Tag Archives: football

Eagles’ third-string QB: Vick signing a slap in the face



BETHLEHEM, Pa.—With the sports world’s collective eye focused squarely on the City of Brotherly Love in the wake of the Eagles’ signing of embattled quarterback Michael Vick, Eagles third-string signal-caller A.J. Feeley says he understands the message sent by team management.

“I presume that the signing of a quarterback with a career completion rate of 53.8 percent is meant to light a fire under my ass,” Feeley scowled during a sparsely-attended press conference at Eagles camp on Friday. “Team brass obviously thinks I take for granted the mediocre standing one gains from being the emergency quarterback.

“But I swear to both of my fans, I will put forth just enough effort and make an adequate number of plays in practice to protect my status as the necessary evil on this roster,” Feeley added. “I dare Mike Vick to come in here and be average enough for the job.”

All reports stemming from the earth-shaking addition of Vick have made clear that the disgraced dogfighter will not compete with starting QB Donovan McNabb nor against prized youngster Kevin Kolb for their depth-chart positions. But Feeley was quick to note during his morning rant that it’s more important to look at what has been left unsaid: anything about A.J. Feeley.

“I guess I don’t fit in the Eagles’ plans anymore,” Feeley said. “Just when I was getting comfortable with the new clipboard, too—it just figures.”

Brian Jaxton, editor of the fanblog EaglesTakeOff.com, published a 1,500-word reaction to the Vick signing late Thursday night, but “Feeley” was not among those 1,500 words. “I kinda forgot he was on the team,” Jaxton said, flashing an insincere look of “my bad” to punctuate the statement.

PETA spokesperson Phil Denardo, in response to a question of whether his organization would rally around Mr. Feeley, uttered, “Who?”

Feeley, who speculated that the move was motivated by lagging A.J. Feeley jersey sales, said that he has a contingency plan if his pedestrian performance in camp isn’t rewarded by Philly.

“I’ll probably catch on with San Fran, which is where I thought Vick might land,” Feeley said. “I think either me or Vick could be the starter there. Those guys are horrible!”


Rams QB petitions for “5-Mississippi” pass-rush rule

ST. LOUIS—Rams quarterback Marc Bulger on Wednesday submitted a formal request to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in hopes of having a “5-Mississippi” pass-rush rule instituted before the Rams’ first game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I’m one more big hit away from becoming a certified marshmallow-head,” Bulger said after a discouraging practice in which he was repeatedly sacked by the scout team defense. “I’ve always wanted to meet a matador, and it appears management has granted that wish by signing five of them to play offensive line for the Rams.”

In a seven-page petition faxed to the league office, Bulger spelled out the definition of his “5-Mississippi” rule: the defense must count aloud “1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, 3-Mississippi, 4-Mississippi, 5-Mississippi” before attempting to rush the quarterback. Bulger’s rule is commonly observed in schoolyard contests and backyard games across the United States.


A common sight for Rams QB Marc Bulger. (Simon Bruty/SI)

A common sight for Rams QB Marc Bulger. (Simon Bruty/SI)

Bulger cited the Rams affinity for allowing sacks—especially as the health of left tackle Orlando Pace continues to decline—and mentioned that some of the linemen just have names that don’t instill confidence in a signal caller.

“When one of your linemen is [right guard Richie] Incognito, you start to wonder if they’ll show up on game day,” Bulger wrote.

The Rams’ golden arm also penned a concession that the defense could be allowed one immediate rush per four downs, but that the quarterback would have the option to forgo the center-quarterback exchange and begin the play holding the ball 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage—the schoolyard version of the shotgun formation.

In the document’s final section, labeled “Innovative Thoughts,” Bulger suggested the quarterback could earn an “immunity necklace” a la Survivor by going five pass plays without being sacked or by running for positive yardage or getting back to the line of scrimmage without fumbling the ball.

Bulger’s counterpart in Sunday’s game, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, said he’s not willing to go as far as a “5-Mississippi” delay, but might throw his support behind some sort of compromise.

“I grew up with the ‘5-Chicago’ rule, and it seemed to make everyone happy,” McNabb said. “Three syllables are plenty.”

Goodell has yet to publicly comment on Bulger’s petition; a source from the commissioner’s office said Goodell “will probably do a ‘5-Mississippi’ count before reacting to the request.”

Kitna: Thanks for the backhanded compliments

AP/Duane Burleson

AP/Duane Burleson

DETROIT—Lions starting quarterback Jon Kitna has been hearing the preseason buzz that has flooded sports talk radio and television outlets such as ESPN and Fox Sports, most of which reluctantly identifies him as the best quarterback in the signal caller–challenged NFC North Division.

The halfhearted praise, which is usually accompanied by smirks, chuckles, and utterances such as “No, I mean it!” or “Well, maybe Tarvar–no, I’ll go with Kitna,” has prompted a one-word response from the pride of the Lions:


“Seriously, it’s nice to be talked about in these pseudo-pleasantries and ‘least of four evils’ sentiments,” Kitna said, adding that “my receivers and coaches are dumb enough to believe some of it, which is good for me, bad for Drew Stanton.”

With an unproven Aaron Rodgers, an erratic Tarvaris Jackson, and the Kyle Orton/Rex Grossman circus as his peer group, Kitna has a pretty easy stay atop the NFC North QB food chain. As most observers see it, he simply needs to put on his uniform correctly, master the center-quarterback exchange four times out of five, and throw the ball way up high (a la Jeff Blake) so stud receivers Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson can make plays.

Kitna seems to have a full grasp of the backhanded compliment, as a recent comment showed.

“To hear guys filling weekend graveyard shift minutes on ESPNews singing my praises, or the fifth-string Fox Sports Radio guy give me a slight edge over that fragile, unproven guy in Green Bay, that means the world to me,” Kitna said. “It almost makes me want to refuse my salary, which, if you must know, is exponentially higher than the salaries of the people who are showering me with praise and chuckles.”