Michael Vick might be out for a while

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Michael Vick might be out for a while

From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- His head pounding and his play erratic, Michael Vick's time could be up in Philadelphia.Once considered the long-term answer at quarterback after a sensational 2010, Vick's already uncertain future with the Eagles was placed further in doubt Monday after he was diagnosed with a "pretty significant" concussion.Vick was concussed in Philadelphia's loss to Dallas on Sunday and looked groggy in the locker room. Coach Andy Reid told Vick to stay home Monday and rest. Out of respect to the former Pro Bowl quarterback, Reid even reiterated Vick is still the starter, if healthy -- but left wiggle room to change his mind.Because there are more medical tests still to be administered, Reid could not immediately rule out Vick for Sunday's game at Washington. Reid, though, made it sound quite positive that rookie Nick Foles will make his first career start."I've got confidence that Nick will do a nice job, if given that opportunity," Reid said. "Listen, I get excited for every game, but if the kid has an opportunity to start, I'm excited to see him play."Foles will take the first-team snaps when the Eagles return to practice on Wednesday. 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 Reid's 14 seasons.Fans rooted for Foles, who had an outstanding preseason, to replace Vick for weeks. Not because of an injury, but the loud ovation Foles received when he jogged on the field made it clear Philadelphia fans wanted a change under center.Foles said after the loss he felt confident running the offense."I think it's just, the speed of the game is faster," he said. "It's a faster game than preseason, but I felt comfortable. That's no excuse. I was out there playing and made some mistakes and we didn't get the job done."With a 3-6 record, Reid's job is in serious jeopardy, and turning to Foles over the final seven games could be the veteran coach's way of proving he's open to change to salvage a 15th season. Reid and the Eagles took a gamble in 2009 when they signed Vick with incumbent Donovan McNabb and one-time heir apparent Kevin Kolb already on the roster. The Eagles traded McNabb to Washington the following offseason, opening the door for Kolb. But Kolb suffered a concussion in Week 1 of the 2010 season and was replaced by Vick. Two years later, it could be Vick's turn to lose his job because of a head injury.Reid said Vick complained of a headache and fatigue on Monday. His status should officially be decided by Wednesday.There were two consecutive plays in the second quarter that appeared to injure Vick. He scrambled trying for a first down and was driven from behind head-first into the ground by tackle Jay Ratliff. On the next play, Vick was slow to get up after he was knocked on his back by linebacker Ernie Sims.Vick headed for the locker room and Foles started warming up. Reid said Vick was a "little foggy" but he thought it was the Sims hit that injured him.Vick suffered a concussion in a September 2011 game against Atlanta after getting spun by a Falcons rusher into Eagles lineman Todd Herremans. He staggered to the sideline after the hit and was replaced by Mike Kafka. Vick returned to start the following week against the New York Giants and suffered a broken right hand.His outlook appeared much more grim Monday than last season's injury -- Reid stressed several times just how badly Vick was hurt.Vick, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, has struggled this season with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. After a loss two weeks ago to Atlanta, Reid refused to endorse Vick as the starter, needing a couple of days before releasing a statement that there would be no change at QB. Reid knew that benching Vick and turning the offense over to Foles was a way to shake things up. It also could have been interpreted as giving up on the season.Vick's injury could make the decision to keep Foles in the lineup an easy one.This latest loss was another black mark on the season and time is running out to save Reid's job. Owner Jeffrey Lurie put Reid on notice following an 8-8 season that he had to win big for a 15th season.Fans are clearly fed up. In the final minutes of Sunday's loss, fans behind Dallas' bench unrolled a banner that read, "Andy, Quit, Your Team Has!"Other ticked-off fans brought "Fire Andy!" and "This Is Not Acceptable" signs with them as they tailgated in the parking lots. There was at least one mobile billboard that read "Fire Andy Reid Now!!!" and "No Mas" with a pair of red Xs near the embattled coach's photo.Reid insisted Monday he hadn't lost his enthusiasm for coaching the Eagles ("I love what I do") and put a dose of positive public relations spin out there that a playoff berth is still within reach."You don't count anybody out in the National Football League, so I'm surely not going to count this football team out," Reid said. "I feel good about this team as a group and we just need to tighten some things up."He put has future in the hands of McNabb as a rookie in 1999 and that worked out great.It's up to Foles to try and give Reid a shot at least a stunning finish.

