Kings

Michael Vick might be out for a while

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Michael Vick might be out for a while

From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- His head pounding and his play erratic, Michael Vick's time could be up in Philadelphia.Once considered the long-term answer at quarterback after a sensational 2010, Vick's already uncertain future with the Eagles was placed further in doubt Monday after he was diagnosed with a "pretty significant" concussion.Vick was concussed in Philadelphia's loss to Dallas on Sunday and looked groggy in the locker room. Coach Andy Reid told Vick to stay home Monday and rest. Out of respect to the former Pro Bowl quarterback, Reid even reiterated Vick is still the starter, if healthy -- but left wiggle room to change his mind.Because there are more medical tests still to be administered, Reid could not immediately rule out Vick for Sunday's game at Washington. Reid, though, made it sound quite positive that rookie Nick Foles will make his first career start."I've got confidence that Nick will do a nice job, if given that opportunity," Reid said. "Listen, I get excited for every game, but if the kid has an opportunity to start, I'm excited to see him play."Foles will take the first-team snaps when the Eagles return to practice on Wednesday. Foles was 22 of 32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception in relief of Vick. Those numbers weren't enough to help the Eagles avoid their fifth straight loss, a first in Reid's 14 seasons.Fans rooted for Foles, who had an outstanding preseason, to replace Vick for weeks. Not because of an injury, but the loud ovation Foles received when he jogged on the field made it clear Philadelphia fans wanted a change under center.Foles said after the loss he felt confident running the offense."I think it's just, the speed of the game is faster," he said. "It's a faster game than preseason, but I felt comfortable. That's no excuse. I was out there playing and made some mistakes and we didn't get the job done."With a 3-6 record, Reid's job is in serious jeopardy, and turning to Foles over the final seven games could be the veteran coach's way of proving he's open to change to salvage a 15th season. Reid and the Eagles took a gamble in 2009 when they signed Vick with incumbent Donovan McNabb and one-time heir apparent Kevin Kolb already on the roster. The Eagles traded McNabb to Washington the following offseason, opening the door for Kolb. But Kolb suffered a concussion in Week 1 of the 2010 season and was replaced by Vick. Two years later, it could be Vick's turn to lose his job because of a head injury.Reid said Vick complained of a headache and fatigue on Monday. His status should officially be decided by Wednesday.There were two consecutive plays in the second quarter that appeared to injure Vick. He scrambled trying for a first down and was driven from behind head-first into the ground by tackle Jay Ratliff. On the next play, Vick was slow to get up after he was knocked on his back by linebacker Ernie Sims.Vick headed for the locker room and Foles started warming up. Reid said Vick was a "little foggy" but he thought it was the Sims hit that injured him.Vick suffered a concussion in a September 2011 game against Atlanta after getting spun by a Falcons rusher into Eagles lineman Todd Herremans. He staggered to the sideline after the hit and was replaced by Mike Kafka. Vick returned to start the following week against the New York Giants and suffered a broken right hand.His outlook appeared much more grim Monday than last season's injury -- Reid stressed several times just how badly Vick was hurt.Vick, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, has struggled this season with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. After a loss two weeks ago to Atlanta, Reid refused to endorse Vick as the starter, needing a couple of days before releasing a statement that there would be no change at QB. Reid knew that benching Vick and turning the offense over to Foles was a way to shake things up. It also could have been interpreted as giving up on the season.Vick's injury could make the decision to keep Foles in the lineup an easy one.This latest loss was another black mark on the season and time is running out to save Reid's job. Owner Jeffrey Lurie put Reid on notice following an 8-8 season that he had to win big for a 15th season.Fans are clearly fed up. In the final minutes of Sunday's loss, fans behind Dallas' bench unrolled a banner that read, "Andy, Quit, Your Team Has!"Other ticked-off fans brought "Fire Andy!" and "This Is Not Acceptable" signs with them as they tailgated in the parking lots. There was at least one mobile billboard that read "Fire Andy Reid Now!!!" and "No Mas" with a pair of red Xs near the embattled coach's photo.Reid insisted Monday he hadn't lost his enthusiasm for coaching the Eagles ("I love what I do") and put a dose of positive public relations spin out there that a playoff berth is still within reach."You don't count anybody out in the National Football League, so I'm surely not going to count this football team out," Reid said. "I feel good about this team as a group and we just need to tighten some things up."He put has future in the hands of McNabb as a rookie in 1999 and that worked out great.It's up to Foles to try and give Reid a shot at least a stunning finish.

