Philadelphia

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Junior Morgan Snow, pictured here during the Texas Relays in March, competed for the 4x100-meter Texas relay heat in Thursday's Penn Relays.

This caption has been corrected since its original posting. The original caption misidentified the runner.

Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

Thursday marked the beginning of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, which provides the Longhorns with their final big challenge three weeks before the start of postseason competition.

Senior sprinter Danielle Dowie kicked off the meet for the No. 3 women with a third place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. Dowie already held the ninth best 400-meter hurdle time in the nation coming into the meet, but her strong finish against some elite competition shows flashes of the consistency that head coach Mario Sategna expects for his top athletes this weekend.

“There is a long history of Texas attending Penn Relays,” Sategna said in a statement. “For us, this is a meet that helps put the final touches on getting ready for the championship portion of our season.”

The 4x400-meter relay team of senior Briana Nelson, sophomore Courtney Okolo, freshman Kendall Baisden and junior Ashley Spencer showed that the team is ready for the postseason. The team had a score to settle with Oregon after the Longhorns fell just short of an indoor national championship after finishing second to the Ducks in the 4x400. Fueled by its past loss, Texas trounced Oregon by almost three seconds en route to a first place finish in the 4x400-meter heats.

The men did not compete until late Thursday evening with the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Senior distance runner Austin Roth got the men started off with a 10th place finish in the field of 34 competitors.

The men also competed in the 5,000-meter and the 10,000-meter late Thursday night, and will see the bulk of their action as the Penn Relays continue Friday and Saturday.

Former Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro became a mainstay in the Longhorns secondary. Sports Editor Christian Corona projects the hard-hitting safety to be selected by the St. Louis Rams with the No. 16 overall pick. The NFL Draft begins Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

1. Kansas City - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Before signing Alex Smith, the Chiefs were in desperate need of a quarterback. Now that they’ve got one, they’re going to need someone to protect his blind side. He helped Ryan Tannehill become last year’s No. 8 pick and helped Johnny Manziel become the first freshman Heisman winner. Joeckel is a no-brainer here at No. 1.

2. Jacksonville - Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

The Jaguars need help at a lot of spots and linebacker is certainly one of them. Workout warrior Dion Jordan can make an immediate impact.

3. Oakland - Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

The Raiders lost both of their starting defensive tackles from last year, Tommy Kelly to the Patriots and Desmond Bryant to the Browns. Floyd would be a great candidate to fill one of those spots.

4. Philadelphia - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

After two disappointing seasons in Philadelphia, Nnamadi Asomgha left the Eagles for the defending NFC champion 49ers. Milliner is clearly the top cornerback prospect in this year's draft and would be a good fit here.

5. Detroit - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

The Lions, who badly need an offensive tackle to protect Matthew Stafford, who has thrown for more than 10,000 yards over the last two years, can either take Fisher or Joeckel here, depending on who Kansas City picks at No. 1 (assuming Jacksonville, Oakland and Philadelphia don't select an offensive tackle).

6. Cleveland - Ezekiel Ansah, DT, BYU

Ansah's draft has risen more than anyone's over the last year as the Ghana native who came to BYU to be on the track team hadn't made a single start before last season. But after making 62 tackles, 13 for loss, and breaking up nine passes in 2012, Ansah is a legitimate Top 10 pick.

7. Arizona - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

He's only the third-best offensive tackle draft prospect but look for Johnson to be the first Big 12 player off the board. Like many teams making early selections, the Cardinals need help in the trenches.

8. Buffalo - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Bills head coach Doug Marrone coached Syracuse's Ryan Nassib last year but the Bills would be silly not to pick Smith if they indeed decide to use this pick on a quarterback. Not too many other QBs out there that threw for 656 yards and eight TDs in a game last year.

9. NY Jets - Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

The Jets could go a lot of different ways with this pick but if they decide to use it on an offensive guard, they can't go wrong with Cooper or Alabama's Chance Warmack.

10. Tennessee - Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

Speaking of Warmack, the Titans could use an offensive guard that can start right away and shore up their O-line. This makes a whopping seven linemen taken with the first 10 picks of this mock draft.

11. San Diego - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Lotulelei has, by far, one of the best first names in the draft and has one of the best games, too. The 6-foot-2, 311-pounder made 42 tackles, 10 for loss, including five sacks last year while preaking up four pass, recovering four fumbles and forcing three others -- massive numbers for a defensive tackle that will fit in great in San Diego’s 3-4 scheme.

12. Miami - Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

Milliner is far and away the best cornerback available in this draft but Rhodes is still mid first-round material. The Dolphins had the second-worst pass defense in the AFC and could use someone like Rhodes in their secondary.

13. NY Jets - Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

38 tackles and 4.5 sacks don't exactly scream first-round material but at 6-foot-4 and 241 pounds, Mingo was clocked at 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, where he vertical jumped 37 inches and broad jumped more than 10 feet. The Jets would be hoping that he can continue to develop after his college days the way the Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul did after his South Florida days.

14. Carolina - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

Richardson made 75 tackles, 10.5 for loss, including four sacks last season for the Tigers, outstanding numbers for a defensive tackle. The Panthers would hope he could continue that kind of production at the next level.

