Saturday, July 31, 2010

Reynolds signs with Italian League team

Former Villanova star guard Scottie Reynolds has agreed to a 1-year deal with Prima Verdi, of the Italian League.

Union settle for draw vs. Revs

By John McMullen

Chester, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - Questions about his natural instincts and a perceived lack of communications skills have hounded Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz all season.

The netminder's inability to make the routine play has cost the expansion Union more than a few points in their inaugural season and Saturday's contest against the New England Revolution proved no different.

The latest is a rather long line of Seitz mishaps cost the Union (4-8-3, 15 points) a chance at three points as the team settled for a 1-1 draw with the Revs (4-9-3) in front of 18.137 at PPL Park.

The Union, who were playing their first MLS game in two weeks, came out flat but managed to take the lead in the 25th minute when All-Star Sebastien Le Toux played a little give-and-go with rookie Danny Mwanga before ripping the ball home from the edge of the box for his 8th goal of the season.

Le Toux fed Mwanga in the middle before closing back to retrieve the ball and blasting a shot that showed impressive bend and found the top right corner of the net.

Philadelphia failed to extend the lead from there. With Seitz's margin for error razor thin, the Revs finally struck in the 71st minute when Marko Perovic's free kick from distance took a bit of a funky bounce over the
flailing Seitz to even things at one.

The Union had a pair of opportunities to pick Seitz up in the 89th minute but couldn't convert. First, Le Toux's shot from point blank range in the box was blocked and, seconds later, Justin Mapp, playing his fist game with the Union since being acquired from Chicago, collected a ball to the left of the goal within the area but his blast missed the far post.

A final chance in the 92nd minute also came up empty when Le Toux was pulled down in the box going for a header but referee Jasen Anno kept the whistle in his pocket as the Union settled for one point.

Philadelphia returns to action Thursday night against Columbus at PPL Park.

State of the UNION:

*During their break from MLS action the Union lost a 1-0 international friendly to mighty Manchester United at Lincoln Financial Field, and also fought USL-2 affiliate Harrisburg City to a 1-1 draw.

*The Union waived third-string goalkeeper Brian Perk and inked former Temple star J.T. Noone, a midfielder.  The 21-year-old Perk was drafted in January during the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, as the Union's sixth pick, and 49th overall. During his time with the Union, Perk earned two appearances with the
expansion club as the team hosted two international friendlies, first against Scottish Premier League Celtic FC on July 14th, and then followed by the English Premier League's Manchester United on July 21st.

For the past six months, Noone has been training with the Union as well as playing for the club's USL-2 affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders. Raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Noone has been playing for the City Islanders over the last few months thanks to a partnership formed last February between the Islanders and the Union. This relationship allows the Union to loan players to Harrisburg on a game-by-game basis for increased playing time.

Noone has also been training for Philadelphia Union since preseason and saw playing time in the second half of the club's first ever international friendly against Celtic FC on July 14th. In the Union's 1-1 draw with
Harrisburg City on Tuesday, Noone started for the Islanders before switching to Philadelphia in the second half.

*Since last playing an MLS game, the Union also acquired veteran winger Mapp from Chicago for allocation money and signed 35-year-old midfielder Eduard Coudet.

Coudet, who started today's contest, was last with Colon of Argentina's Primera Division and played for the Union in international friendlies against Celtic and Manchester United.

"He brings a wealth of experience to us," Union assistant coach John Hackworth said. "He's coming from one of the best clubs and leagues. He has a lot of composure on the field and he'll be a very good presence for us on the field and in the locker room."

Coudet took over Roger Torres' spot. Torres continues to struggle with an ankle sprain suffered against Celtic FC on July 14, just one day after his 19th birthday.

The 25-year-old Mapp, meanwhile, is in his ninth MLS season and is known for his speed and natural ability to shed defenders outside. Mapp entered the game in the 56th minute as a substitution for Mwanga.

*Other substitutions were Andrew Jacobson in the 77th minute for Fred and Jack McInerney in the 84th for Coudet.

*Union backup goalkeeper Brad Knighton played for New England the previous three seasons. Last year, he made six starts for the Revs and made 36 saves.

*Union defender Shea Salinas remains out with a fibula fracture in his left knee.

Scoring Summary:
PHI - Sebastien Le Toux 8 (Danny Mwanga 3) 25’
NE – Marko Perovic 4 (Unassisted) 71’

New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Emmanuel Osei, Darrius Barnes, Cory Gibbs, Sainey Nyassi, Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Chris Tierney, Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 61), Marko Perovic.

Philadelphia Union -- Chris Seitz, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey, Cristian Arrieta, Sebastien Le Toux, Fred (Andrew Jacobson 77), Stefani Miglioranzi, Alejandro Moreno, Danny Mwanga (Justin Mapp 56), Eduardo Coudet (Jack McInerney 83).

Misconduct Summary:
NE -- Shalrie Joseph (caution; Reckless Tackle) 45
PHI -- Fred (caution; Reckless Tackle) 60
NE -- Marko Perovic (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85

Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee's Assistants: -Thomas Supple; Steven Taylor
4th Official: Lee Suckle
 Time of Game: 1:55
Weather: Sunny-and-83-degrees 

Union waive G Perk; sign former Temple star Noone

Philadelphia Union have waived reserve goalkeeper Brian Perk and inked former Temple star J.T. Noone, a midfielder. 

The 21-year-old Perk was drafted in January during the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, as the Union's sixth pick, and 49th overall.

During his time with the Union, Perk earned two appearances with the expansion club as the team hosted two international friendlies, first against Scottish Premier League Celtic FC on July 14th, and then followed by the English Premier League's Manchester United on July 21st.

For the past six months, Noone has been training with the Union as well as playing for the club's USL-2 affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders. 

Raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Noone has been playing for the City Islanders over the last few months thanks to a partnership formed last February between the Islanders and the Union. This relationship allows the Union to loan players to Harrisburg on a game-by-game basis for increased playing time.  Noone has also been training for Philadelphia Union since preseason and saw playing time in the second half of the club's first ever international friendly against Celtic FC on July 14th.

Name:                        J.T. Noone
Position:                    Midfielder
Height:                      6-0
Weight:                     160
Born:                         July 17, 1988
Birthplace:                Harrisburg, Pa.
Citizenship:              USA
Last Club:                 Harrisburg City Islanders
Pronunciation:          J.T. Noone

Eagles sign WR Washington

The Philadelphia Eagles today announced they have signed WR Kelley Washington to a one-year contract. To make room on the 80-man roster, the Eagles released rookie WR Jared Perry.

Washington (6-3, 217) played in 83 career games (eight starts), while recording 107 receptions for 1,327 yards and 11 touchdowns. He spent the 2009 season with the Baltimore Ravens, and finished the year with career-bests in receptions (34) and receiving yards (431), while adding two touchdowns.

The 30-year-old Washington was with the New England Patriots in 2007 and 2008 after spending his first four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2007, he led the Patriots with a career-high 18 special teams tackles. From 2003-06 with Cincinnati, he had 72 catches for 893 yards and nine touchdowns. Washington was selected by the Bengals in the third round (65th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft.

Washington played in 17 games at the University of Tennessee, tallying 93 catches for 1,523 yards and eight touchdowns. A native of Stephens City, VA, the eighth-year veteran earned all-state honors at Sherando Prep (Stephens City, VA) and was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 10th round of the 1997 MLB draft.

Eagles swap Mays for RB Arrington

The Philadelphia Eagles today announced they have traded LB Joe Mays to the Denver Broncos for RB J.J. Arrington or a 2012 conditional draft choice.

Originally a second round pick of Arizona in 2005, Arrington (5-9, 212) spent four seasons with the Cardinals from 2005-08, compiling 1,347 career yards from scrimmage (654 rushing, 693 receiving) while also averaging 23.6 yards on 114 kickoff returns, including two returned for touchdowns. He signed with the Broncos in 2009, but missed the season after undergoing microfracture knee surgery.

Arrington starred collegiately at California, where he earned consensus All-America honors as a senior in 2004 after amassing 2,018 rushing yards. The Rocky Mount, NC, native was a two-time all-conference selection at Northern Nash High School.

