An update on Michael Vick -- Is he benched?

855033.jpg

An update on Michael Vick -- Is he benched?

From Comcast SportsNetMichael Vick remains the starting quarterback in Philadelphia, for now.Three people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Monday night that coach Andy Reid hasn't benched Vick.The people spoke on condition of anonymity because all announcements about the starting lineup come from Reid. The Eagles' headquarters was closed Monday due to Superstorm Sandy, and there was no media availability.Vick, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, 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, saying he's going to evaluate all his starters. Vick then said he would support whatever decision Reid makes.That led to speculation Vick's days were numbered. But Reid is sticking with Vick over unproven rookie Nick Foles as of now.Reid has changed his mind on his starting quarterbacks in a 24-hour period before, reversing his call on Kevin Kolb and replacing him with Vick in 2010. It's unlikely he would do it again and give Foles his first NFL snap on the road in a Monday night game against New Orleans (2-5) next week.Foles, a third-round pick out of Arizona, had an outstanding preseason. However, he did so playing against backups, third-stringers and guys who didn't make a roster. Foles impressed coaches and teammates, and fans have been calling for him to start since Week 1.Vick wasn't the problem against the Falcons. The defense under new coordinator Todd Bowles allowed scores on the first six possessions, including touchdowns on the first three.As for the offense, injuries to All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce have crippled the unit. Vick hasn't had much time to throw and gets hit often. Playcalling isn't helping, either. Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have underused All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy in the past three losses.Vick led Philadelphia to comeback wins with go-ahead touchdowns on its final drive the first two games of the season. But he's been inconsistent and turnover-prone overall. Vick has just a 78.6 passer rating, his lowest since joining the Eagles. He's coming off a rare turnover-free performance after throwing eight interceptions and losing five fumbles in the first six games.Benching Vick and turning the offense over to Foles could be a way to shake things up. It also could be interpreted as giving up on the season.The Eagles still have time to turn things around and save Reid's job. He's already been told by owner Jeffrey Lurie that another 8-8 finish would be "unacceptable."

GM details Rockets' strategy for beating Warriors, winning NBA title

GM details Rockets' strategy for beating Warriors, winning NBA title

Coming off a disappointing 41-41 2015-16 season, Rockets GM Daryl Morey retooled his roster with one goal in mind for the 2016-17 campaign: put up as many 3-pointers as possible.

Offseason acquisitions Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson have fit in perfectly, and with them, the Rockets are averaging a league-high 40.3 3-point attempts per game. The next closest team, Cleveland, is averaging 33.8 3-point attempts per game. The Warriors, who lead the NBA in scoring, are only averaging 31.8 3-point attempts per game.

For Morey, the high volume of long-distance shots is all part of his plan to detrone the Warriors as Western Conference champs.

"We want to win the title, and obviously, that's probably going through the Warriors at some point. We absolutely figured the only way we're going to beat them is with a barrage of 3-pointers. And it's probably going to be a 124-120 affair if we're going to get past them," Morey said on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Friday.

In the first meeting this season between the two teams on Dec. 1, 2016, Houston went 14-of-44 from behind the 3-point line in a 132-127 double-overtime win in Oakland.

When they met again in Houston on Jan. 20, Houston made just 7-of-35 3-pointers as the Warriors ran away with a 125-108 victory.

The Rockets will get two more chances in the regular season to test their strategy.

If there's any team best equipped to defuse the Rockets' plan, it's the Warriors, who lead the NBA in holding opponents to 32.6 percent shooting from 3-point distance.

The Warriors have eliminated the Rockets from the postseason each of the last two seasons. Currently, the Warriors hold the top spot in the West, while the Rockets are sitting in the third spot in the conference. If they stay where they are in the standings, the earliest they could meet would be the Western Conference Finals.

 

Notes: A's OF Smolinski sidelined by sore right shoulder

Notes: A's OF Smolinski sidelined by sore right shoulder

MESA, Ariz. — Outfielder Jake Smolinski is dealing with a right shoulder issue that’s keeping him out of games right now.

A’s manager Bob Melvin is hopeful Smolinski might be able to serve as designated hitter soon, but he's having trouble throwing. The issue was bothering Smolinski when he reported to camp.

“It may take a little time,” Melvin said Sunday morning.

Depending on how long Smolinski is sidelined, it could impact his bid to make the club as a fifth outfielder. Khris Davis, Rajai Davis and Matt Joyce are projected as the starting trio, left to right, with Mark Canha likely to platoon with Joyce in right.

**

Melvin finds his catching depth thinning out a bit. Matt McBride isn’t able to get behind the plate because of a sore lat muscle, and non-roster catcher Ryan Lavarnway will be leaving soon to join Team Israel for the World Baseball Classic.

That means Sean Murphy, a third-round draft choice last June, will see plenty of time in early exhibitions. Melvin has spoken highly of the strong-armed Murphy so far.

“We’re a little short, so Mr. Murphy is going to get some opportunities for a younger guy,” Melvin said. “It’s a nice little showcase with him to back up some of these games.”

**

Ryon Healy will draw his first start of the spring, playing first base, Monday against the Giants in Scottsdale. He’s been nursing a sore quadriceps but ran Sunday and is cleared for Monday.