Vick Named Eagles’ Starting QB
President Barack Obama, center, poses with former Miami Dolphins football quarterback Bob Griese, left, and Hall of Fame Dolphins Coach Don Shula, second from right, and fullback Larry Csonka, right, while holding up a signed team jersey during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, where the president honored the Super Bowl VII football Champion Miami Dolphins. The 1972 Miami Dolphins remain the only undefeated team in NFL history. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Philadelphia — Michael Vick took a pay cut and had to compete for his job when he returned to the Eagles.
Part of the choice had to do with the up-tempo offense mapped out by new coach Chip Kelly.
“I just thought,” Vick said, “this was the best opportunity, the best fit for me.”
Turns out, Vick was the best fit for Kelly.
With his first chance to put his stamp on Philadelphia’s offense, Kelly named Vick the starting quarterback on Tuesday, giving the veteran the nod over Nick Foles after a sterling effort in the preseason.
“He’s our starter for the season,” Kelly said. “It’s not a one-game trial basis.”
There wasn’t a lot of suspense with Kelly’s decision, which was announced after practice on Tuesday, and after the coach met with both players. About the only surprise was the timing — Kelly had hinted he might not name a starter until closer to the opener. But Kelly, in his first season after coaching at Oregon, ended the mystery and will have Vick taking the snaps when Philadelphia opens the regular season at Washington Sept. 9.
Vick has been solid in two preseason games, and Foles, in his second season with the Eagles, has struggled to grasp Kelly’s multifaceted offense. Vick has thrown for 199 yards this preseason and will take a 113.2 quarterback rating into Friday’s game at Jacksonville (0-2).
Foles has been sacked six times in two games, and has a quarterback rating of 65.5, after showing flashes as a rookie last season while Vick was injured. Vick played in just 10 games last season, while Foles topped 340 yards twice as a rookie.
Gets 6-Game Suspension
Englewood, Colo. — A person familiar with Von Miller’s negotiations with the NFL told The Associated Press that the Denver Broncos linebacker will serve a six-game suspension under the league’s substance-abuse policy.
The league wanted a longer penalty for the third-year linebacker, but the sides agreed to less than half the season. Miller’s suspension will begin Aug. 30. He is eligible to return for Denver’s seventh game, Oct. 20 at the Indianapolis Colts.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because no official announcement had been made.
Another Redskins QB
Washington — Now the Washington Redskins have two quarterbacks hoping to get cleared in time to play in the regular season opener.
The team survived a scare Tuesday when an MRI revealed no major ligament damage in Kirk Cousins’ sprained right foot, said a person familiar with the situation. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce the results, said Cousins should be back in time for the Week 1 game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9.
That’s also the projected return date for Robert Griffin III, who has made a remarkable comeback from major knee surgery. Griffin said he received a favorable report when he was examined by Dr. James Andrews before Monday night’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Griffin will meet again with Andrews within the next three weeks, hoping to get the final thumbs-up to return to the field.
For the time being, the Redskins are left with two healthy quarterbacks: veteran Rex Grossman and comeback-hopeful Pat White. Grossman was expected to be the savvy been-through-it-all tutor for Griffin and Cousins for a second straight year, but he had a reminder Monday night for all those who only see him only as a bench-warmer: “I feel like I can still play.”
Alabama CB Suspended
Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban suspended cornerback Geno Smith for the season opener with Virginia Tech after a weekend drunken driving arrest.
Smith, a projected starter at nickel back, was arrested Sunday morning and charged with DUI. The sophomore was at practice Tuesday for the top-ranked Crimson Tide, and Saban said Smith has some “in-house” things to do in order to return in time for the Sept. 14 game against Texas A&M.
Serena Seeded No. 1
New York — Serena Williams will be seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open as she tries to do something she’s never done: win a second consecutive title at Flushing Meadows.
Williams is a four-time champion at the U.S. Open, including in 2012. Only Chris Evert, with six, and Steffi Graf, with five, have won the tournament more times in the Open era, which began in 1968.
The U.S. Tennis Association stuck to the WTA rankings Tuesday in announcing the 32 seeded women, including Victoria Azarenka at No. 2, and Maria Sharapova at No. 3. Williams is one of three seeded Americans; No. 16 Sloane Stephens and No. 24 Jamie Hampton are the others.
Venus Williams, who won the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001, is the only unseeded past champion.
Bruins Promote Staff
Boston — The Boston Bruins promoted Keith Gretzky, the younger brother of the hockey Hall of Famer, to director of amateur scouting.
The team also hired P.J. Axelsson as a European amateur scout and named Keith Sullivan an amateur scout.
Gretzky joined the Bruins organization in 2011 as an amateur scout. He has also scouted for the Phoenix Coyotes.
Axelsson spent 11 years with the Bruins as a player before joining the organization as an amateur scout.
Sullivan spent four seasons with the Coyotes and one with the Winnipeg Jets.
Also Tuesday, the Bruins, the defending Eastern Conference champions, renewed their affiliation with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.