Eagles sign DE Graham

The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to terms with DE Brandon Graham on a five-year contract. To make room on the 80-man roster, the Eagles released WR Blue Cooper.

A first round draft choice in 2010 out of Michigan, the Eagles traded up 11 spots to grab Graham (6-2, 268) with the 13th overall selection. He earned second-team All-America accolades as a senior in 2009 after amassing 64 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks. An All-Big 10 selection in both his junior and senior campaigns, Graham was also named the Bo Schembechler team MVP in both of those seasons, becoming the first defensive player in school history to win the award twice in a career. The 22-year-old Graham played in 47 games (28 starts) in his four-year career, finishing second in school history in both sacks (29.5) and forced fumbles (8) while compiling 138 tackles and 56 tackles for a loss.

The Detroit, MI, native attended Crocket Vocation Technical High School, where he earned USA Today first-team All-America honors as a senior.

Eagles sign WR Perry, cut Jurovich

The Philadelphia Eagles  have signed WR Jared Perry to a three-year contract and waived/injury settlement WR Kevin Jurovich.

Originally a rookie free agent signing of the San Francisco 49ers following the 2010 draft, Perry (6-1, 177) played in 52 games (27 starts) at the University of Missouri, and recorded 137 receptions for 1,844 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career. He was released by the 49ers on July 26.

A college teammate of Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin and TE Martin Rucker, the 22-year-old Perry finished second on the team with 46 receptions for 696 yards and six TDs as a senior in 2009. He also earned honorable mention freshman All-America honors in 2006. A native of La Marque, TX, Perry starred in both football and track at La Marque HS.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Phillies get Oswalt

The Phillies have acquired starting pitcher Roy Oswalt  from Houston for pitcher JA Happ and a pair of prospects, Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar. The Astros also kicked in between $11 and $12 million dollars to help offset some of Oswalt's huge contract.

The deal will be officially announced at a 4 p.m press conference. Oswalt has already confirmed he is flying to Washington, D.C. tonight and will start for Phillies tomrorow

Phillies on the verge of acquiring Oswalt

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are very close to acquiring Houston ace Roy Oswalt but the deal is still awaiting approval.

Rosenthal  says three players will be involved in the deal, including JA Happ and Vance Worley while the Astros will send about $8 million to Philly to help with Oswalt's salary.

Yao can see the end of the line

By John McMullen

Philadelphia, PA - Your average human being doesn't stand 7-foot-6 and weigh 310 pounds.

In basketball, size among the skilled is the holy grail -- the only thing you can't teach. But, like anything else, there are pros and cons to having a talented big man that looks down at the rest of us.

Nearly 15 months ago, the Houston Rockets were battling the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. Yao Ming dominated, scoring 28 points, including eight in the final four minutes, to lift Houston to an impressive 100-92 win.

Of course the Lakers responded, but their path to what would be the first of back-to-back championships was made much easier when Yao was diagnosed with a sprained ankle after Game 3 of that set.

A follow-up test revealed a hairline fracture in the big man's left foot, and he was ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs. At the time, Yao downplayed the injury and a conservative treatment plan was drawn up, calling for him to cease all physical training and to use a walking boot in order to immobilize the foot and promote healing.

The prognosis had the foot healing over the summer but the fracture failed to respond and Yao underwent surgery, putting the playing career of the Rockets' cornerstone in jeopardy.

For now, the Rockets are expecting Yao to be back for the 2010-11 campaign but the seven-time All-Star caused quite a stir in his native China on Tuesday, intimating he would in fact have to consider retiring if the foot fails to recover.

"If the foot injury does not heal next season I might choose to call it quits," Yao, who is entering the last year of his contract, said in an interview with Chinese state media.

The big man had already indicated that his days playing for the Chinese National team were probably behind him.

"The foot injury will not allow me to play so many games anymore," Yao said. "Like I said before, I will quit the national team and the sport one day. It's what happens to every athlete."

It's Yao's prodigious size that makes leg injuries a far more serious subject, Other talented big men like Sam Bowie, Bill Walton and another former Rocket, Ralph Sampson, had careers cut short by a seemingly never-ending series of leg injuries. Meanwhile, current Portland pivot Greg Oden may be heading in a similar direction.

Yao, an eight-year NBA veteran, has now had three different fractures of the left foot and a hairline crack of the right leg. He has had five-consecutive seasons interrupted or ended by some kind of injury.

The Shanghai native did return to the floor in late May and has been going through full-contact workouts at Toyota Center, buoying the Rockets' spirits. Meanwhile, Houston general manager Daryl Morey continues to indicate Yao is indeed on pace to start training camp healthy and on time.

"Yao is on schedule to be available the first day of training camp," Morey told a Houston newspaper on Tuesday. "He's continued to make positive strides in his rehab work and all medical reports so far have been positive. He's been working consistently four to five days a week, and we expect him to be there when we open camp on September 25th."

A healthy Yao instantly turns the Rockets back into a Western Conference contender. In fact, a starting lineup featuring the Chinese star along with Luis Scola, Trevor Ariza, Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin projects as one of the NBA's best.

But, projections are just that -- an estimate of future possibilities based on current events that remain fluid.
And no projection to my knowledge has ever taken into account the doubt that has crept into the mind of a 7-foot-6, oft-injured former All-Star.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sixers' Iguodala named finalist for Team USA

Following four days of training and an intra-squad exhibition game that were held July 19-24 in Las Vegas, Nev., USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo today announced that 15 players had been selected as finalists for the 2010 USA World Championship Team. 

Named as finalists for the USA World Championship Team were Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

The 2010-12 USA National Team coaching staff is led by Duke University’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, and features as USA assistant coaches Syracuse University’s Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, New York Knicks head mentor Mike D'Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.

The 15 finalists will reassemble Aug. 9 in New York City and train there Aug. 10-16. The official 12-man USA roster that will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship must be submitted to FIBA at the technical meeting that normally is held the day prior to the start of the competition.

“We had an outstanding week of training camp in Las Vegas and it is apparent we have a group of guys that are very focused, committed, and desirous of playing for USA Basketball. The identity of the team is still evolving, but it is pretty obvious we’re going to be very athletic; we’re going to be very strong in the back court; we think our shooting ability is underestimated, we think we’ve got a number of people who can shoot the ball; and so we’re pleased with our progress to date,” stated Colangelo.

“We have much more to do in New York and in our upcoming exhibition games as we proceed toward Turkey, but we’re excited and enthusiastic about our chances.” added Colangelo. “We’re really pleased with the week we had in Vegas. There’s such a great spirit to be on the team and to bring these 15 players to New York, they’ve all earned the opportunity to be there. We have an unconventional team that we’re forming, but it’s still one that is built with great spirit, athleticism and a little bit more guard oriented than most U.S. teams have been,” commented Krzyzewski.

“I like their attitude. They all want to be on the USA team. They want to learn and they’re willing to sacrifice for what’s best for the whole. There’s a great, great spirit of cooperation, an unbelievable spirit of cooperation,” Krzyzewski added. USA Basketball opened its 2010 National Team training with a July 19-24 training camp in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas camp was concluded July 24 with the 2010 USA Basketball Showcase, an intra-squad exhibition that saw the USA White Team defeat the USA Blue Team 114-96. 

Following a short break, the selected USA finalists will reassemble in New York City to resume training and to take part in the first-ever World Basketball Festival, a four-day celebration of the game’s performance and culture hosted by NIKE, Inc. and USA Basketball in New York City. The USA World Championship Team hopefuls will begin their training Aug. 10 with a 12 -3 p.m. (EDT) practice at John Jay College. The World Championship Festival tips off Aug. 12 in Radio City Music Hall with a special showcase featuring the USA Basketball World Championship team finalists and moves uptown to Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park basketball courts on Aug. 13 and 14.

The Festival concludes Sunday, Aug. 15, when the USA squad takes on France at Madison Square Garden, 1 p.m. (EDT), in the first game of an exhibition doubleheader. China will meet Puerto Rico at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) in the second contest. Tickets for the exhibition doubleheader, which start at $15, are available on the Web via and, by phone at 1-800-4-NBA-TIX, and at the box office at Madison Square Garden.