Earthquakes GM defends firing coach: 'I think this team can achieve more'

Earthquakes GM defends firing coach: 'I think this team can achieve more'

SAN JOSE -- There was a lot of confusion coming out of San Jose on Sunday afternoon when the Earthquakes announced they had fired Dominic Kinnear midway through his third season with the club. 

On Monday, new general manager Jesse Fioranelli did his best to stabilize a shaky situation. 

“In the last two, three months, I matured a gut feeling as to where we stand as a club,” Fioranelli said about the catalyst for his decision. “When I realized that, heading into the next season, we would not renew with Dominic Kinnear, I said to myself that we wouldn’t want to hold onto this for the remainder of the season — especially also because I have a personal relationship that I very much appreciated in Dominic. And the respect that I have in this relationship would not have allowed me to want to go for another three months knowing that we would have parted ways at the end of the season.”

The timing of Kinnear’s departure was undoubtedly the most confusing part of Sunday’s announcement. The Quakes, who sit fifth in the Western Conference standings, had just beaten Real Salt Lake 2-1 on Saturday night. According to reports, Kinnear was summoned by Fioranelli on Sunday morning and shortly thereafter, he was informed that he would no longer be the head coach. Fioranelli said that it's a decision he had pondered for a couple of months and made the week before. So, despite the win and possible perception, the new GM knew he had to follow through with his decision with conviction.

“I think this team can achieve more,” Fioranelli said. “I think that we have still a story to tell as to the young players we have on the roster. I believe we have a story to tell as to how we want to present ourselves when we play away. I believe that we will want to mature a certainty as to our identity on the field.”

It’s a lack of identity that helped Fioranelli mature the idea of making the switch 17 matches into an MLS season that, if it ended today, would have San Jose in the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

According to Quakes midfielder Shea Salinas, the decision came as a shock to players. The midfielder added that Kinnear addressed the locker room Monday morning. 

Kinnear started his second stint as head coach of the Earthquakes in 2015 and led San Jose to a 27-31-27 record in that time. Including his first term as head coach with San Jose in 2004 and 2005, his all-time record with the Quakes is 54-45-48. Kinnear led San Jose to the Supporters' Shield in 2005 and helped the Quakes break in Avaya Stadium in 2015, improving the club's point total by 17 in his first year over the previous season.

Taking over for Kinnear is first-time head coach Chris Leitch, who after retiring from professional soccer in 2011, has worn many hats for the Quakes since joining the organization in 2012. Before being named the head coach, he was in charge of the Earthquakes’ youth academy system, was the club’s technical director and even its interim general manager after the firing of John Doyle. 

“Chris Leitch is not just the bridge. He is part of the foundation of this club,” Fioranelli said. “For that reason, we did not want someone to come from abroad and take over this team We wanted someone that cares, someone that knows the players, knows the team to take on this important next chapter. He’s absolutely equipped to take on this challenge.

“All I can tell you is, the moment that I confronted Chris (with the opportunity to be the new head coach) he did not hesitate a moment. And he had not been waiting for this either. I can just tell you, when you are working day-in and day-out on several different important areas, you’ll grow a certainty as to how you will see the game, how you would like to develop the game, how you would like to see the players confront situations on the field, how you’d want to communicate.”

The learning curve will come steep and quick for Leitch. The Quakes are not only battling for a spot in the playoffs, but they’re in a middle of stretch has has them playing three games in the next eight days — a U.S. Open Cup bout with reigning MLS champion Seattle, a Stanford Cali Clasico battle with longtime rival L.A. and then a cross country trip to Atlanta.

