Insider: Barack Obama convinces Michael Vick to slide
Michael Vick's coaches have been urging him for years to slide when he's about to be tackled on a scramble outside the pocket. And Vick has continually ignored that advice, only to suffer an assortment of injuries because he likes to fight for every yard.
But apparently Vick is willing to listen to a higher authority. During a recent conversation between Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and President Barack Obama, the president actually mentioned to Asomugha that Vick should slide to limit his injury risk.
Vick has gotten the message.
"I was stunned," Vick said at training camp. "I didn't believe it. It was awesome. It was just one of those things that you hear that's just hard to believe, but at the same time when you let it all soak in, you think to yourself, 'Man, he's got a point.' If he's saying it, then I've got to do it."
Vick said he plans to break out the slide early.
"The first run of the year," he said, "I'm sliding and you'll know it's for [Obama]."
Moss couldn't be happier
Randy Moss couldn't be happier with his decision to come out of retirement and sign a one-year deal with the 49ers.
"It's just a feeling I haven't really felt in a while," the 35-year-old Moss said in his first training camp interview with reporters. "Just being around a group of young guys and it makes me feel good that I can really not look at my age, and just feel young. So I have a little pep in my step. It really feels good being around the guys."
Moss has had an up-and-down career, at times proving to be one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, but at other times being a divisive influence in the locker room. In 2010, he was traded from the Patriots to the Vikings, then released by Minnesota and signed by Tennessee for the final four games of the season.
Moss walked away after that season, although he says that decision "wasn't really to do with the game. One thing that I have learned is that people don't like the truth, so I'll just wait until my book comes out just to see why I did walk away from the game for a year."
Luck a quick learner
Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians believes Luck's unusual capacity to learn the offense at a rapid rate will ultimately set him apart and transform the Colts' offense in short order. "I've never been around a guy who can learn that fast," Arians said. "I've been around guys who are extremely smart, worked extremely hard at it, but he just gets it. It's kind of scary that he can. I have to watch that he and I don't get ahead of everybody else, because his learning curve is so quick. Those young receivers, young tight ends, he'll leave them in the dust; and I'll leave them in the dust because I have a way of doing that myself with the quarterback."
Keyshawn likes Tebow, Sparano
Johnson stopped by training camp and got a chance to see Tebow and his new team in action. The former receiver came away satisfied that Tebow will be a net positive, and that the Jets will be a contending team in 2012. "If you're telling me you're going to split the [quarterback practice] reps 50-50 or 60-40, you're not going to be successful, and the coaches know that," Johnson said. "But if you give me 15 plays every now and then, that's good."
Johnson thinks the biggest offseason acquisition wasn't a player.
"For me, it was Tony [Sparano]," Johnson said of the Jets' new offensive coordinator. "I think he'll help [Mark Sanchez]. He had Tony Romo early in his career, and he helped him a lot. He understands how to manage the game. That's a big plus."
Matt Simms wants to be Jet
The name Simms is familiar to all New York football fans. And if Matt Simms has his way, he'll join his father, Phil, as another New York quarterback. The former Tennessee quarterback is attempting to join the Jets as a backup to Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. That third-string spot is currently held by Greg McElroy, meaning Simms is a long shot to make the team.
"I'm just trying to go each day and learn as much as I can, not focusing so much on the ifs and what ifs of the future," Simms said. "I'm just trying to learn from two great quarterbacks [Sanchez and Tebow]."
Simms is used to a competitive household. Simms' brother, Chris, played for Tampa Bay and is now a Patriots assistant.
"It's really competitive in my house," Simms said. "With me, my brother and father in the house, the competition hasn't stopped. Anything as simple as throwing trash in the garbage turns into a competition."