In addition to the game against France at Madison Square Garden, the USA will play three world basketball powers in exhibition games, or “friendlies,” in preparation for the 2010 FIBA World Championship. In advance of that tournament, the Americans will meet Lithuania on Aug. 21 and Spain on Aug. 22 in Madrid, Spain, and play Greece in Athens on Aug. 25.

All of these friendlies are part of the new Global Community Cup, which will include all USA Basketball exhibition games played outside of formal international competitions. Along with the games, the Global Community Cup features a social responsibility element that will highlight USA Basketball’s commitment to giving back to communities in the U.S. and abroad.
2010 FIBA World Championship
The 2010 FIBA (International Basketball Federation) World Championship for Men will be held Aug. 28-Sept. 12 in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Kayseri, Turkey. Twenty-four teams will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Men and those teams were divided into four preliminary round groups consisting of six teams each. The United States was drawn on Dec. 15 into preliminary round Group B, and is joined by Brazil, Croatia, Iran, Slovenia and Tunisia.

The U.S. will open the ‘10 Worlds on Aug. 28 against Croatia, a team it has never faced in World Championship play, but a squad the USA is 3-0 versus in Olympic action. Facing its second European team in as many days, the Americans on Aug. 29 will meet Slovenia, a team it defeated 114-95 in 2006 World Championship preliminary play in their only prior World Championship meeting. FIBA Americas Zone champion Brazil will challenge the U.S. on Aug. 29. The USA-Brazil World Championship series stands at 6-5 in favor of the United States with the two teams’ last meeting in the 1998 World Championship.

Following a day off on Aug. 31, the USA resumes play Sept. 1 against Asia Zone champ Iran, a team it has not faced previously in World Championship play, then closes out preliminary play with a contest versus Tunisia on Sept. 2, another team that the Americans have not met in World Championship action.
Held every four years and considered international basketball’s diamond event, the U.S. has had mixed results in World Championship play.

Claiming the bronze medal with an 8-1 record in 2006 when the championship was held in Japan, the U.S. last claimed gold at the 1994 World Championship in Toronto, Canada, with a team comprised of NBA stars.

All told, the USA has won 10 medals in World Championship play - three gold medals (1954, 1986 and 1994), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006). USA teams have compiled an overall 105-27 win-loss record in the World Championships for a 79.5 winning percentage.

The winner of the 2010 FIBA World Championship automatically earns a berth in the 2012 London Olympics.

Phils place Victorino on DL; call up Brown

The Phillies have placed center fielder Shane Victorino on the 15-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain, and recalled top prospect Domonic Brown from triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Brown, 22, has combined to hit .327 and has 20 home runs and 68 RBIs in more than 93 games for double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley.

Union battles Harrisburg City to draw

City Island, Pa. (July 27, 2010) - Danny Mwanga's tally in the 30th minute gave Philadelphia Union the lead but an own goal just a minute later proved to be the Union's downfall as the club produced a 1-1 draw against USL-2 affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders on Tuesday night.

Philadelphia Union trialist and Harrisburg native J.T. Noone saw significant playing time as a member of both the Islanders and Union squads, starting first for the home team and later changing to the Union blue and gold for the second half of the match.

The Islanders wasted no time putting the Union defense to the test, rattling off three scoring chances in the first 12 minutes of the match.  The Union's first real chance to get on the board came in the 15th minute off of a shot by Nick Zimmerman but Harrisburg's Tomer Chencinski made a diving save to preserve the stalemate.

The Union seemed to pick up their offense over the course of the next 15 minutes resulting in the visitor's first tally.  A series of passes beginning with midfielder Andrew Jacobson and a deflection by Jordan Harvey set up a Union corner in the 29th minute.  Fred's service into the box was headed by Danny Mwanga into the lower left hand side of the goal to put Philadelphia up 1-0 in the 30th minute.

The Islanders would not be down for long, however, as miscommunication between Chris Seitz and Harvey resulted in a Union own goal, tying the game at one just a minute later.

Philadelphia continued to push for the remainder of the half but could not seem to break through the Islander defense and took a 1-1 result into the break.

Kyle Nakazawa returned to the Philadelphia line-up in the second half after almost a month long absence and made an immediate impact, nearly putting the Union ahead in the opening seconds of the stanza.  Nakazawa drew a foul and his ensuing free kick nearly snuck into the upper left hand corner of the goal but Chencinski was there to punch it away. 

Chencinski denied subsequent shots by McInerney and Nakazawa allowing his side to continue to pressure the Union defense over the course of the next 25 minutes.  Brad Knighton came up big during that stretch but the Islanders weren't finished yet.  Brian Ombiji made a run down the right side of the field in the 90th minute and sent the ball into the box just past the reach of Knighton.  Luckily for the Union, no one was able to get a touch on it and time expired with the 1-1 result.

Philadelphia Union returns to MLS play on Saturday, July 31st when they host the New England Revolution at 3:30 p.m.  The match will be broadcast live on 6abc.

Philadelphia Union

Starters: Chris Seitz (Brad Knighton '46), Michael Orozco Fiscal, Danny Califf, Cristian Arrieta (Toni Stahl '46), Jordan Harvey, Stefani Miglioranzi (Kyle Nakazawa '46), Eduardo Coudet (J.T. Noone '61), Fred (Jack McInerney '46), Andrew Jacobson (Amobi Okugo '46), Danny Mwanga, Nick Zimmerman

Unused Substitutes: Shea Salinas

Statistics: Saves: 6 (Knighton 5); Shots: 10 (Nakazawa 2, Orozco Fiscal 2, Jacobson 2); Fouls: 12 (Okugo 3, Noone 3); Corners: 4; Offsides: 3

Harrisburg City Islanders

Starters: Tomer Chencinski, Geoff Bloes (Anthony Di Biase '63), Dustin Bixler (Tyler Ruthven '46), Jerritt Thayer, Anthony Calvano (Nate Jafta '63), Jason Pelletier (Dominic Oppong '46) J.T. Noone (Moloi '30), Kai Kasiguran (Vince Petrasso '63), David Schofield (Ryan Zabinski '46), Jason Hotchkin (Brian Ombiji '46), Sheanon Williams (Tishan Hanley '63)

Unused Substitutes: Thomas Booth, Danny Cepero

Statistics: Saves: 4 (Chencinski 4); Shots: 9 (9 players with 1); Fouls: 13 (3 players with 3); Corners: 3; Offsides: 2

Villanova named favorites in CAA

BALTIMORE, Md. (July 28, 2010) -- Villanova, which returns 17 starters from its 2009 NCAA Division I National Championship squad, is the overwhelming pick to win the CAA Football Championship in 2010 according to a vote of the league's 10 head coaches and media relations personnel.

The results of the poll, along with the Preseason All-Conference squads, were officially announced during Wednesday's CAA Football Media Day at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

Villanova senior wide receiver/returnman Matt Szczur and senior linebacker Terence Thomas headlined the 2010 CAA Football Preseason All-Conference squad as each were named Preseason Players of the Year.

Thomas, who is one of the league's eight returning All-America honorees, led the Wildcats with 116 stops in 2009 and has yet to miss a start in his three-year career.  Szczur, who recently signed a Major League
Baseball contract with the Chicago Cubs, is slated to return to campus in early August to take part in preseason camp with the Wildcats. Szczur led the league in all-purpose yardage last season by averaging
nearly 150 yards a game which helped him become CAA Football's first-ever Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year in the same season.

Villanova, which had to defeat two CAA Football squads as well as Holy Cross and Big Sky Champion Montana to earn its first-ever National Championship in football, placed a total of seven on the Preseason
All-Conference squad.  Szczur was joined by quarterback Chris Whitney, placekicker Nick Yako and offensive linemen Brant Clouser and Ben Ijalana on the offense.  Safety John Dempsey joined Thomas on the
defensive side.

William and Mary, picked to finish second in the league race, placed four on the preseason list with running back Jonathan Grimes, offensive lineman Keith Hill, Jr., linebacker Jake Trantin and punter David Miller.  New Hampshire, which earned two first-place votes and finished third in the overall voting, placed both defensive lineman Brian McNally and cornerback Dino Vasso on the preseason defensive squad.  James
Madison, the preseason No. 4 pick, was represented by offensive lineman Theo Sherman and defensive lineman Ronnell Brown on the preseason list.

