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Eagles QB Vick fumbling at an alarming rate

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Eagles QB Vick fumbling at an alarming rate

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Michael Vick has fumbled in the pocket, fumbled on scrambles and fumbled when he hasn't even been hit.

The bottom line: Vick is turnover-prone.

Vick's inability to hold onto the ball cost the Philadelphia Eagles a win at Pittsburgh on Sunday. He lost two more fumbles in a 16-14 loss to the Steelers, bringing his season total to five in five games.

Vick also had another fumble that was recovered by a teammate and one more that didn't count because it was overturned on replay.

Overall, he's put the ball on the ground eight times this season.

``There's nobody more competitive than this guy,'' coach Andy Reid said Monday. ``He knows that he can't fumble. He knows he can't have turnovers. Nobody knows it more than the player. He doesn't want to go out there and do those things.''

Yet he does at alarming rate.

The first time Vick lost control of the ball came at the end of a 9-yard run to the Steelers 42 in the first quarter. He dove headfirst and the ball popped loose. But Reid challenged the call and it was overturned because Vick was ruled down by contact.

On the same drive, Vick committed the costly fumble at the Steelers 1. That one turned out to be pivotal in a game decided by Shaun Suisham's 34-yard field goal as time expired.

``That contributed to the loss,'' running back LeSean McCoy said. ``You need to at least score three. If we get seven, it's a different ballgame. We just made turnovers. We have to stop it.''

Vick's next fumble came at the end of the first quarter on a run to the Eagles 34. It didn't cost Philadelphia any points because the defense got the ball back on downs.

In the end, that wasted opportunity inside the red zone was the difference. As a result, the Eagles are 3-2 instead of sitting alone atop the NFC East with a 4-1 record.

``I wish I could take back the fumble on the goal line, but I can't,'' Vick said. ``Ultimately, we put ourselves in a position to win this game, but we didn't win. That's how it goes in the NFL. You wish you could have some things back, and there are plenty of things I wish I could have back through the course of this season, but you can't get them. I will do a better job of protecting the football.''

Vick lost a fumble and threw six interceptions in the first two games, but rallied the Eagles to 1-point wins over Cleveland and Baltimore with final-drive touchdowns.

He didn't throw a pick in a 26-7 loss to Arizona in Week 3, but lost two fumbles. One was a backbreaker. It also occurred inside the 5 and was returned for a touchdown. That 14-point swing was too much for Philadelphia to overcome.

Vick has gone three straight games without throwing an interception. But his fumbling is quite problematic. Since the start of last season, Vick has fumbled 18 times in 18 games. Nine of those were recovered by the opponent.

``We've got to go back and work on ball security and he knows that and he's gonna get it right just like he did with the interceptions,'' Reid said. ``We're gonna get it fixed. It won't be the last time he carries the football. He just has to secure it away, keep it high and tight. When he's traffic, get that thing covered up with the off hand.''

Reid said he doesn't think the extra equipment Vick wears on his chest to protect his oft-injured ribs is preventing him from tucking the ball away. Ball security has always been an issue for the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Vick fumbled 27 times in 30 games for Atlanta in 2004-05, losing 12 of those. Overall, Vick has lost 39 of his 84 fumbles in 116 games.

``As a coach, you continue to emphasize it in practice,'' Reid said. ``As a player, you make sure you make it happen. When things are alive and going fast in the game, you make sure you go back to the fundamentals. I've got trust he'll get this right.''

Vick and the Eagles host the rested Detroit Lions (1-3) on Sunday. The Lions are off to a slow start after reaching the playoffs last year. Like the Steelers, they'll be coming off a bye when they play Philadelphia.

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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.