- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I think they might have broken the code of ethics for the preseason. Denver safety John Lynch on Dallas’ amount of blitzing Saturday


Tough finding something without Little League in it, but ESPN will introduce its SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special. 6:30 p.m., ESPN



Professional sports leagues always have been a forgiving lot, and the NFL is no exception. Renegade teams like the Raiders, as well as we can make them better clubs like the Patriots and Cowboys, have been known to take chances on players whose talent at times has been eclipsed by their troubles.


Jail is a tough place for an NFL player to bounce back from, especially one like Vick who relies on speed and athleticism. Witness the sharp decline of Jamal Lewis, the former Ravens tailback who never was the same after spending an offseason in the clink. Also, Vick still needs to improve his play at quarterback and there aren’t a lot of useful film sessions in prison.

Our take

Assuming he agrees to a plea bargain and does jail time, Vick also faces a suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. There’s a chance the 27-year-old quarterback would miss three NFL seasons, including the one starting in a few weeks. But more than eroded skills, a ruined image might be Vick’s biggest hurdle to overcome once all of his time is served. The former golden boy has become PR poison. That, combined with years of inactivity, makes me think he has taken his last NFL snap.

TWT Five >> National League Cy Young candidates

1. Brandon Webb: The reigning Cy Young winner is doing his best work at ballot time; he’s at 42 scoreless innings and counting for first-place Arizona.

2. Jake Peavy: He has been the league’s dominant hurler for most of the season (2.19 ERA, 175 strikeouts). But a rough patch in July probably will cost him the award.

3. Chris Young: His ERA and WHIP remind us of Maddux in his prime. But the tall right-hander still is searching for his 10th win.

4. Tim Hudson: He finally looks like the hurler from his A’s days, and he has reeled off eight straight wins for the surging Braves.

5. Cole Hamels: The Phillies’ young ace is tied for the league lead in wins and has gaudy strikeout numbers.

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