Delaware picked up one first-place vote and finished fifth in the poll while placing safety Anthony Bratton on the preseason squad.  Richmond, a defending CAA Football Champion from 2009, had seven on the preseason list and came in sixth in the preseason poll.  The Spiders are represented by fullback Kendall Gaskins, wide receivers Tre Gray and Kevin Grayson, offensive lineman Drew Lachenmayer, defensive lineman Martin Parker, linebacker Eric McBride and cornerback Justin Rogers.

Maine logged the seventh-place spot in the preseason poll, while Massachusetts and its three preseason honorees came in eighth. Northeastern transfer running back John Griffin, tight end Emil Igwenagu
and linebacker Tyler Holmes make up the Minutemen contingent on the preseason roster.

Rhode Island finished at No. 9 in the preseason poll, while preseason honoree defensive lineman Yaky Ibia and Towson rounded out the league's preseason poll at No. 10.

CAA Football's 2010 regular season is set to kick off Sept. 2 with four non-conference contests as Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island and Towson will all be in action.  The first CAA Football league contest is later that same weekend when Massachusetts hosts William and Mary at 3:30 p.m., Sept. 4 on The Comcast Network and Comcast SportsNet New England.

Rutgers' McCourty agrees to terms with Pats

The New England Patriots and first-round draft pick Devin McCourty have agreed to terms of a contract.

McCourty's  agent,  Andy Simms, posted the  news on his Twitter feed Wednesday morning.

McCourty  becomes  just the second  of this  year's first-round draft picks to reach a contract agreement, joining Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant.

McCourty, the  27th overall pick in April's draft, was a First-Team All-Big East choice in 2009, finishing second on the Rutgers  defense  with 80  tackles to go  along with 10  pass breakups and one interception.  He had six picks during his career and also blocked seven kicks while adding a kickoff return for a touchdown on special teams.

Eagles sign S Allen

The Philadelphia Eagles announced they have agreed to terms with safety Nate Allen on a four-year contract.

A 2nd round draft pick (37th overall) of the Eagles in 2010, Allen (6-1, 210) played in 48 career games (39 starts) at South Florida, compiling 224 tackles, 12 pass breakups, nine interceptions and four touchdowns over the course of his career. A team captain as a senior in 2009, Allen earned second-team All-Big East honors after recording 85 tackles and four interceptions.

The Cape Coral, FL, native had an illustrious career as a quarterback at Cape Coral HS. A three-time all-area player, Allen holds all of his high school’s passing records, throwing for over 5,000 yards in his prep career.

To make room on the 80-man roster for Allen, the Eagles released LB/DE Alex Hall.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Eagles training camp report - Day 1

The Rundown:

·         Jon Tamari provides information on the injury to G/T Todd Herremans, as well as highlights from the morning practice featuring rookies and selected vets in Bird’s Eye View

·         Les Bowen discusses DE Brandon Graham’s contract status in his Eagletarian blog

·         Ryan Wixted of lists five things to watch at training camp this year in 4th and 26

·         Rookie safety Kurt Coleman impresses Sean McDermott at morning practice, according to Geoff Mosher in his blog Wing Tips and Bo Wulf on’s Bloghead

·         Bleeding Green Nation says QB Kevin Kolb looked impressive in his training camp debut


·         Eagles QB Kevin Kolb appeared on FOX 29’s “Good Day” this morning and discussed how he is looking forward to playing with so much young talent .

Birds flock back to the nest

Former Eagles RB Duce Staley and LB Shawn Barber have rejoined the Eagles, this time as training camp coaching interns. Barber spent two seasons (2002, 2006) with the Eagles, and appeared in 29 games during that span. Staley carried the ball in the Eagles’ backfield for seven seasons (1997-2003).

 ·         As an Eagle, Staley played in 98 games (64 starts) and amassed 4,807 rushing yards, 2,498 yards receiving 32 combined touchdowns. He ranks fourth on the Eagles all-time rushing list. “It’s a good feeling, just to be able to come up here and work with the guys,” said Staley. “As soon as I stepped outside the Varsity House, I remembered stepping out of that place as a rookie and of course I was shaking and shivering. All the memories—the good times and the bad times—come back as soon as you come back and visit.”

·         In 2002, Barber’s first season with the team, he started in all 16 games and posted 71 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception, which he returned 81 yards for a touchdown. Barber rejoined the team in 2006, seeing action in 13 games, posting 33 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Barber told Reuben Frank of the Burlington County Times,”When I played, I didn't really think about becoming a coach, but I always loved to learn about all the positions, not just my own, and really develop an overall knowledge of the defense. One of the things coach Reid told me was if I went into coaching to not just focus on one area but learn everything. So while I'm here I want to spend a few days with each position and soak up as much knowledge as I can."

Five Things You Didn’t Know About…

WR Riley Cooper

1.       An accomplished outfielder, was drafted in the 15th round by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006. “Initially, the Phillies said they were going to draft me with their first pick, the 13th overall pick, in the 2006 draft out of high school. I told them that I was going to the University of Florida to get an education and to play both football and baseball. I feel that an education is very important.”

2.       Growing up, worked for his father Larry on his family’s farm. “We had a farm in Clearwater, so I helped out around the farm for my dad. My family would ride the horses and I was the one who had to clean up after them.”

3.       As a kid was a fan of John Lynch and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “I always looked up to John as a kid. I just liked the way he carried himself on and off the field. We had season tickets for about 15-20 years, so I was always watching him play.”

4.       Enjoys outdoor activities including hunting and fishing. “My dad got me into fishing when I was real young. We had a small boat and we would go out on weekends when I didn’t have games.”

5.       Favorite meal is fried chicken, mashed potatoes and white country gravy.

Eagles Flight Night!

Eagles Flight Night! Exclusive Logo Bandz Offer Begins Today!

For a limited time only, fans who purchase four or more tickets to Eagles Flight Night on August 5 at Lincoln Financial Field will receive 20 Eagles Logo Bandz to wear and trade! Eagles Flight Night offers a full practice, along with Eagles Cheerleaders, Pep Band, SWOOP, random giveaways and prizes, and fireworks finale!  This exclusive offer started today, Tuesday, July 27 at 10am and will end on Thursday, July 29th at midnight. For tickets and information, log onto or call 215-463-5500.

Upcoming Schedule:

·         Tomorrow's practice times - 8:45 am &  3:30 pm

Vick meets the media

On what it is like being one of the few players that are 30+ years old on the Eagles roster, and being a teacher to his younger teammates:
“[Jokingly] Thirty. Not thirty-plus. Let’s not rush it. You’ve got to take initiative. I’ve been leading teams since I was 25 years old, and I know how to lead and what it takes. It’s important for the younger guys to step up and attain that role, because it’s going to be required at certain positions. I just try to instill that in everybody, let everybody see, not only myself, but [QB] Kevin [Kolb], by leading by example and trying to take this team where it needs to go.”

On whether this morning’s practice was different without former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb there:
“Yeah, it’s different with not having [McNabb] here, but that’s part of the business, and you’ve got to keep pushing.”

On whether he was shaking off some rust today:
“Yeah, it was getting the rust out, getting acclimated. Getting back into the swing of things. And it takes time. This afternoon I should be a lot better.”

On whether it felt good to get on the field after what he has been through recently:
“I’ve realized from the moment that I stepped onto the field, that it was a blessing to be here, with this team, with the guys, with my teammates, and my coaches. And just enjoy the moment, and enjoy my life, and appreciate what I’ve been given, and the opportunity that I’ve been given. I just have to keep that in perspective and understand that.”

Kolb speaks at Eagles training camp

On what he needs to accomplish as the team’s starting quarterback:
“One thing that I’m focusing on is consistency, one rep at a time. I don’t want to get caught up too much in the big picture, it’s a long season. You can break it down into every game, you can break it down into every practice, you can break it down to every rep. So I just want to focus on one thing at a time.”

On what it felt like running onto the field for his first training camp practice as the starter:
“It felt good. It’s obviously a little bit different, but again, I try to block out all those distractions and not worry about if it’s my first time or not, just try to get out here and practice well.”

