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Eager Eagles aim to take down Roethlisberger

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Eager Eagles aim to take down Roethlisberger

PHILADELPHIA (AP) For a big guy, Ben Roethlisberger goes down quite a bit.

Roethlisberger has been sacked an NFL-high 177 times since 2008, including eight times in his last regular-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles four years ago.

That beating is fresh on Roethlisberger's mind as the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) prepare to host the Eagles (3-1) on Sunday. Byron Leftwich had to finish up a 15-6 loss in Philadelphia on Sept. 21, 2008 after Roethlisberger took a hard hit from Brian Dawkins in the fourth quarter.

``They got after us and sacked me a bunch,'' Roethlisberger said. ``It was a very frustrating game. I remember after that game going to one of my teammate's houses and saying `I don't know if I can do this much longer.' They wreak havoc on you and they create a lot of issues.''

Roethlisberger didn't quit, of course. He was back on the field the following week for an overtime victory over Baltimore, and he wound up leading the Steelers to their second Super Bowl championship in four years that season.

``I believe,'' he said, ``that year ended up pretty good for us.''

Despite knocking Roethlisberger around in their last meeting, don't tell the Eagles he's easy to bring down. At 6-foot-5 and 241 pounds, Roethlisberger is one of the biggest quarterbacks in the league. To hear some of the Eagles, you'd think Roethlisberger was a defensive lineman.

``He's about 260, 270 pounds, so arm tackles are not going to tackle him in the pocket. Grabbing one leg or something like that won't work against him,'' linebacker Jamar Chaney said. ``Most quarterbacks, you probably can do that, but with him you can't. When he gets outside the pocket, some of their receivers just take off down the field and he just throws it up.''

Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole is the only one of the six players who sacked Roethlisberger four years ago still with the Eagles. He agrees with Chaney.

``He's a big guy. You can't tackle him low, so you have to tackle him high,'' Cole said. ``That's one of the keys to getting him on the ground.''

If they don't, Roethlisberger can cause several problems for defensive backs. Though he's certainly not in the scrambling class of Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III or Cam Newton, Roethlisberger has a knack for escaping trouble and turning potential losses into big gains.

Many of those long pass plays occur when he's moving out of the pocket and throwing down field to a receiver that's wide open because the defenders came up to try to make a tackle on Roethlisberger.

``He extends plays, he's very strong in the pocket, and he has mobility,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said. ``He always keeps his eyes down the field. He keeps every play alive. As a secondary player, you better continue to cover your player until the play is history and it's over, or he's going to make you pay for it.''

The Eagles are having trouble sacking quarterbacks smaller than Roethlisberger.

After finishing tied for the league lead with 50 sacks last year, they had only seven in the first month. The Eagles not only didn't sack Eli Manning in a 19-17 win over the New York Giants last Sunday, but they didn't even register a hit on him.

Cole had 11 sacks last year and Jason Babin had 18 as both speedy ends thrived in defensive line coach Jim Washburn's wide-nine system. But Cole and Babin have four combined sacks so far.

Maybe seeing Roethlisberger will spark a breakout game.

``It's coming,'' Cole said. ``I'm going to let you know it's coming. We're going to keep working hard at what we're doing. We're having some great practices and keep digging and trying. It's going to come, it's going to pop. We just have leaders who keep working hard and doing what we're doing, trying to win games and it will come.''

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

Manny Machado could very well be playing in his final game in an Orioles uniform Tuesday night when he takes the field for the 89th Midsummer Classic at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. 

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are now in the driver's seat as a favorite to land the All-Star shortstop. 

Machado, 26, insists he knows nothing about said speculation and made it clear that the rumors did not detract from his enjoyment of being an All-Star Tuesday night.

Machado is signed through the end of the season, but the Orioles intend to deal him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

For the latest news and conversation surrounding Machado's status and the Orioles, follow along on Twitter

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All-Star Game Weather: Storms causing traffic havoc, could force delay, postponement

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All-Star Game Weather: Storms causing traffic havoc, could force delay, postponement

There is inclement weather in the forecast for Tuesday evening both before and during the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.

The rain could, theoretically, force the game to be delayed or even postponed, but the forecast shows the skies clearing up as first pitch nears.

Bad weather and MLB All-Star Games share a history in Washington.

The last time Washington hosted the MLB All-Star Game, in 1969, a bad rainstorm forced the game to be postponed from Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon.

Even if the weather does let up and the game is able to start on time, there are sure to be problems with D.C.'s already-dense traffic. Roads are flooding and with more people on them than usual, getting to the game will surely be an issue.

All-Star Game Forecast

The worst of the weather seems to have already happened on Tuesday afternoon. The rest of the evening forecast calls for a slight chance of precipitation, with mostly cloudy skies and, naturally, a lot of humidity.

The issue, if there is any, would likely be with the All-Star Game getting started on time. That said, there's obviously still the chance for delays during the game.

Luckily, a full postponement seems unlikely at this point.

All-Star Game Traffic

There's hardly a worse place to drive in the United States during rush hour than in, around or through Washington. With the All-Star Game in town, there are already significantly more cars on the road than there usually are. Add rain and flooded roads into that equation and things get extra messy.

The George Washington Parkway, a main thoroughfare in the area, has already flooded.

One road in Alexandria, Virginia, is flooded and has cars scattered about.

Public transportation would seem to be the way to go, but even the Capitol South Metro Station in Southeast D.C. is flooding.


A brief history of weather and the All-Star Game

The first and only time the MLB All-Star Game was ever postponed because of rain was in 1969, the last time Washington was the host.

Three other times, the game has either been shortened or delayed because of rain, most recently in 1990 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. That game was delayed for over an hour but was still played.

All signs point to the game being played Tuesday night, but Nationals Park has definitely felt the wrath of this storm already.

On the bright side, if it's light enough when the game starts, there will probably be a rainbow somewhere in-view from the stadium, which should make for some pretty cool pictures for those in attendance.