kicks off, all eyes will be trained on Philadelphia’s Week 1 matchup with the Washington Redskins—and not just to see RGIII’s return from a playoff ACL tear. New coach Chip Kelly’s fast-paced, spread-option offense arguably poses the biggest question mark facing any team this season. Kelly brings more than a game-changing offense; he brings a technological, outside-the-box approach to every aspect of the football process, and he’s not exactly revealing his methods.

Kelly has kept his offensive strategy and schemes under wraps, and the football universe will have to wait until September 9th to see how Kelly’s Oregon attack is adjusted for the big leagues. The success of Kelly’s system (or lack thereof) will have far-reaching implications that extend past Philadelphia; he is essentially serving as a guinea pig for new-wave thinking, and a smooth transition will lead the way for other football pioneers to get a shot with other NFL franchises.  For now, though, the bigger picture plays second-fiddle to Kelly’s first task: to vastly improve on the Eagles’ NFC-worst 4-12 record.

2. Will Sam Bradford make the most of a new surrounding cast in St. Louis?

Quarterback Sam Bradford’s fourth NFL season has been well-established as a crucial year for the Rams’ signal-caller, especially considering the help he’s been given this offseason. St. Louis brought in underperforming tight end Jared Cook from Tennessee, and the fifth-year pro has already developed excellent report with his new quarterback. Despite the loss of long-time RB Steven Jackson, the trio of Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson, and fifth-round rookie Zac Stacy are expected to share the rushing load, and an improved passing attack should open up running lanes for the three-headed monster.

The addition of West Virginia slot-man Tavon Austin in the first round is arguably the biggest reason to hold Bradford to a high standard in 2013. The praise heaped on Austin since his arrival in St. Louis has no bounds; respected talent evaluator Mike Mayock said that Austin “might be the most explosive player I've ever seen in my life,”  an endorsement unlikely to quell expectations for the rookie receiver. Mayock added that Austin is “almost impossible to cover in short spaces,” which, if true to any degree, should set the Rams up for a much-improved offensive attack.  The jury is still out, though, and it remains to be seen how Jeff Fisher will cater his offense to a new cast of starting backs and pass-catchers.  

3. Can Sean Payton restore the Saints to pre-Bountygate form?

The return of head coach and amateur bodybuilder Sean Payton to the Saints’ sideline is one of the NFL’s least-discussed storylines, but may prove to be a crucial factor in the NFC playoff race. The 2013 Saints sported a 32nd-ranked defense that, miraculously, looked even worse on the field than their dead-last ranking suggests. New Orleans’ defensive unit wasn’t content with merely finishing as the far-and-away worst defense of 2013; they dug in their heels, stepped up (down?), and proceeded to allow the most yards in NFL history. The Saints’ 1st-ranked pass attack was a result of equal parts Drew Brees and weekly-deficits-caused-by-a-helpless-defense, and Payton is looking to revive New Orleans’ 25th-ranked ground game.

The Saints brought in defensive guru and Jerry Garcia lookalike Rob Ryan to help spark the side of the ball where Drew Brees can’t be of service, while Payton will look to bring the offense back to dominant form. Former 2011 first-round pick Mark Ingram has been turning heads in training camp, and with his first fully-healthy offseason, the running back may finally have the breakout season he’s failed to notch through two seasons.  While the Saints can be tentatively expected to display balance and confidence they desperately lacked in 2012, Payton’s return to the sideline may bring unforeseen curveballs. New Orleans will look to rebound from their disappointing 2013 campaign, and much of the credit and/or blame will fall on Payton’s shoulders.


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

article image

11Pit Bulls Owned by Eagles’ Bryce Brown Released After Being Seized in Suspected Dog Fighting Case

A female pit bull owned by Philadelphia Eagles' running back Bryce Brown — along with the seven puppies she recently produced in a Wisconsin breeding kennel called Northland Pits — was released on Friday to Sheila Kessler, a Stevens Point, Wis., attorney who represented Brown, 22, and his wife, Morgan.

The owner of Northland Pits, Joseph Sudbrink, was arrested and charged with mistreating animals and running a breeding kennel without a license. The arrest resulted from an investigation of his rural Fall Creek property by the Eau Claire County Humane Association on May 21. Twenty-seven dogs were seized at that time, including Brown’s dog, Eilis, and her pups.