On whether he noticed getting a different reaction from fans as compared to previous training camps:
“A little bit. I think everybody’s excited, not only the players, but the fans and the coaches—everybody. There is a sense of the unknown a little bit, so everybody’s anxious to see what we got, including ourselves, so we’ll keep working hard and hope that will be a positive thing”

On whether he recognizes that there are more eyes on him:
“I don’t. Like I said before, as a kid, my dad taught me, ‘all eyes are on you, so just live every day like that. Do what you would do in front of everybody.’ That’s the way I’ve always lived and that’s why it doesn’t affect me now.”

On whether it would have been difficult to wait another year to become the starter:
“Yeah, it would have been difficult. I want to be on the field, you know? All the way through my career, starting in seventh grade, whatever the situation was, I’m going to role with it, and I’m just glad to be out here and be the starter.”

On whether he felt any sense of being more hyped for today’s practice:
“I don’t think so. I thought it was smooth. I thought everybody’s attitude was great, and the thing I like is that there was good tempo, and that’s what we want to keep throughout [all of training camp]. This is not the important one, its day four, day five, when everybody’s hurting—to see how everybody reacts.”

On whether this is the most exciting training camp for him:
“Absolutely, but I think my first camp was more of the sense of the unknown. I think I know where I’m going now, I know how everything happens. So now I can just focus in and build with the team, and everybody, and get that continuity and keep working.”

On whether he feels like a rookie because he was surrounded by mostly first-year players today:
“No, not at all. I feel comfortable and feel like I’ve been here for 10 years. I want to continue to feel that way and work through every day at camp, every practice and walk out of here feeling like I’m ready for the season.”

On how he felt he performed at this morning’s practice:
“I thought it was good. My arm felt great. We don’t have a whole lot of [wide receivers] out here, so these guys are working tired, and everybody was thinking and catching whenever they weren’t tired. If we can continue to do that we can have a good practice.”

On whether he used today’s practice to get rid of any jitters:
“Well, I didn’t have any jitters this morning. Like I said, I felt comfortable and for me, I just want to take it one step at a time. I know I sound repetitive, but I want every day to be crisp. That was my main focus this offseason. I want to be mentally tough, where I don’t let one practice, one rep slip away, because when you do that you fall behind. And I think that’s what the great ones do. That’s what I’ve picked up this offseason—that’s what the great ones do. They focus every single time and they have that mental toughness.”

On what will happen when he is not sharp in practice:
“That’s one of the tests. You’re going to have those ups and downs, especially here at practice. There’s so many of them, your arm’s going to hurt one day, but the thing that I want to work on with that is forgetting about them. I think I strive hard enough going into practice, but forget about them when you have a bad one, and move on to the next one in the afternoon.”

On whether the first full-team workout will be different:
“Absolutely. It’s always a big difference when those guys come around. Things are a little bit faster, a little quicker, but it’s a good different. We like having everybody in and again we need as much time as possible with these young players, including myself, here on the field together, so we need to build that rapport.”

On whether he sometimes has to tell himself to slow down:
“Yeah, I do. Especially when there’s not a lot of guys like we have right now. Those guys need a break, and I’m kind of a fast worker, I like to get things done. I tell them to let me know whenever they get tired.”

On whether he has spoken to any other starting quarterbacks:
“I’ve talked to a few of them. I’ve gotten a couple of messages out to [Packers QB] Aaron Rodgers and [Saints QB] Drew Brees. We’re trying to catch up with each other, and I know we will, and I look forward to talking to them. I know they have some insight on what they went through. Both of them are very successful, and I hope to be in their shoes one day.”

On whether it helps him that the Eagles are a young team and he can grow together with his teammates:
“Yeah, I think whatever the situation was, I would hope that I could adapt to it. But I do like the feel here, and I feel like we are all in this together, and I think there’s that core group feeling that we can all grow and mold, all as young players. And sometimes when you are young, you don’t realize the potential and expectations, and I want to make sure we do that, and I want to be able to roll with this and go get a lot of wins.”

On whether he has feels he has to prove to his teammates that this is his team now:
“Well, I think that’s part of it, but I don’t want to get caught up in what other guys are thinking and doing. As a player you’ve got to understand that you’ve got to do your job and the rest of it will come along. I think I proved myself a little bit last year and these guys saw what I had on game day, but we always can get better. We’re always going to continue to get better and I want them to keep believing in me and knowing there’s two minutes left and we’re down, that we’re going to win the ballgame.”

On whether there is a change stepping into a leadership role:
“Well, I’ve always tried to be a leader, even in the backup role. There are some things that do change, but I don’t want to go outside of my comfort zone or do anything that’s not expected of me. I want to be myself and do the things that are asked and expected. With that being said, I know there won’t be any problem with it, and the guys will respond well.”

Ennis, Rosado both confident as Philly showdown looms

Philadelphia, PA—United States Boxing Association (USBA) junior middleweight champion Derek ‘Pooh’ Ennis and challenger ‘King’ Gabriel Rosado both spoke with confidence Monday at the final press conference for their all-Philly showdown on Friday evening, July 30, at the Arena in South Philadelphia.
An overflow crowd at Champps Americana restaurant on Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia—less than one mile from the Arena—turned out to hear both fighters and their respective managers and trainers discuss the biggest local fight in years.
“Bragging rights in the city is all well and good,” said Rosado, the 24-year-old challenger from North Philadelphia, “but what I’m really after is the USBA title and the world ranking that comes with it.  When I win this fight, I’m going to take that belt home with me and I’m gonna sleep with it in bed.”
Ennis, 29, of the Germantown section of Philadelphia, has other ideas.

“You can borrow it for now and see how it feels,” he told Rosado as they sat at the head table, “but it will only be temporary.  Sooner or later you’ll have to bring it back to where it belongs—around my waist.”

Ennis is ranked No. 12 in the world by the International Boxing Federation (IBF).  His record is 21-2-1, 13 K0s.  He won the USBA title last year by beating Eromosele Albert, of Miami, FL, over 12 rounds at the Blue Horizon.

Rosado, unranked, is 14-4, 8 K0s, but he has beaten ex-world champ Kassim “The Dream” Ouma, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and Saul Roman, of Mexico.

Moz Gonzalez and Eddie Woods, who manage Ennis, were looking forward to Friday’s matchup.

Gonzalez:  “Bring it on!  We can’t wait until Friday.  Derek is in the best shape of his career and I’ve never had a fighter who was so easy to work with.  He had some issues earlier in his career with making weight, but that’s all in the past.”

Woods:  “I was a pro fighter in the late 1950s and early 1960s when Kitten Hayward and Dick Turner and Percy Manning and all those guys from different neighborhoods took turns fighting each other.  I have no problem with two Philly fighters getting it on.  Just wait and see!  There’s no way we’re losing this fight.”

Billy Briscoe, who trains Rosado, sees a different ending to this one.

“Gaby works so hard in the gym I have to tone him down,” Briscoe said.  “He knows what this fight means to his career and he doesn’t think anyone can stop him.  That USBA belt is all the motivation he needs.”

To commemorate the occasion, John DiSanto, of, made casts of each fighter’s fist.

Also on hand were most of the local undercard fighters.  They included: junior lightweight Anthony Flores (8-1-1, 5 K0s); super middleweight Dennis Hasson (9-0, 3 K0s); light-heavyweights Garrett Wilson (7-5, 2 K0s) and Reshawn Scott (2-4, 1 K0), who fight each other; super middleweight Farah Ennis (14-0, 8 K0s); heavyweight Bryant Jennings (3-0, 2 K0s); lightweight Angel Luis Ocasio (2-0).

Hall-of-Famer J Russell Peltz, who has been promoting fights since 1969, hopes the Ennis-Rosado match will be the catalyst that helps to bring Philadelphia back to its glory days when fighters like Hayward, Turner, Manning, Joey Giardello, George Benton, Bennie Briscoe, Cyclone Hart and many, many others took turns fighting each other in matches that still are talked about today.

The eight-bout card begins at 7.30 p.m. and will be televised by

Tickets priced at $50 and $75 are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing Promotions (215-765-0922) or online at

State of the Eagles: Transcript of Andy Reid's first training camp press conference

Opening Remarks:

“I’m glad everybody could make it out today. I look forward to the upcoming 2010 season. We’ve got a lot of new faces, and it’s important that we come together as a football team and this is a great place to do it at, at Lehigh. I think the weather is going to hold up for us, so we’ll get a little work in the heat, and be able to get ourselves into football shape and ready to go. It will be obviously a tough camp, very similar to ones that we’ve done in the past. But the most important thing is that learning takes place and that we gel as a football team. Right now our first and second round picks have not signed. [President] Joe [Banner] and [general manager] Howie [Roseman] are in the process of working with both of them and we’ll just see how things go there; a little bit closer with [S] Nate [Allen] than we are with [DE] Brandon [Graham]. Time’s yours.”

