Nationals

Eagles QB Vick won't complain about backup role

Eagles QB Vick won't complain about backup role

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Michael Vick went from MVP candidate to scout team quarterback in two years.

Back from a concussion that forced him to miss five games, Vick is finishing out the season with the Philadelphia Eagles (4-10) on the sideline. He may not even be active for Sunday's game against Washington (8-6).

``I'm a competitor and I've always felt like and will continue to feel like I'm one of the best and I can play at a high level and I know I can,'' Vick said Monday. ``Saying that, I feel like I want to be out there, I want to play as a competitor, but it's just not the ideal situation right now, the way things are. So, I have to accept my role, accept it like a man and continue to find positives out of it.''

Coach Andy Reid already named rookie Nick Foles the starter for the rest of the season a few weeks ago. The Eagles have been out of playoff contention for a while, so Reid decided to look toward a future that may not include him.

But Reid isn't the only one likely to go. Vick may have played his last game for the Eagles, too. Vick is due to make nearly $16 million in 2013, far too much for a backup. Only $3 million is guaranteed, however, and the Eagles won't have to pay that if Vick is cut by Feb. 3.

``I just feel like I've got a lot of football to play,'' Vick said. ``I feel like I've got a lot left in my tank. I'm enjoying the game, I feel fresh. I'll have to talk it over with my agent and just see what happens. As of right now, I've got to continue to help this football team win these last two games and the future will take care of itself.''

Vick struggled this season, committing 14 turnovers in nine games. He has 2,165 yards passing, 11 TDs and nine interceptions for a passer rating of 79.2. Since leading the Eagles to the 2010 NFC East title and starting in the Pro Bowl, Vick has been downright mediocre.

The Eagles rewarded Vick with a $100 million contract in August 2011. However, only $35.5 million of that deal is guaranteed money and nearly all off it will be paid by the end of this year.

No matter, he hasn't earned it.

The Eagles are 10-12 in Vick's starts since the new contract. He has 27 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions in those 22 games.

The team's struggles can't be pinned on Vick alone, of course. An offensive line decimated by injuries didn't help. Neither did a poor defense.

Vick, though, won't make excuses or complain about his benching.

``Regardless of what the situation was, I understand it,'' Vick said of his new role. ``I see that certain things have to be done and I sit back and continue to be observant, continue to want to learn, continue to want to just help this football team in whatever way I can.''

Considering where he's come from, Vick takes everything in stride. He never even imagined he'd get this far when he lost everything and was in federal prison for dogfighting charges.

``I can't get upset or be disgruntled about anything that happens,'' Vick said. ``It's just a blessing to be back and playing football. From where I came from and the opportunities that I've had over the last three or four years, I would have never thought (they were possible). I'm just rolling with the punches.

``I'm going to continue to work hard to get better and keep enjoying the game of football because this is what I love.''

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Trea Turner goes 4 for 4 to help Nationals beat Orioles

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USA TODAY Sports

Trea Turner goes 4 for 4 to help Nationals beat Orioles

WASHINGTON -- Presented with identical opportunities to ring up a big inning, the Washington Nationals took full advantage and Baltimore Orioles squandered the chance.

That goes a long way toward explaining why the Nationals are a contender and the Orioles own the worst record in the big leagues.

Trea Turner went 4 for 4 with a homer , Anthony Rendon drove in three runs and Washington extended its recent domination of the Orioles with a 9-7 victory Tuesday night.

The game was essentially decided in the fifth inning, which began with Baltimore leading 4-1.

In the top half, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs and scored only one run -- when Manny Machado hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

Washington loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half and batted around, scoring four runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Adam Eaton contributed a two-run single, Rendon hit a sacrifice fly and Bryce Harper chased starter David Hess with an RBI double.

"They did a lot better job cashing in their bases loaded, nobody out situation than we did," Orioles manager Buck Showalter conceded.

For the game, Baltimore was 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. The Nationals were 5 for 10.

"This team is starting to become relentless," manager Dave Martinez said. "They kept pounding and pounding and pounding, had a couple of big innings there and scored some runs."