Not a chicken-and-egg discussion: Three reasons why Giants are so boring

Not a chicken-and-egg discussion: Three reasons why Giants are so boring

To best understand what has happened to the San Francisco Giants, one must first decide whether or not they have abandoned hope, or just energy.

I mean, that is the new kneejerk position based on losing 18 of 22 games this month by an average margin of more than a run and a half per game, losing to the Phillies, Royals, Braves and Mets, falling five games behind the San Diego Padres and eight games behind the non-noisy neighbors in Oakland, and since the All-Star Break last year, they are 57-93, the equivalent of the third-worst record in franchise history.

Really, to see a happy thing in this team other than Buster Posey is an act of rankest delusion. What hope would you expend on this team?

But there’s a new element involved now, if you take Ken Rosenthal’s report for FoxSports.com on the team’s internal crises at face value.

Apparently the Giants are boring their own management.

According to Rosenthal, the almost stultifying quiet of the clubhouse has become a concern to general manager Bobby Evans and perhaps even to those to whom he reports.

In citing the contributions of such ‘edgy” personalities as Pat Burrell, Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff in 2010, Hunter Pence in ’12 and Pence, Michael Morse and Pablo Sandoval (huh?) in ’14, Rosenthal suggested that the team is too staid – something that winning 38 percent of your games for an entire calendar year will do to you.

“I don’t think I can be definitive in my answers,” Evans was quoted by Rosenthal as saying, “but it’s not lost on us that we’re maybe a little quieter clubhouse than we’ve been in the past. I can’t answer that as being a factor or not.” He then followed up with the always circuitous they’d-be-louder-if-we-weren’t-such-a-tedious-watch argument, which seems self-evident but can’t really be proven one way or another.

But Rosenthal also credited “some with the Giants” as suggesting that the team even misses Angel Pagan, who allegedly help unite the clubhouse because so few of them liked him.

And now we’ve hit the motherlode of bizarre excuses. Angel Pagan is hurting the Giants far more by leaving them than by being with them. And this is, if you’ll pardon the expression, richly stupid.

Not Rosenthal, whom we can presume did his usual diligent work and correctly quoted “some with.” No, our problem is with the thinking that inspired “some with,” because you have to go a long way to make that explanation stick.

The Giants are playing terribly because, well, they are. Their pitching, which has to be in the top sixth of the league for this plan to work, is below average in many of the important metrics. Their offense is horrendous. Their outfield is a disaster. They are 27-51 purely on the merits.

That they are also boring is coincidence rather than causation, because nobody said they were boring after the All-Star Break last year, and nobody accused them of being boring in Game 4 of the National League Division Series with Chicago.

Boring is what you seize on when every other excuse, including the Mark Melancon-doesn’t-stretch-when-he’s-supposed-to straw man Rosenthal also threw up for chewing.

The truth is this, as much as anything. They are bad. They didn’t think they would be bad. They thought the second half of last year was an aberration rather than a harbinger, and they thought they could have gone to the World Series but for one hideous inning. And they are apparently shocked by this for some reason.

So, are they moping, or are they quitting? Do they need a clubhouse visit from Brian Sabean at his most pissed? What’s the thing that makes them fun guys again – other than, say, a five-way trade that gets them Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger and Nolan Arenado?

Because there’s your problem. Yes, they certainly are boring – downright stultifying, in fact. But this is not a chicken-and-egg discussion. They’re boring because they’ve been brutal, because they were slow to address their needs after misdiagnosing their problems, and because all their calculations from years gone by have gone badly wrong.

But if you really think boring is the issue, let’s have Bruce Bochy dress in a clown suit and Pence play outfield in just a sliding pants and a derby, and have one inning per game designated as the Wild Dingo Surprise Inning, in which wild dingoes are loosed upon the field to terrorize the players and/or fans.

See how many wins you get then.