Kessler had argued that her client is a victim, and the value of the puppies decrease the longer they are held.

“It’s a lot easier to sell eight-week-old puppies than it is to sell eight-month-old puppies,” Kessler told Eau Clarie Eau Claire County Judge Michael Schumacher, according to the Leader Telegram.

Although the judge ordered Brown’s dog and her litter to be returned to him, no action was taken concerning the 19 other dogs — mainly pit bulls — which remain in the custody of the Eau Claire County Humane Association.

Sudbrink claims that he was targeted by a humane officer. In a petition filed May 28 seeking the return of the dogs, Sudbrink said he thinks the animals were removed because Bekah Weitz, the humane officer for the Eau Claire County Humane Association, believed they were fighting dogs.

Judge Schumacher told Sudbrink, who operates Northland Pits Kennel at E19252 Scenic Drive, Fall Creek, at a second hearing, “I think we need to wait and see what happens in five [business] days.”

Sudbrink was arrested Friday between two court hearings — the first before Judge Paul Lenz and then later in front of Judge Michael Schumacher — on preliminary charges of mistreating animals and operating as a dog breeder without a license, and a criminal investigation is continuing, said Sarra Kiaie, assistant district attorney, the Leader Telegram reports.

At the earlier hearing that day, Judge Lenz had ordered the dogs to be returned to Sudbrink within five business days — or by the end of the day July 8 — unless a criminal complaint is issued with reasonable grounds to believe he has mistreated the animals.

Weitz told Schumacher during the hearing in his court that one of her concerns was that the dogs “were being trained for fighting.” When the dogs were seized, she said she saw scarring on seven animals that led her to this conclusion.

Some of the dogs also had contracted ringworm and possibly other skin issues, Weitz said, noting that they were living in substandard housing — houses without bottoms — in moist conditions.

Weitz said she also saw goats and sheep on the farm property and had some concern about those animals, but none of them were seized on May 21 when the pit bulls and bull terriers were removed, according to the Leader Telegram.

HOW DID BRYCE BROWN’S PIT BULL END UP IN AN ALLEGEDLY UNLICENSED BREEDING KENNEL?

Bryce and Morgan Brown did not appear in court Friday, the report states, but in an affidavit filed with the court, Bryce claims that he purchased Eilis in 2010, and the dog has been a pet. He sent her to Northland Pits for stud services in February. After a week, she was returned to Brown in Wichita, Kan.

Shortly before the birth of her puppies, Eilis returned to Northland Pits where Sudbrink offered to whelp and wean the pups for Brown, who knew little about that, according to the affidavit.

The dog and her pups were then seized, along with the others, when a search warrant was executed on May 21.

According to the Northland Pits Kennel website, it is located in Wisconsin about two hours west of Minneapolis. The site claims to “usually only breed a couple of litters a year” but then says it has puppies for sale in 47 states and Canada. It describes the dogs as “Old Family Red Nosed American Pit Bull Terriers.”

It also claims they breed dogs that excel at “hog catch,” which is a gruesome activity in which several specially bred and trained pit bulls chase and kill a wild pig weighing hundreds of pounds — often done for “sport." The dogs are frequently seriously injured or killed themselves.

Notable on the Northland Pits Kennel website page of “ancestors” are photos of many famous fighting dogs with bloodlines such as Corvino, Colby and Tudor.

HUMANE ASSOCIATION OPPOSES RELEASE OF BROWN’S DOGS

Attorney Ron Poquette, who represented the Eau Claire County Humane Association at the hearing in Schumacher’s courtroom, argued against the release of any dogs.

“At this point, they are still part of the investigation,” he said.

Both judges expressed concern over the dogs continuing to be held.

“These are living things," Lenz said. "You can’t just sit on this."

Lenz ordered the state to release an inventory of the items seized on May 21 to Sudbrink by July 8. Schumacher asked Bilski and Poquette to submit briefs detailing how criminal charges may impact his decision by July 12 and said he would issue a ruling likely the following week.

Attorney Sheila Kessler is listed on the Humane Society of Portage County board of directors. She picked up the Browns’ dog and puppies from the Eau Claire County Humane Association on Friday before leaving town, reports the Leader Telegram.