The Nationals trailed 6-5 before getting six hits in a four-run seventh. Rendon delivered a two-run double off Tanner Scott (0-1) that made it 7-6, and Turner capped his four-hit night with a double.

Both teams noted that more than a couple of Washington's hits were bloopers and seeing-eye grounders, but the Nationals certainly weren't about to apologize.

"I feel like all year we've been hitting balls right at people," Turner said, "so it's nice to get a bunch of those in one game and come out with a win."

Washington has won six straight over its neighboring interleague rival, including four games this season by a combined 20-8.

Pitching in his second big league game, Nationals starter Jefry Rodriguez gave up five runs, four hits and four walks in five innings.

Justin Miller (5-0) pitched two innings of relief, newcomer Kelvin Herrera worked a perfect eighth and Sean Doolittle gave up a solo home run to Joey Rickard while earning his 19th save.

Jace Peterson and Trey Mancini each hit two-run homers for the Orioles, who have lost 16 of 19.

This one can be blamed on an all-too-telling fifth inning.

"It's just one of those things where if they got hits they seemed to have found holes," Showalter said. "They hit some balls hard, too."

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Need to Know: Redskins QB Alex Smith understands that expectations will be high immediately

Need to Know: Redskins QB Alex Smith understands that expectations will be high immediately

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 20, 36 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Emptying the notebook from the offseason practices

—Last week I wrote that Gruden expects Alex Smith to be ready to win in Week 1. Smith understands those expectations and plans to meet them. “No, I don’t think you can rely on the fact that, ‘Oh, it’s the first year here.’ Nobody cares,” he said when asked about his transition into the new offense. “It’s not like in the fall, you guys are going to be like, ‘Ah, well, this is his first year here. We’ll give him a break.’ It just doesn’t work that way.” Of course, Smith is right. If the Redskins are 1-3 in October, nobody is going to cut them any slack if their veteran quarterback who got a contract with $71 million guaranteed is struggling with the new offense. 

—I didn’t count reps during the practices that were open to the media, but it seemed that they were giving DL Jonathan Allen a light workload. “I think he did a great job of rehabbing in the offseason,” said defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. “We were kind of a little bit hesitant early on when he was here just taking reps and stuff but looks like he’s just keeps on progressing from where he kind of left off last year and the sky’s the limit for him.” The Redskins essentially will be adding two first-round picks to their D-line with Allen’s return and the addition of Daron Payne in the first round this year. I would look for Allen to get a full workload when training camp starts. 

—There are questions about Kevin Hogan making the 53-man roster as the third quarterback. Jay Gruden had some rather tepid praise for him last week. “He’s done good,” he said. “I like Kevin. He’s a smart kid and he’s got some deceiving escape ability to him. He can run a little bit. We saw one today, he popped out of there for about a 20-yard gain. I like where he’s at.” But near the end of that practice, Hogan threw a red zone pass right into the arms of rookie CB Greg Stroman. If we see much more of that, the Redskins may keep a sixth wide receiver or tenth offensive lineman rather than a third quarterback. 

—When he is asked about the performance of undrafted rookies, Gruden usually declines to praise specific players so when he does pick out individuals it’s worth paying some attention. On Wednesday he said that WR Cam Simms and CB Danny Johnson “stood out” at their respective positions. Looking at it right now, there don’t appear to be roster spots available for either of them. But one or two undrafted players break through and make the roster every year and Simms and Johnson are two to watch. 

— “In the second year, we expect major strides for all first-year guys. I’ve said it before. So just understanding pro football, what it’s all about in your first year, you have the four preseason games and 16 regular season games,” Gruden said when asked about RB Samaje Perine. “It’s a grind, mentally. It’s all-day football, not like college where you only get 20 hours a week, so I think he understands the grind and our system a lot better.” The answer obviously applies to all of the 2017 draft picks. In particular, they will be counting on next steps from OLB Ryan Anderson, CB Fabian Moreau, WR Robert Davis, and CB Joshua Holsey. History tells us that some will take big steps, others will not.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline  

Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was born on this date in 1978.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 36
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 50
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 73

The Redskins last played a game 171 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 81 days. 

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