Late For Work 7/8: Eagles Eyeballing Troy To Replace Vick?

Plus Mel Kiper’s 2011 Ravens draft pick and Ray Lewis not ranked as top ILB.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, July 8th, 2010 at 9:03 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison
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Eagles Eyeballing Troy To Replace Vick?

Even though the Philadelphia Eagles have denied any plans to cut backup quarterback Michael Vick in light of the shooting at his 30th birthday party last week, rumors persist that he could still be released.

If the Eagles eventually do decide to part ways with Vick, they’ll need a replacement.
Enter Ravens quarterback Troy Smith.

Howard Eskin of Philadelphia’s Sports Radio 610 WIP reported via Twitter that the Eagles are eyeballing Smith as a replacement for Vick.  Smith, who sought a trade this offseason, is currently projected to be the third-string quarterback behind Joe Flacco and Marc Bulger (pending a passed physical).

Eskin added, “Say goodbye to Vick!!!

At this point, the rumor doesn’t have much traction as it would contradict the Eagles’ strong denial of releasing Vick. ESPN’s national correspondent Sal Paolantonio believes Eagles brass’ claims for now.

“[The Eagles] are obviously preparing for all contingencies,” Paolantonio told Scott Garceau on 105.7 The Fan yesterday. “They want everything to play itself out before they make a decision, but right now I don’t think they are moving in the direction of cutting Michael Vick. I really don’t.”

Would Smith be a good option from Philadelphia’s point of view?

“Troy Smith, I’m not a big fan,” Paolantonio said. “I think that [18-year veteran] Mark Brunell would be a better fit for them because Brunell really knows that offense.”

It remains to be seen if this rumor becomes anything substantial. For now, Ravens fans will be curious to see how the Vick saga plays out in Philly. For more on the speculation about whether Vick will be cut, here’s an interesting Pro Football Talk analysis on the sitch-e-ation.

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Kiper’s Deeeeeeply Projected Ravens 2011 Draft Pick

Hypothetically speaking, if the Ravens had a chance to pick anyone from the 2011 draft class right now to address a hole, who it would be?

ESPN’s Mel Kiper suggests the Ravens should take Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara next April.

“A physical corner, Amukamara is among the top five available for 2011 right now and is steady enough to start early,” Kiper said.

“This was a better-than-average pass defense in 2009…I don’t think it’s an out-and-out weakness, but the Ravens aren’t in love with that position group.”

Ray Lewis ‘Not Quite’ As Feared

CBSsports.com’s Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their Top 5 players at each position debate, with yesterday’s focus on inside linebackers.

Both writers placed Ray Lewis at No. 3, behind the Bears’ Brian Urlacher and the 49ers’ Patrick Willis.

“Lewis is still very, very good,” Katzowitz said. “But he’s lost a step, and he’s not quite as feared by offensive coordinators as he once was. Notice the ‘not quite.’ He can still rush a passer, and he still clogs up the middle of the Ravens’ defense, but he’s not a machine anymore and he has a tougher time in pass coverage.”

Ward: Steelers Have Legit Shot At Super Bowl

Don’t write the Pittsburgh Steelers off for playoff and Super Bowl contention just yet, receiver Hines Ward warned via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“It seems like every year we won the Super Bowl, nobody gave us a chance to win the Super Bowl, and when everybody thought we were going to win it, we didn’t make the playoffs,” Ward said. “We don’t buy into all that stuff. Every year we know we have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs. There’s teams in the league that can’t say that, can’t say they have a legitimate chance of winning the Super Bowl. Every year, we have the core group of guys that can get it done.”

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