Ravens

Vick skips practice; Foles prepares for Redskins

Vick skips practice; Foles prepares for Redskins

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Nick Foles officially remained No. 2 on the depth chart, even as he talked like a starter.

Facing a crush of media in front of his locker, Foles sounded every bit like the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who will make his first career start Sunday at Washington, not an injured Michael Vick.

``I'm ready,'' Foles said after running the first team Wednesday. ``I'm excited to just play again. Like I said before, my prayers are with Mike, I just want Mike to be healthy. But it's my time to go out there and just play and do everything I can for this team and help in any way possible.''

Vick's status atop the depth chart is a mere formality. He did not practice or even come to the Eagles' practice facility again Wednesday as he recovers from a significant concussion suffered in last week's loss to Dallas. His headaches are subsiding, for now, but the veteran still needs to complete the mandated concussion testing this week.

Foles, a third-round draft pick out of Arizona, ran the offense in front of A-list actor Bradley Cooper and remained confident he can help the Eagles end their miserable five-game losing streak.

``I'm going to do my job right now until he gets healthy,'' Foles said.

Because Vick had not started his concussion testing, he has not officially been ruled out of Sunday's game. Coach Andy Reid declined to say when Vick's status would change. Reid, however, did add Vick had improved.

``Michael's in a good place,'' Reid said. ``He's hurting a little bit from the concussion, but he's in a good place. I haven't tried to overburden him right now.''

Vick suffered a concussion after consecutive punishing hits in the second quarter of a 38-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys

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 coach Reid's 14 seasons. Reid also discussed Foles as if he'd start against fellow rookie QB, Robert Griffin III.

Philadelphia and Washington, both 3-6, are tied for last place in the NFC East.

``He's going to handle it like he's going,'' Reid said of Foles. ``Whether he does or not, we'll see how that works out.''

Vick was diagnosed with a significant concussion and told to stay home and rest. Reid stressed several times on Monday just how badly Vick was hurt.

Asked if he expected Vick to play again this season, Reid said, ``I think so. We've just to see. I don't know that. He hasn't done any of the tests so far.'' Reid said head trainer Rick Burkholder would discuss Vick's condition later this week.

Foles was quick to credit Vick as a mentor and an inspiration on the field.

``I've learned a lot from him and the guy's a tough dude,'' Foles said. ``One of the toughest guys I've ever seen. He gets hit, he gets right back up. He gets hit, he gets right back up and he keeps firing.''

Vick got up every time for another snap except the one time he didn't - and now Foles is poised to prove he's the right guy for the job Sunday ... and the future.

With little to play for this season, the time could be right anyway for Foles to take over and see if he can start to prove he's the QB of the future. Vick struggled most of this season and is no longer the dynamic playmaker he was in Atlanta and early in his Eagles tenure. Foles' performance down the stretch could be a factor in evaluating if Reid deserves to return for a 15th season, though that appears a long shot.

``I have a lot of confidence in him,'' Reid said. ``That's why I brought him here.''

Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who will play after suffering a strained back against Dallas, said the team believed in Foles. Unlike some teams, like the New York Jets this week, there is strong support for the backup quarterback.

``He can throw the ball in places, put the ball in certain places, not most guys can do in this league,'' Maclin said. ``When he got into the preseason, the poise that he showed, it's not what most rookie quarterbacks show.

``I was impressed with that.''

The Eagles were impressed with Cooper, star of ``The Hangover,'' who mingled with players and posed for pictures before practice. Cooper was at the facility as part of a promotional tour for his new movie, ``The Silver Linings Playbook.'' Cooper, raised in northeast Philadelphia, plays an Eagles fan in the film - one who surely wouldn't love this disaster of a season.

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Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

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USA Today Sports

Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

The Ravens have reportedly agreed in principle to a new contract extension with head coach John Harbaugh, a move already being praised by national pundits everywhere. 

It was nearly a month ago that the Ravens announced Harbaugh would be returning as the team’s head coach in 2019, which was noteworthy considering his status as a potential lame duck head coach.

In the same release, the team announced they were working towards a contract extension with Harbaugh, whose current deal was set to expire next year.

Despite reports from national NFL insiders, including Jason La Canfora and Peter King, that Harbaugh might prefer to hit free agency as a highly sought-after head coach after the 2019 season, it appears the Ravens will keep him in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. 

This news comes on the heels of a busier-than-usual coaching carousel, with a quarter of the 32 NFL teams changing head coaches in the last month, including two AFC North rivals. Harbaugh almost certainly would have been the cream of the crop among coaching free agents no matter when he became available, so the Ravens were looking to lock him up long term.

After a tough November home loss to the Steelers that put the team at 4-5, Harbaugh was asked about his job security, and he remained steadfast and confident.

"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job," Harbaugh said. "It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job. I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me."

After that game, the Ravens rattled off six wins in seven games to make the playoffs, and many players credited Harbaugh with keeping the team together. It was prior to Week 16 when the front office announced Harbaugh would be returning no matter how the season ended, but the strong finish and AFC North title certainly made the decision easier.

A coach with a special teams background, Harbaugh is an anomaly in the current era of young, offensive-minded head coaches. He won Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, and holds a 104-72 career record in Baltimore.

The terms of the new deal have not yet been released, but it will be interesting how many years the team is committing to Harbaugh.

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

Bradley Beal, his agent Mark Bartlestein told Bleacher Report, would like to stay in Washington - even as he's a hot topic among front offices as the trade deadline approaches.

From Bleacher Report:

His agent, Mark Bartelstein, is not looking for a trade. "Brad wants to win, Bartelstein told B/R. "He wants to win at the highest level, and he wants to compete for championships. I think he's seeing progress, and he's going to do everything he can to lead this team. They got themselves into a huge hole, and he's going to do his best to get them out of it.

The Wizards are facing tough decisions when it comes to the future of the franchise as this season's trade deadline approaches. Beal, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig detailed this week, is among the most tradable assets they have, especially when it comes to their three major contracts. But owner Ted Leonsis took a firm stance against tanking while speaking to reporters in London, and Beal is integral to their playoff hopes with John Wall sidelined. 

This isn't the first time this season that Beal has denied wanting to be anywhere but DC. When drama swirled around the team earlier this season, Beal denied a report that he had requested a trade.

"That's nonsense," he said at the time. "I heard it earlier before the game and I was like, 'If it didn't come from the horse's mouth, it wasn't me.' I got this Washington jersey on and I come here and work everyday, you know, until otherwise. This is where I wanna be."

Earlier this season, it was reported that the Raptors were interested in Beal but couldn't afford what the Wizards were asking for him. According to the latest report on Beal from Bleacher Report, there are a number of teams who may still be interested. 

Again, from Bleacher Report:

There are so many teams in the mix trying to make that extra push that want Beal," a Western Conference executive told B/R.

But even if some fans are clamoring for a big trade at the deadline, the price tag for Beal - who had 26 points in the Wizards' comeback win over the Knicks this week - only seems to be rising. 

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