Thursday, September 22, 2011
Breakfast links: Cuckoo for Kevlar
By Dan Graziano
It's a big week in the Kevlar business, as a Pennsylvania-based company called Unequal Technologies is working to help get Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick back on the field. The NFC East's two banged-up signal-callers are both hoping to play in their Week 3 games -- Vick on Sunday afternoon against the Giants and Romo on "Monday Night Football" against the Redskins. But Vick is recovering from a concussion sustained in Sunday night's loss in Atlanta while Romo is dealing with broken ribs suffered in his overtime victory Sunday in San Francisco.
Enter Unequal Technologies, which had representatives in Dallas on Wednesday to fit Romo (and tight end Jason Witten) for Kevlar vests, according to our old buddy Matt Mosley. Later in the day, ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported that Rob Vito, the company's CEO, planned to meet with Vick on Thursday in Philadelphia "to re-fit his helmet with Kevlar padding."
"The 100-year-old foam everybody is using in helmets is antiquated," Vito told Sal. "Concussions are the injury of our age, and really they should not be happening anymore."
Vick has signed endorsement deal last year with Unequal Technologies after they helped fit him for a vest to provide relief and protection for his own broken ribs last year. He wears the company's shoulder pads.
So that's your Vick/Romo injury update for this morning. Sounds like there's a chance neither one of them misses a game, but we'll see.
Know what never misses a day? The links.
Romo himself says it hurts to laugh because of his injury. I guess that means he's watching tape of the fourth quarter of his Week 1 game instead of the Week 2 tape. What? Too soon?
Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo has high praise for Cowboys rookie right tackle Tyron Smith after watching film of Smith in preparation for Monday night's game. Smith will get a good test from either Orakpo or, more likely, rookie pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan, who's off to a stellar start.
New York Giants
Remember that long, crazy, fourth-down sideline catch by Hakeem Nicks on Monday night? Shortly before his touchdown catch? Well, even though the officials said at the time, after the Giants had declined the pass interference penalty, that it was a catch, the game's official statisticians didn't count it as one, just gave the Giants the yardage via penalty. Well, they've corrected that, and it now goes in the books as a 23-yard catch, giving Nicks 38 receiving yards for the game instead of 15 and giving Eli Manning 223 passing yards instead of 200. Perhaps this helps some of you win fantasy football matchups you thought you'd lost. I am not among you. I checked.
Deon Grant said he didn't fake an injury to help stall out a Rams drive early in the game. Said he was really hurt. Said his body hurts all the time because he's been playing football for a long time. Whatever. I don't believe him any more than I did Monday night when he was faking an injury. But I also don't expect anything to come of this. The league sent out a memo Wednesday to say they'd crack down on flopping, but the league does that all the time -- reacts to something because it's become a big public issue. This is unenforceable and will not matter.
The Eagles are shuffling their linebackers, moving Jamar Chaney from the strong side to the middle, Moise Fokou from weak side to strong side and overmatched rookie Casey Matthews from the middle to the weak side. It makes sense. Would have made sense to do it from the start, actually, since Chaney played very well in the middle last year after Stewart Bradley got hurt and said he wanted to play it again. But whatever. Remains to be seen whether Matthews can handle the starting weak side spot any better than he could the middle, but at least now he won't have to worry about making all the calls.
Vince Young participated fully in practice for the first time since injuring his hamstring in the preseason, but Mike Kafka took all of the first-team snaps. So who knows which would start if Vick can't? Not me. Not you. And not the Giants, which is part of the point, I'm sure.
Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said he planned to target Romo's ribs if he got a chance to get a hit on him. Couple of things on this. First, Hall is a cornerback, so unless he's blitzing, something's going to have had to go terribly wrong for him to get a shot at Romo. Second, this clearly wasn't a personal thing -- just Hall talking about the way defensive players think when facing players who have injuries. He was talking out of school, saying something everybody probably knows but isn't very nice or smart to say out loud. But at least he was being honest.
Stephen Bowen is excited to play his old team Monday night, but he's more excited about Friday, when his infant son will be released from the hospital. Bowen's wife gave birth to extremely premature twins in June. One of the babies died, but the other -- Stephen III, who weighed two pounds at birth -- is up to 6 pounds, 5 ounces and apparently ready to go home. Brings real tears to my eyes just typing it. All the best to the Bowens, seriously.