On who will start out on the PUP [physically unable to perform] list:

“Well, nobody from this crew until we get with the veteran players. So, right now [C] Jamaal [Jackson], [DE] Victor Abiamiri, and [T/G] Todd Herremans will probably be the three that start off there and we’ll just see how it goes from there. Obviously, we’ll be doing a little bit more with Todd than we will be with the others at this time. We just want to see where he’s at.”

On QB Michael Vick’s situation:

“I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Michael and the commissioner. He’s ready to go and get on with things. I think he’s learned some important lessons and it’s just very important that you put yourself in the proper situation. I think you’ve gotten to know Michael here and Michael’s a very nice guy, tries to please everybody and do the best he can. Those are great redeeming qualities to have, but again you’ve got to just be careful about the situations you put yourself in and I think he’s very aware of that.”

On whether to punish Michael Vick:

“I think, number one you listen to what exactly happened and the law enforcement part of it. I think they know that Mike Vick clarified it, so he obviously didn’t break the law there. That’s the number one thing you look at and then we’ve just got to make sure he learns from it.”

On what happened at the party:

“I will just tell you this. I talked to Michael right after the situation happened. He called me and told me what happened and it was the same story all the way through. The story didn’t change. Law enforcement people proved that fact, so I’m just going to leave it at that. I’m not going to get into all of the details of it. I will just say so we can move on here I think that Michael learned from it and just make sure that he’s a little bit more aware of the situation he puts himself in.”

On Vick getting more chances:

“The law enforcement people didn’t find anything there that he was guilty of, so I’m not sure about the chance part.”

On whether the commissioner would take action:

“I’ve talked with the commissioner, so I’ve been in touch with him and kind of knew where we were at with him.”

On whether there will be any further action taken:

“I think both the league and the Eagles looked at what the law enforcement people said.”

On Vick being a role model:

“Well, obviously until this incident came up I thought he had done just a phenomenal job with trying to right himself in the situation that he was in. Like I said the people here that do know Michael, know that Michael is a very nice person. So, you’ve just got to make sure that you don’t put yourself in a bad situation.”

On the importance of training camp this year because of the new players:

“Yeah, it’s important. I think since [QB] Donovan [McNabb] had been a rookie or his first couple of years, I think we’re back in that situation again here where you’ve got a new quarterback. So, there will be things that [QB Kevin Kolb] will learn as he goes through the process of being a starter. He’s gotten a little bit of a heads up on Donovan that he’s been here for some time. But again, as a starter this will be a new experience for him.”

On the status of contract talks between Graham and Allen, and the likelihood of Allen signing before tomorrow’s practice:

“Well, I think we’re closer right now with Nate than we are with Brandon. I think it’s important that they’re here. These three days are great training for the young players and both these two are going to have a role on our defense, so as many reps as they can get will be very important. I think if you lose a day, you lose an opportunity to get better.”

On the reason that there are so many unsigned first round picks right now:

“I’m not sure. It’s probably a little bit like 3rd-and-2, but they don’t have to make that decision.”

 On the phone conversation he had after with Vick after the incident:

“Michael is a very nice person. He really is. So, it’s important that you put yourself in good positions and that’s what he’s learned from. I’m not going to get into what I said or did, but I’ll just tell you that that’s the case. [Jokingly] I did like the other questions that we had going, we were on a little bit of a roll.”

On whether he believes that the Eagles can sign Allen and have him attend tomorrow’s practice:

“Yeah, I think so. The people around him, in front and behind got their deals done, so we’re sitting there, and I think that will get done. Howie is doing a great job on his side with it, so I think [the Allen deal] will, but we’ll see how it goes.”

On how much Herremans will play this week:

“You know what? That’s what I want to see. I want to see how he’s doing before we take him off the PUP. We’ll gradually bring him back. I don’t want him to jump in and hurt himself again, so I want to take it nice and slow here. We’ve got a little bit of time.”

On whether he is concerned with Herremans’ injury:

“Right now, it’s really not bothering him. I want to see it. He’s had time off here and he’s been working with [head athletic trainer] Rick [Burkholder], but I want to see myself, and I want to take it nice and easy here and make sure we go by doing this the right way.”

On how far apart the Eagles are to agreeing to a deal with Graham:

“It’s a little bit with what Les asked me. Nobody around him has done anything. There’s one first round pick that’s really signed. To me it’s crunch time, but I’m not sure that urgency is there, and I’m not saying with Brandon, but with the agents that are involved with all of these first round picks. To me it’s 3rd-and-2. I’ve got to make that call right now. It’s a shame for these kids. Every day that they get is a good day for them.”

On whether there is a different feel to camp without former QB Donovan McNabb:

“I think there is. There’s a little bit of unknown—which I kind of like. I like that. I think it’s a great challenge. I think it’s a great challenge for the coaches and for the players. There are some big-name players that have been proven players on this football team that aren’t here. It’s important that the young guys step up and they go. That, to me, is exciting.”

On whether it had gotten “stale” with the established players that are no longer with the team:

“I don’t think it was stale, I think you just kind of knew what you had at certain positions. The one that you asked about is a pretty important position—the quarterback—that’s a pretty important position, so we’ve got to find that out. There are also some young guys we’ve got to work in here. Thirteen draft picks—I want to see how they do with their pads on. That’s a lot of new bodies.”

On different it was for him to not have McNabb at training camp:

“We’ve gone through a process this whole offseason. It doesn’t seem that much different right now. We’ve had a little bit of lead-in here. This just didn’t happen yesterday, so it doesn’t seem that unusual right now. I would take it the other way and say I’m looking forward to working with Kevin and seeing how he progresses, I think that’s going to be a neat deal.”

On whether CB Ellis Hobbs will participate fully in practice:

“He will. Yeah. Listen, I’m going to monitor him and see how he does. He’ll be in with the veterans. I’ll just see how he does and exactly where he’s at, but right now he’s cleared and ready to go.”

On whether he anticipates Kolb to play significantly more during the preseason compared to Donovan McNabb in recent years due to Kolb’s lack of experience:

“I’m just going to see how things go with him. I didn’t do that necessarily with Donovan when he was young, so I’ll just play it by ear and see how he does in practices. We’ll just kind of see how he progresses here. We have a lot of confidence in him. It’s a little different situation than when Donovan was coming in. You do have a little experience here with the offense, a little bit more than what Donovan had.”

On what some of the unknowns are on this team:

“We obviously drafted a lot of young defensive players. I can’t wait to see those guys go here and hit and be able to sustain. I think they’ll do real good the first day, but I want to see after the third, fourth day when that body is sore and the mind is tired and it’s hard to get out of bed. I want to see how they react to that and then I want to see how they work together to gel. The obvious one is Kevin Kolb. [RB] LeSean McCoy now that he is the starter. [WR Jeremy] Maclin is another year into it. Our offensive line. [C] Nick Cole is at the center position as we open up this camp. These are all good things, kind of exciting things to see. I’m curious to see how it all works out.”

On what Kolb has to show him this camp:

“Well, he needs to just keep doing what he’s been doing. Obviously we made this move with confidence that Kevin can step in and be the guy, so he just needs to continue to progress. Will there be a little blip here and there? Yeah, he’s a young guy. Just keep pushing forward and being you and that’s good enough.”

On whether the recent Michael Vick incident will cause a distraction in camp:

“I don’t see that. I don’t think that will be a problem with our football team, no. I think the team knows Michael, they understand that he’s a nice guy, they understand the situation and they’ll invite him in. We’ve had other camps where there have been a couple sticky thumbs. I don’t see this as that type of situation.”

On whether he has talked to Brandon Graham recently:

“These guys are kind of in a bunker mode. Their agents kind of tell them, ‘Don’t pick up the phone unless it’s me calling’ being the agent. So, I understand that game.”

