In the news:
Goodell defends Washington name
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the Washington Redskins nickname is a “unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”
Seattle Times news services
NEW YORK — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the Washington Redskins nickname is a “unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”
Goodell was responding to a letter from 10 members of Congress who want the name changed because it is offensive to many Native Americans.
He cited the nickname’s origins and polls that support its popularity. Goodell wrote that he understands the feelings surrounding it are complex and could change, but he also pointed out fan pride in the team’s heritage.
The name is the subject of a legal challenge from a group seeking to have the team lose its trademark protection.
Team owner Dan Snyder has vowed to never change the name. Teton High School in Driggs, Idaho, this week became the latest high school to drop the name.
Jackson: Eagles want QB named
PHILADELPHIA — Michael Vick is apparently not the only one who wants a starting quarterback named before the veterans arrive at training camp July 25. According to DeSean Jackson, “the team” also wants Chip Kelly to name a starter.
“I have been hearing some things about Vick saying that he wants to know,” Jackson said in an interview with the NFL Network. “At the same time, the team wants to know too. We need to go into training camp prepared and know who is going to be our starting quarterback. Whether it is (Nick) Foles or Vick, I think they would both do a great job and we will be ready for the season.”
It’s wishful thinking, though. Don’t expect Kelly to name a starter anytime soon. Kelly has said he’s not in a rush to make a decision, and he wants training camp and the exhibition season to bolster his evaluation.
Vick and Foles have been splitting practice time with the first team. Jackson, at least publicly, did not think either had an edge.
“So far, I don’t know, it has been kind of even,” Jackson said. “Vick and Foles have been switching off first team, second team. So it is the same thing with them.”
• Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is described as being in good spirits, recovering at home after having surgery to remove cancerous cells from his upper jaw.
Kelly’s wife, Jill, posted a note on her Twitter account saying “there’s a long road ahead,” but doctors are pleased with her husband’s recovery. She said the next step is awaiting results of bone tests.
• Five-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters of the Philadelphia Eagles was arrested at 4:45 a.m. in north Louisiana for allegedly drag racing and trying to flee from police, authorities said. Speeds exceeded 100 mph during the chase, police said. Peters missed last year after tearing an Achilles tendon.
• An MRI indicates that New Orleans outside linebacker Victor Butler has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but it is too early to speculate on whether he will miss the whole season.
• Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Brett Brackett will be sidelined until camp after groin surgery.