National sports briefs: Vick receives ovation in first appearance with Eagles
PHILADELPHIA ó All eyes were on Michael Vick ó for all of six plays.
Playing his first NFL game since his release from prison, the Eagles quarterback got a standing ovation in a half-empty stadium, avoided any ugly protests and completed four passes for 19 yards.
“It’s been a long journey for me,” Vick said. “I just want to do it right this time around.”
Vick played quarterback, ran the wildcat formation, even lined up at wide receiver and completed a pass right-handed. Philadelphia won the game, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-32 on David Akers’ field goal in the final minute.
Eagles coach Andy Reid didn’t wait long to use Vick, who jogged onto the field for the second play from scrimmage and got a hearty welcome from the Philly fans.
“It was awesome,” Vick said. “When I was running out onto the field I was listening to see what the reaction was going to be. I was very pleased. I really didn’t expect that reaction, but I was very thankful.”
* TAMPA, Fla. ó The race for Tampa’s starting quarterback job may have a clear-cut winner.
Given roughly the same amount of playing time during a 10-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Byron Leftwich outperformed Luke McCown.
* CINCINNATI ó Kyle Boller played better filling in for Marc Bulger, completing a flurry of short passes during the Rams’ 24-21 victory over the Bengals.
* CHARLOTTE ó Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams returned to practice on a limited basis one day after sitting out with a sore knee. Coach John Fox said Williams will be a “game-time decision” for Saturday’s preseason game against Baltimore.
No. 2 running back Jonathan Stewart missed his 15th straight practice with a sore left Achilles’ tendon. He’s expected to miss his third straight exhibition Saturday. Linebacker Jon Beason (knee), safety Nate Salley (hand) and guard C.J. Davis (ankle) won’t play.
* NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Mark Jones (hamstring) has been hurt most of training camp. Now he has two exhibitions to prove he’s worthy of a roster spot as a returner.
“It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish,” Jones said.
* ARLINGTON, Texas ó Jimmy Johnson loves the video boards at Cowboys Stadium where they are.
“If there’s anything wrong, it’s that people are going to watch the video board and not the game,” he said. “It is so dominating, but I think it’s so cool. I think it’s great.”
* ARLINGTON, Texas ó The Cowboys have signed center Duke Preston and released linebacker Justin Rogers and tight end Rodney Hannah.
* EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. ó Brett Favre has been in Minnesota for only 10 days, so he’s still getting acquainted with teammates.
“Obviously chemistry is maybe the most important factor in winning and losing,” he said. “There’s some work to do in that area. I’ve been here a little over a week, and that’s the reason there’s work to do. I think the locker room has been fine.”
* PITTSBURGH ó Steelers safety Troy Polamalu says defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as much as any successful head coach.
“He’s done everything but own a team,” Polamalu said. “He’s more deserving than Vince Lombardi, if you’re talking to me.”
* PITTSBURGH ó Steelers kicker Jeff Reed has a slightly sprained ankle and might not play in Saturday’s preseason game.
* LAKE FOREST, Ill. ó Bears coach Lovie Smith said plans are for Devin Hester to return punts Sunday for the first time this preseason.
“You’ll see most of our guys in a role that they will play during the course of the season,” Smith said.
LOS ANGELES ó Freshman Matt Barkley has been named Southern California’s starting QB.
* SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó Bo Jackson, speaking at a College Football Hall of Fame luncheon, said people often tell him how sorry they are that his football and baseball careers were cut short by a hip injury he sustained in 1991.
“Don’t be sorry for me,” Jackson said. “It was a blessing in disguise. We as humans have to realize that God puts speed bumps in our road of life. My speed bump was me injuring myself. I’ve gotten over that. I’ve moved on from being an employee to being an employer.”
The 46-year-old businessman is a part owner of the Burr Ridge Bank & Trust, and he owns the Bo Jackson Elite Sports Complex.
* AUBURN, Ala. ó Auburn receiver Montez Billings will miss the first four games because of an academic issue.
* TERRE HAUTE, Ind. ó Sam Donatucci threw for 111 yards and accounted for all three touchdowns, including the plunge in overtime that gave Quincy a stunning 26-20 upset of Indiana State.
The Hawks, an NAIA school in Quincy, Ill., won against a Football Championship Subdivision member.
LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. ó Former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie was arraigned on a drunken driving charge after refusing sobriety tests during an early morning traffic stop in which officers said they smelled alcohol on his breath.
Police say they arrested Gillespie at 2:47 a.m. in Lawrenceburg about 30 miles from Lexington. When Lawrenceburg police officer Michael Corley asked Gillispie if he had been drinking, Gillispie replied no, that he had been golfing all day.
Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace refuses to confirm whether the team has made a formal offer to Allen Iverson, who tweeted Wednesday that Memphis had made him an offer.
LAS VEGAS ó ESPN NASCAR analyst Ray Evernham has married race car driver Erin Crocker. A representative for the former team owner says the two were married Wednesday in a small ceremony at the Southpoint Hotel.
Crocker was a development driver for Evernham until the two began a romantic relationship. Evernham sold majority interest in his race team two seasons ago to George Gillett Jr. and now holds just a small share of what has since merged into Richard Petty Motorsports.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. ó Sergio Garcia shot a 6-under 65 at The Barclays to share the lead with Paul Goydos and Steve Marino.
Tiger Woods had three bad tee shots late in his round and wound up with a 70. Phil Mickelson made four bogeys in a five-hole stretch until rallying for a 70.
BUFFALO, N.Y. ó Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and his cousin pleaded guilty to a noncriminal charge of disorderly conduct and were ordered to send an apology to the cab driver they were accused of roughing up over 20 cents.
* PHOENIX ó If the NHL is successful in buying the Phoenix Coyotes in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the league plans to quickly engage in talks over a new lease agreement with the city of Glendale.
If no deal is forthcoming, the NHL says it would be forced to turn to a buyer to move the team.