 On whether he would like a salary structure with first round draft picks:

“I’m not sure I’m in a position to answer that, although I have a feeling that that’s probably the direction things will end up going here down the road. There’s a little bit of a slot there as it goes anyway, but it’s one that there’s quite a little bit of flexibility with right now. I can see things going in that direction possibly.”

 On whether he still feels that it would be unlikely that Jamaal Jackson would be ready for the start of the season:

“Right now, coming in I would say that. However I think he’s doing very well. I think time is important. I think Rick having him up here and really putting him through a little more strenuous exercise will be important. Although I will tell you he’s in great shape. His leg is feeling good, it’s just that it happened not too long ago here. We’ll see how it goes.”

 On whether Jackson has been running regularly:

“Yeah, he’s been doing good with that. He’s been doing some drills.”

 On whether he has an over 30 club at camp:

“I think we average 24.1 years of age for our team, [jokingly] so I’m going to take every third day off. I think we have a couple players, our special teams, our kickers, they’ll have the day off.”

 On whether there is any additional pressure on him as an evaluator:

“I’ve been in that position for a couple years. I don’t worry about that. That’s all part of the competition. I’m kind of fired up about the whole thing. Most of all I’m kind of fired up just to see you guys again.”

 On whether the uncertainty and the unknown holds up his expectations at all compared to past years:

“No, it really doesn’t. I don’t feel that way. I’m expecting the new guys to step in and play and play well when they have an opportunity.”

Another name change for the Big House

Comcast-Spectacor, owner and operator of the Wachovia Center, is changing the name of the 21,000-seat home of the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers, to the Wells Fargo Center, effective immediately, to reflect the name change in the financial institutions, it was announced today by Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko.

"As the owner and operator of the arena, Comcast-Spectacor is honoring the contract as it was agreed upon with the bank that the successor shall keep the naming rights of the facility," said Luukko. "Therefore, we will change the name of the arena to reflect the name change from Wachovia to Wells Fargo and continue to operate the arena as the world class facility which it has become."

Workers will begin removing the Wachovia Center sign from the arena on Tuesday, July 27. The Wells Fargo Center signs are expected to be in place by Tuesday, September 14, when Lady Gaga performs the first of two sold out shows at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Wells Fargo Center will host the NCAA Wrestling Championships in March of 2011, as well as the 2013 NCAA Men's First and Second Round Basketball Games, and the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four.

Since its opening on August 31, l996, the Wells Fargo Center has put Philadelphia on the map by hosting major national attractions such as the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, the 1997 NHL Stanley Cup Finals, the 1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the 1999 American Hockey League All-Star Weekend, the 2000 Women's NCAA Final Four, the 2000 Republican National Convention, the 2001 NCAA Men's East Regional, 2001 NBA Finals, the 2001 and 2002 X-Games and the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend, the 2006 and 2009 NCAA Men's First and Second Round Basketball Games.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Union acquire MF Mapp from Chicago

Philadelphia Union announced today the acquisition of midfielder Justin Mapp from the Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money.  

Now in his ninth Major League Soccer season, the 25-year-old will be eligible to play for the Union when the team hosts the New England Revolution on Saturday, July 31stPer MLS and club policy, terms of the trade were not disclosed.

Raised in Brandon, Mississippi, Mapp began his professional career with D.C. United in 2002 before moving to Chicago the following year.  Known for his elusive speed and natural ability to break into the defensive line, the young midfielder has made eight appearances for the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team.  Mapp has also represented the U.S. at the U-20 and U-17 levels, making 16 appearances for the U-20 team and 88 (57 as a starter) with the U-17 squad.

CP3 summit in New Orleans


PHILADELPHIA -- The New Orleans Hornets have prepared for their scheduled sit-down with All-Star guard Chris Paul by fending off the latest flurry of trade calls received from teams salivating over adding the game's best pure point guard.

Opposing general managers are circling New Orleans like sharks smelling blood in the water, with most convinced Paul will formally request to be moved at a planned Monday meeting, and furnish new Hornets GM Dell Demps a list of teams to which he would like to be dealt.

Paul's desire to move away from New Orleans reportedly stems from watching his close friend LeBron James land in Miami with fellow Team USA teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. In fact some have even speculated that LeBron and his lackeys, Maverick Carter and William Wesley, have been pushing Paul to force the Hornets' hand.

"Best of luck to my brother," James wrote on Twitter about Paul. "Do what's best for you and your family."

Of course Demps has no reason to panic and pull the trigger on an ill- conceived deal right now. The Hornets still have two full seasons before CP3 can opt out of his deal in the Big Easy and become a free agent in the summer of 2012.

Monday's tete-a-tete with Paul will be Demps' first face-to-face meeting with his star since taking over basketball operations from Jeff Bower last Wednesday. He and new coach Monty Williams are hoping to sell Paul on the new regime slowing being put in place, and address concerns over the team's inactivity in free agency and delay in ownership transfer from George Shinn to Gary Chouest.

That's a tough task, since Paul urged the Hornets to be an active player in the market and their only move thus far has been re-signing backup center Aaron Gray.

Likely wary of the public backlash James received for ditching Cleveland on national television, Paul has been careful to play both sides of the fence. During the recent Las Vegas Summer League, Paul told his new coach he would like to stay in New Orleans.

"I'm not going to jump to any conclusions off of something that's been alleged," Williams told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "We've already had dialogue and all of it has been great and everything that he said to me is what I'm going off of. He wants to be in New Orleans, and he hadn't said anything to me about any kind of movement, and we're going to sit down again."

What is clear at this point is Paul has been looking at the new NBA landscape and now realizes he has little chance to compete for an NBA championship unless things change drastically in New Orleans. In fact, Paul is suffering from a severe case of envy. Like LeBron, he wants to be part of a super team.

It looks like the competitive juices that defined players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird just doesn't exist in this generation.

"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team.' In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys," Jordan recently said when discussing the James-Wade-Bosh Holy Trinity in Miami.

To players like M.J., the rings may have defined them, but it was the competition that fueled them.

The battle cry of today's NBA player should be "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Paul is just the latest superstar that wants to tap out just as things are getting a little tough.

Allen on his way to camp

A source on the ground in Lehigh has informed us Eagles rookie safety Nate Allen is close to a deal and is currently driving to camp from his home in Virginia.

Vick cleared to play by NFL

Michael Vick is clear to play this season, the NFL announced Monday.

Posting on his Twitter account, league spokesman Greg Aiello said in regard to Vick, "there has been no change in his playing status. Beyond that, we have no further comment on Michael at this time."

According to a report Monday from the Philadelphia Daily News, the league cleared Vick after finishing an investigation into the shooting that occurred last month outside a restaurant celebrating his 30th birthday. The paper added that Vick is set to report to Eagles training camp Monday.

Friday, July 23, 2010

97.5 FM The Fanatic Added to the Rutgers Football Radio Network

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (July 23, 2010) – The Rutgers Football Radio Network has added 97.5 FM The Fanatic as a full-time member to its network, joining WOR-710 AM in New York City and WCTC-1450 AM in New Brunswick. With the addition of 97.5 The Fanatic, Philadelphia’s first FM sports talk station, all of Rutgers’ football games will be available to listen over the radio dial throughout the entire state of New Jersey, along with two of the nation’s largest media markets, New York City and Philadelphia.

“This is the beginning of a great partnership between Rutgers Football and 97.5 The Fanatic,” said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti. “Rutgers Football will continue to reach two of the nation’s top four media markets with our game broadcasts in this exciting expansion of the Rutgers Football Radio Network.”

The first FM sports radio talk station in Philadelphia launched in the fall of 2009. With the addition of Rutgers Football to the lineup in 2010, 97.5 FM will occasionally include guests from Rutgers football on their sports talk programming, including Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano.

Rutgers fans in South Jersey and Philadelphia will be able to listen to 30 minutes of the pre-game and post-game shows surrounding Rutgers’ game broadcasts on 97.5 FM.

The voice of the Scarlet Knights, Chris Carlin, returns as the play-by-play announcer in 2010. He will be joined by former NFL quarterback and former Scarlet Knight standout Ray Lucas (color analyst) and Anthony Fucilli (sideline reporter) on the radio network.

