Redskins

Eagles' Reid never considered benching QB Vick

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Eagles' Reid never considered benching QB Vick

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Michael Vick remains the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, for next week and beyond.

Coach Andy Reid said Thursday he never considered benching Vick, he just wanted to step back and evaluate the beleaguered veteran.

His appraisal complete, Reid threw his full support behind Vick after practice and was ready to move forward with him under center for Monday's game at New Orleans (2-5). Rookie Nick Foles, a preseason star, remains the backup.

``Michael was the quarterback, is the quarterback and will continue to be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles,'' Reid said. ``I can't make it any more clear than that.''

Vick, a four-time Pro Bowl player, has struggled this season and Philadelphia (3-4) has lost three straight games.

Reid didn't endorse Vick after Sunday's 30-17 loss to Atlanta, only that he would evaluate all his starters. Vick then put up little fight for his job and said he would support whatever decision Reid makes.

After Thursday's practice, Reid said he thought Vick played one of his best games of the season against the Falcons. Vick was a pedestrian 21 of 35 for 191 yards and a touchdown. Vick had a rare turnover-free performance, though, after throwing eight interceptions and losing five fumbles in the first six games.

In another sign of support, Reid called Vick the leader of the Eagles.

Vick gave Reid good reason to feel confident in his leadership abilities this week. He called a players' only meeting on Wednesday and addressed the team, along with a handful of other veterans, telling the Eagles there was still time to salvage the season.

He's right. You only need to look at last season in the NFC East, when the inconsistent Eagles still had a chance to win the division late in the year, despite a 4-8 start.

Tight end Brent Celek said the Eagles need to change how they are playing if they're going to make a late run at the playoffs.

``This season's not lost, but there needs to be some drastic changes and we need to do it,'' he said. ``It needs to be shown on the field.''

Celek, who has 28 catches and a touchdown, refused to elaborate on what kind of drastic changes the Eagles should implement.

``It's a lot of different things,'' he said. ``Like I said, I'm not going to go into it.''

He knows one of the major shakeups won't affect Vick.

Vick said ``it wasn't news'' that he remained the starter because Reid never told him his job was in jeopardy. And he said he believed he's still one of the best players in the NFL, even if the numbers and record prove otherwise.

Vick led Philadelphia to comeback wins with touchdowns on the final drive of the first two games this season. But he's been inconsistent and turnover-prone overall. He owns just a 78.6 passer rating, his lowest since joining the Eagles.

Vick fueled speculation he could be benched after Sunday's loss when he said of Reid, ``Obviously, he's thinking about making a change at the quarterback position.''

That was all the media needed to run with in a town like Philadelphia. And to add to the intrigue, the Eagles were off for three days for weather concerns, leading to speculation that Reid was deep in thought over his quarterbacks.

Turns out, Reid never gave a switch much thought. And the Eagles released a simple statement Wednesday confirming Vick.

``I've got to get my swag back,'' Vick said. ``I got to get back to playing football the way I love to play it and not worry about what's going to happen. That's out of my control. All I can control is how I play and how aggressive I can be.''

Vick wasn't the biggest problem against the Falcons. The defense under new coordinator Todd Bowles allowed scores on the first six possessions, including touchdowns on the first three.

The Eagles can still turn things around, become players in the NFC East race and save Reid's job. But they need to hurry. They are 2 1/2 games behind the Giants (6-2) and have consecutive division contests ahead of them after the Saints game.

Reid's already been told by owner Jeffrey Lurie that another 8-8 finish would be ``unacceptable.''

Most Eagles fans would likely agree.

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After viral 2018 scuffle, Taylor Lewan offers to make peace with Josh Norman

After viral 2018 scuffle, Taylor Lewan offers to make peace with Josh Norman

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Titans tackle Taylor Lewan got into a widely-discussed altercation after Washington's Week 16 loss to Tennesse last season.

But on Thursday, Lewan said he's finally ready to let bygones be bygones. 

Lewan tweeted he wants Norman to come on the "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast he co-hosts with former Redskins linebacker Will Compton to "settle our differences."

Judging by what happened last December, there are plenty of differences: Norman threw his helmet at Lewan after the latter approached him, Lewan later accusing Norman of trying to hurt Titans running back Derrick Henry.

"I'm not worried about Josh Norman, man," Lewan told reporters after the incident. "I'm an offensive lineman, he's a [defensive back]. I don't know who that is."

"I was pissed. He was trying to hurt Derrick [Henry]. That's BS. That’s not the way football’s supposed to be played, man. It’s not our fault you’re not relevant anymore."

"Why would you come to another man's sideline?" Norman said of the dust-up. "And then after you won a game, you pick fun at the player that is relevant. You go out of your way to come to his bench, his sideline, to go at him in that kind of way."

"We're not having it. We will not tolerate disrespect. That's zero tolerance for that. That was the ultimate disrespect. You just don't do that."

The incident happened months ago, so it's about time the pair made peace. And as an ex-Redskin and ex-Titan, perhaps Compton can help mend the fences. But if Norman does accept Lewan's invitation to come on the podcast, we might be in for even more verbal fireworks. 

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keldon Johnson

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Keldon Johnson

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Keldon Johnson

School: Kentucky
Position: Guard
Age: 19 (turns 21 in October)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 216
Wingspan: 6-9
Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 13.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.2 bpg, 46.1 FG% (4.6/10.1), 38.1 3PT% (1.2/3.2), 70.3 FT%

Player comparison: Gary Harris, Jerome Robinson

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 19th, NBADraft.net 15th, Bleacher Report 8th, Sports Illustrated 23rd, Ringer 21st

5 things to know:

*Johnson is considered the best NBA prospect in this year's class from the University of Kentucky. Though the Wildcats usually churn out top-10 picks, he is projected to go somewhere in the back end of the lottery or in the 20s. His teammates Tyler Herro and P.J. Washington are expected to go late in the first round.

*Johnson is an athletic, slashing wing who is quick up and down the floor. His highlights are filled with fastbreak dunks and agile plays around the basket. Johnson, though, didn't participate in the vertical leap measurement at the combine, so there is some mystery there.

*He has a solid outside shot. Johnson made 38.2 percent of his threes on 3.2 attempts per game, which is impressive especially for a freshman. He appears to have smooth mechanics on his jumper and a quick release. Johnson, though, like most young players has to develop his ability to shoot off the dribble.

*Johnson plays with a lot of passion and is known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve. He brings tons of energy to both ends of the floor and that is a good sign for his potential at the next level.

*Johnson has a few local connections. He is from Chesterfield, VA, just south of Richmond. He went to high school at Oak Hill Academy in southwestern Virginia. His brother, Kaleb, plays basketball for Georgetown University. And his other brother, Kyle, played at Old Dominion.

Fit with Wizards: Johnson happens to play the one position the Wizards have solidified, at least in their starting lineup with Bradley Beal. However, they could use more guard depth in general and Beal needs some help behind him.

The Wizards thought they had solved that with Austin Rivers this past season and that didn't work out. The result was Beal leading the NBA in minutes played in the second straight year he appeared in all 82 games.

Iron Man streaks are great, but not ideal for a guy who has a history of leg injuries and a long career ahead of him. Johnson is the type of player who could take some pressure off of Beal and possibly play with him at the three-spot. He would also add shooting, which the Wizards need.

The question would be if he is good enough to pick ninth overall and if that need is enough to justify at that spot. The answer is probably not, but Johnson seems like a guy who could soar up draft boards once workouts begin.

Best highlight video:

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