On the Northland Pits homepage, a statement has been posted: “Northland Pits has absolutely nothing to do with animal cruelty, or dog fighting. These allegations are absolutely absurd, and ridiculous. This is simply another case of the humane society trying to shut down another breeder.”

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MICHAEL VICK CASE

It has been just four year since the Eagles signed quarterback Michael Vick after his release from federal prison for operating a brutal dog fighting ring. It is natural for the public to be drawn back into those dark hours of horrific revelations about Bad Newz Kennels. Brown is using social media to try to distance himself from that stigma.

On his Eagles bio page, Brown explains he bought Eilis in Canada because he could not find a "pure, pure" breed in the United States. He also said he "has a passion for all animals" and is a hands-on trainer.

According to PhillyDawg, Brown posted a recent video of himself on his Facebook page training a dog to jump in the air to grab a stuffed toy hung from a tree.

BRYCE BROWN DEFENDS NORTHLAND PITS

Brown contends that Northland Pits was the victim in all of this and there was no dog fighting operation in place or any wrongdoing, reports Fansided.com, which provides Brown’s statement from his Twitter account:

“My dog was returned to me quickly because it was obvious that she is not and never has been involved with dog fighting. Northland Pits is a respectable breeder which has unfortunately been the target of anti-breeding groups and 'animal rights,' activists who know nothing about what he is doing there, and assume it is related to dog fighting due to the breed of the dogs. He is a victim in this case, just as I am. He takes great care of his dogs and Eilis wouldn’t have been breeding there otherwise.”

Sources: Leader Telegram, Philly, Fansided, Northland Pits, (2)


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

article image

11What Can the Philadelphia Eagles Expect from Michael Vick?

Chip Kelly’s arrival in Philadelphia truly puts the future of the spread-option offense to the test, but that is only one question the former Duck coach brings to the City of Brotherly Love. Prior to Kelly’s arrival, Mike Vick’s Eagle future was seriously in doubt. He earned himself at least another season in Philly after Kelly proclaimed his interest in bringing Vick back to 2010 greatness, and it is impossible to know what we should expect from the 10 year veteran (or 12 years, depending on whether we include penitentiary time).

Firstly, it is impossible to foresee how the Eagles offense will look in 2013. They are using the same spread attack that Kelly used to great success in Oregon, and only time will tell how it transitions to the NFL.

Will Kelly’s NFL attack include less quarterback runs? Will he air the ball out more?

The answers to these questions will shape Vick’s Philadelphia future, but it will also be interesting to see just how much juice Vick has left in the tank. Picturing 2001 Vick in an NFL Chip Kelly offense sounds like a video game fantasy gone wild, but how will a worn down, veteran Vick fare in a run-heavy offense?

Vick recently beat shifty Eagles’ RB LeSean McCoy in a footrace, showed up to camp much bulkier, and has demonstrated the desire to have a great season. Those are all positive signs, but they don’t mean much if they don’t translate onto the field.

Vick’s newfound situation is particularly intriguing because of his up-and-down past. Vick’s NFL career has seen both good and bad moments, and that is without even considering the circus surrounding his dog fighting crimes and incarceration. The earlier part of his career included peaks such as beating the Packers in Lambeau Field, becoming the first QB to rush for 1000 yards in a season, and returning from prison to have a wildly successful 2010 season.

On the flip side, Vick has struggled over the past two seasons and has consistently been an inconsistent passer throughout his career.

It’s easy to be skeptical of a player who has only ever been great for brief stretches, but his flashes of brilliance are what give the Eagles 2013 season such an alluring appeal.

If he finds a way to stay healthy, demonstrate the athleticism that made him a household name, and not make head-scratching decisions on a week-to-week basis, the Eagles could be a surprise contender. Chip Kelly’s offense gives Vick the rare opportunity for a second career resurgence, an opportunity most athletes are not afforded.  Vick has the tools to be perfect for Philadelphia’s new offense, but too much of his career has been spent discussing hypotheticals.

We all know that Vick can succeed with the Eagles, but no amount of speculation will tell us how he will play. Either Good Vick or Bad Vick could show up Week 1, and while we know that Bad Vick can make some ugly throws and has a tendency to get hurt, Good Vick’s potential is captivating enough to keep us wondering.


Hot Gallery of the Day

22 People That Will Make You Feel Smart

Syndicate content