The Scarlet Knights return 14 starters and 45 letterwinners from last season’s 9-4 squad that won the St. Petersburg Bowl. Rutgers is one of four teams in the nation to win four bowl games in the previous four seasons. In total, the Scarlet Knights have averaged nine wins per season over the previous four years.

Season tickets for the 2010 season are now on-sale and are available by calling the Rutgers Ticket Office at 1-866-445-GoRU or visiting

Rutgers opens the 2010 campaign Thursday, September 2 at Rutgers Stadium versus Norfolk State. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Beasley hopes to turn over new leaf in Minnesota

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Telling the truth has never been much of a problem for me, especially with things that really aren't going to amount to much when Saint Peter is making the decision on whether I'm fit to enter the pearly gates.

Back in 1998, I was one of dozens of columnists that thought Ryan Leaf would be a better pro quarterback than Peyton Manning. Fast-forward 12 years and I'm one of the few that still admit to that error.

Heck, Leaf had the stronger gun and was actually a better athlete than Peyton at the time, but those kinds of measurables didn't take into account the 10- cent head and spotty work ethic that accompanied Leaf's million-dollar arm.

Hindsight painted me as a poor judge of talent and the former Washington State star as not only one of the biggest disappointments in NFL history but a felon. On April 14 of this year Leaf pleaded guilty in Amarillo, Tex. to seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance. The court sentenced Leaf to 10 years of probation and fined him $20,000.

One little mistake shouldn't stop anyone from getting back on the horse, however, and I have done it many times over the years with some good predictions and some bad.

In 2008, I was back on the NBA beat and thought the Chicago Bulls should have taken Kansas State star Michael Beasley over Windy City native Derrick Rose.

It was certainly a defensible position. Beasley was one of the most dominant players in the country during his freshman campaign at K-State, averaging 26.2 and a nation's best 12.4 rebounds. His 866 total points and 408 rebounds ranked third and second, respectively, among all freshmen in NCAA history, and the Maryland native also led the nation in double-doubles (28), 40-point games (three), 30-point, 10-rebound games (13), and 20-point, 10-rebound games (22).

The resume' was there but the thing that put Beasley over the top for me was his size. At 6-foot-10 and 235 pounds, "Beastley" had the prototypical NBA body.

The Bulls made their decision and plucked Rose, while Miami settled for Beasley at No. 2. It certainly hasn't been the basketball equivalent of Manning-Leaf just yet, but you can bet Chicago is quite happy with its selection thus far. Rose was named Rookie of the Year in 2009. an All-Star in 2010 and has developed into one of the game's best point guards while Beasley has struggled mightily with the off-the-floor problems.

In September of 2008, Beasley was involved in an incident at the NBA's Rookie Transition Program along with fellow freshman Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur. Police responded to the hotel room of Chalmers and Arthur following a fire alarm and claimed that the room smelled strongly of burning marijuana, but none was found and no charges were filed. Beasley was eventually fined $50,000 by the NBA for his involvement in the incident after Heat basketball chief Pat Riley forced him to confess to league officials that he had slipped out the door when the police arrived.

Things worsened by the next year when Beasley checked himself into a Houston rehab facility, just days after he posted pictures of himself on Twitter with what looked like marijuana in the background. The forward also wrote a number of vague postings hinting at suicide.

Beasley emerged unscathed and actually improved most of his numbers during his sophomore season in South Beach but with Riley executing a plan to team Dwyane Wade with LeBron James and Chris Bosh, he was no longer part of the plan in South Florida.

The former second overall pick was shipped unceremoniously to the Twin Cities for a pair of second-round picks in order to clear much needed salary cap space.

One man's trash can be another's treasure and the rebuilding Wolves think they might have something in the supremely talented Beasley.

That said, Minnesota president of basketball operations David Kahn has quickly made it clear that the kid gloves are off, speaking very honestly about Beasley's perceived problems.

"Michael Beasley smoked too much pot in Miami, but he's a changed man now. Make that, changed young man," Kahn told a Minneapolis area radio station. "He's a very young and immature kid who smoked too much marijuana and has told me that he's not smoking anymore and I told him that I would trust him as long as that was the case."

It's conceivable the more laid-back, family-friendly Midwestern atmosphere is just what Beasley needs to turn over a new "Leaf" and finally become the player he should be.

"He has developed a really good support system around him this past season in Miami," Kahn said. "He is growing up -- he's not grown up. He's 21. If you had given me this kind of money and put me in this kind of world with these kinds of pressures attached to it and some of the demands, I don't know how well I would have handled it. I think that if Michael was 25 or 26, maybe I would have felt differently. Some of these kids simply deserve the opportunity to make mistakes and grow up."

College Athletes, College Athletics Have Lost Their Way

By Jared Trexler

Philadelphia (The Phanatic Magazine) -Paul Pierce wears denim jeans that cost more than my life.  Kobe Bryant sports t-shirts pricier than my suits.  Chris Johnson slowly puts on gym shorts each morning that equate to a week's worth of groceries for most.

These players brand a style, a sporting mentality of wearing nice clothes while driving nice cars en route to nice restaurants.  This is old news.  Or is it?

Pierce does not wear Kansas digs (at least in public).  Johnson does not don shorts with a Wildcat...rather a Swoosh.  Hell, Bryant had the right idea...he didn't go to college.

You and I, sipping our morning coffee in an office where diplomas serve as identity placards, are proud of our college experience.  We wear school colors, escape back to the "experience" whenever work allows, illustrate our professorial knowledge whenever warranted.

College athletes could care less.  And I mean that in the nicest possible way with the complete understanding it is a sweeping generalization.

That is until you look at Reggie Bush.  Until you stare far down at the depths his greed and self-righteousness have sank the school and athletic program that helped mold his name. 

That is until you read the stories dotting ESPN's front page on a daily basis about illegal activity between athletes and sports agents.  The stories range from monetary exchange to elaborate gifts like Cadillacs and three-story mansions for college students, a sector of society more known to drive beat-down Hondas and feast on an endless supply of pizza.

Not these athletes, whose god-given talents are cash cows for athletic programs without proper compensation in return. (I'm purely speaking on their behalf as a devil's advocate with that point. Back to your regularly scheduled premise).  These student athletes have one eye on the field/court and another on its by-product, a life of financial freedom in the professional ranks.  But the overarching question remains, "if one eye is on the field/court and another is on the future, aren't these student athletes blind when it comes to school loyalty?"

YES.  And why shouldn't they be.  After all, many athletic personnel cuddle these athletes, fail in opportune "teaching moments" and for lack of a better phrase, let the kids run the asylum.  The athletes have no fear of getting caught because there is little to no individual punishment for their actions.

True, Reggie Bush is holding his breath on the Heisman Trophy, but he is making millions in the NFL while USC recently took the brunt of his negligence in a wide-ranging probation punishment that includes the loss of scholarships and a two-year bowl ban. 

The hammer may soon come down on North Carolina, behind alleged improprieties involving high-profile draft picks Marvin Austin and Greg Little.  Nothing has been proven but we known where there is smoke...there is a liar.

Players lie to cover their tracks.  Agents lie to get players into these predicaments.  Athletic and on-field personnel lie because their jobs depend on winning...and winning depends on talent...and talent, well, talent is busy getting an early glimpse of luxury.

It's a nasty cycle where coaches who enforce strict compliance and recruit college players lose jobs.  Agents that follow NCAA rules and don't use unlimited funds and connections to tempt players lose jobs.  Players that focus on their initial job in know, going to college...lose jobs (aka their chance at "the life").

College athletics is a job-churning slaughter house full of big money, big temptation and too many kids trying to be adults and adults trying to be kids.  You might as well take the names and logos off of these jerseys/uniforms and start professional feeder programs in Chapel Hill and Ann Arbor.

It's all window dressing for a multi-million dollar industry without a shred of dignity. It's disgusting, and until the NCAA cracks down on each and every case of negligence (jury is still out whether USC was an example or an exception to the rules), Kobe Bryant had it right.

He didn't pretend to be something he wasn't (and something hundreds of football and basketball stars masquerade as on a daily basis).  A college athlete.

Purchase one of Jared Trexler’s two books; “Penn State Football: An Interactive Guide to the World of Sports” and “99 Things You Wish You Knew Before…Filling Out Your Hoops Bracket” at