Joerger shakes things up, Cauley-Stein responds with big game

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USATSI

Joerger shakes things up, Cauley-Stein responds with big game

SACRAMENTO -- Faced with demotion, you have two options, sulk or come out swinging. Willie Cauley-Stein chose option two Friday evening at Golden 1 Center.

After starting all 14 games to begin the season, Cauley-Stein found himself relegated to the second unit against the Portland Trail Blazers. The 7-footer looked energized by the move and made one play after another as the Kings came away with the 86-82 victory.

“I felt free - period,” Cauley-Stein said following the win. “Both offensively, defensively. I’m quarterbacking on defense. I’m getting to make plays on offense. I just feel liberated. I feel like it’s unlocking.”

The third-year big began the 2017-18 campaign with back-to-back double-doubles, but hadn’t notched double-figures in rebounds since. Over his previous eight games, the Kings’ starting center was averaging just 4.3 boards per game.

Against Portland, Cauley-Stein played sparkling defense, hit 9-of-17 from the floor for a team-high 22 points and hit the glass for 10 boards. He skied above the Blazers bigs for a rebound with 3.4 seconds remaining and his second free throw attempt sealed the win for a Kings team in desperate need of a win.

“Willie’s a hell of a player, obviously,” veteran big Kosta Koufos said. “He’s really athletic, he’s a special talent.”

Koufos and Cauley-Stein made a devastating defensive duo for Sacramento. Both bigs showed on the high pick-and-roll and avoided fouling the Blazers high-powered guards.

“That’s a crazy defensive lineup right there, me and Kosta play really well together,” Cauley-Stein said. “I’ve been waiting for that lineup since we started.”

Damian Lillard scored 29 points, but he shot just 9-of-25 from the field and 5-for-14 from long range. C.J. McCollum knocked down 8-of-15 from the floor, but he missed all four of his 3-point attempts as Sacramento closed out and pressured the shooter all night long.

Cauley-Stein wasn’t the only starter to find himself on the bench to start the game. Dave Joerger turned to a dual point guard backcourt, using De’Aaron Fox and George Hill side-by-side, while bringing rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic in with the second unit.

Playing off the ball for long stretches, Hill responded to the move with 14 points and five assists in 27 minutes. Fox had a quiet offensive night, but his defense on both Lillard and McCollum was inspired.

“We can both attack and he’s a great shooter so that really helps me,” Fox said of Hill. “He’s a mentor on the court. It’s a lot easier to play with him then to watch him play.”

Sacramento held Portland to just 37 percent shooting overall and 28 percent from behind the arc. They pressured the Blazers in the backcourt and slowed the game to screeching halt.

With the win, the Kings snapped their three-game losing streak and improved to 4-11 on the season. They jumped a plane for Portland following the game where they’ll face the same Trail Blazer team Saturday in a rare back-to-back against the same team.

The Kings likely be without the services of shooting guard Buddy Hield, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle. Hield limped into the locker room on crutches following the victory and the initial indications point to him missing the rematch.

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

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AP

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

OAKLANDThe Oakland A’s named Matt Williams as third base coach on Bob Melvin’s coaching staff for the 2018 season, the club announced today.

Williams spent five seasons on the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff as first base coach (2010) and third base coach (2011-13, 16) and also managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons.  He was named National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in his first season as manager in 2014, guiding the Nationals to a 96-66 record and an NL East title.  He went 83-79 in 2015 for a 179-145 (.552) record in two seasons as manager.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors with San Francisco (1987-96), Cleveland (1997) and Arizona (1998-2003).  He was a .268 career hitter with 378 home runs and 1218 RBI in 1866 games.  Williams was a five-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves as a third baseman.

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