15. New Orleans - D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

The fact that someone like Fluker would be the fourth offensive tackle selected goes to show just how deep this OT class is this year. Drew Brees would be able to rest easy knowing he had Fluker protecting him.

16. St. Louis - Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

With the Rams losing both of their starting safeties from last year after Craig Dahl signed with the 49ers and Quintin Mikell was released last month, the hard-hitting and versatile Vaccaro is a perfect fit for the Rams, who have two first-round picks this year. 

17. Pittsburgh - Alec Ogletree, MLB, Georgia

He came to Georgia as a defensive back three years and will leave as a superb linebacker. Ogletree, who led the Bulldogs with 111 tackles last year, could be the next great linebacker for the Steelers, who lost James Harrison over the offseason.

18. Dallas - Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

The Cowboys were in the bottom third in the league in rush defense last year and Williams, who made 42 tackles, 13.5 for loss, could help change that. 

19. NY Giants - Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Jones led the country with 24.5 tackles for loss last season while making 13 sacks and forcing seven fumbles. Those gaudy numbers are indicative of the fact that he's an outstanding linebacker that would fit in well with the Giants.

20. Chicago - Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

The Bears have not had a tight end catch 20 passes in a season since Greg Olsen, who caught 194 passes for 1,981 yards and 20 touchdowns in four years with Chicago, left for Carolina two years ago. If Eifert is available here, the Bears have to take him.

21. Cincinnati - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

The Bengals would be foolish not to pick Austin here if he's still available. Even if he's not, there's still plenty of solid wideout prospects as Austin is just one of four projected here to be selected in the first round.

22. St. Louis - Keenan Allen, WR, Cal

The Rams need a wide receiver about as badly as they need a safety but with Vaccaro being the only safety worthy of a first-round pick, they need to take him at No. 16 if he's there. Allen is one of about six receivers that would be worthy of a first-round selection.

23. Minnesota - Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

Werner had 18 tackles for loss and an ACC-best 13 sacks. He would join a group of pass rushers that includes four-time All-Pro member Jared Allen and former Longhorn Brian Robison if the Vikings used one of their first-round picks on him.

24. Indianapolis - Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

The younger brother of NFL veteran Marcus Trufant, Desmond could help a decent Colts secondary become good and, eventually, great. 

25. Minnesota - Manti Te’o, MLB, Notre Dame

Imaginary girlfriend shenanigans aside, Te'o is simply one of the best linebackers in this draft. His performance in the national title game against Alabama is concerning but he could help an already solid Vikings defense.

26. Green Bay - Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

Franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers likes to run around and Watson knows what it's like to block for a dual-threat quarterback from his days blocking for Seminoles signal-caller and fellow NFL Draft prospect E.J. Manuel. He'd be a good fit here.

27. Houston - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson - Andre Johnson asked the Texans to draft a wide receiver and, with Austin and Allen off the board, Hopkins would be a good way to fulfill Johnson’s request. Clocked at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Clemson’s Pro Day, Hopkins scored in all but one of the Tigers’ games last season, ending his Clemson career with a 13-catch, 191-yard, two-touchdown performance in a Chick-fil-a Bowl win over LSU.

28. Denver - Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

After a contract snafu kept the Broncos from re-signing Elvis Dumervil, Denver, who led the NFL with 52 sacks last year, could use someone like Jones at its disposal. Already with a quarterback that can take them to the Super Bowl, the Broncos now need to make sure they still have the personnel to effectively rush the passer. 

29. New England - Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

The Patriots had one of the worst pass defenses in the league last year and would do well to shore up their secondary. Taylor, who's used to winning because of his days playing for Chris Peterson at Boise State, would be someone Bill Belichick could work well with. 

30. Atlanta - D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

Dunta Robinson is now in Kansas City and the guy he started opposite of last season, Asante Samuel is a solid cornerback but he's 32. The Falcons could use someone like Hayden to learn from Samuel and eventually become a focal point of their secondary.

31. San Francisco - Matt Elam, S, Florida

Elam should he could do it all at Florida, making 11 tackles four loss while picking off four passes and breaking up four others. Could he be the piece that pushes the 49ers, who fell to the Ravens in last season's Super Bowl, be the missing piece to their championship puzzle?

32. Baltimore - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

The Ravens could end the first round by picking a safety like San Francisco but, with Anquan Boldin now playing for the 49ers, they could use someone like Patterson to have at Joe Flacco's disposal.

See Daily Texan Managing Editor Trey Scott's mock draft here.

Former Longhorns defensive end Alex Okafor tries to make a tackle against the TCU Horned Frogs on Thanksgiving Day last season. Okafor, who is expected to be drafted in the early rounds of the NFL draft, had eight tackles and 4.5 sacks in the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl last December. 

Photo Credit: Andrew Torrey | Daily Texan Staff

At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia in 1936, professional football teams selected their chosen players for the first-ever NFL draft.

Seventy-seven years later, teams are still doing it, with a few more rounds and slightly more advanced technology. The 2013 NFL draft will commence Thursday evening at New York City’s Radio Music Hall, bringing with it a cluster of Longhorns ready to sport the caps of their new teams.

Former Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro has earned buzz from scouts and coaches for his speed, strength and hard-hitting abilities. Vaccaro is considered by analysts to be one of the top safety prospects in the draft and will most likely go in the first round. Vaccaro was included in a small group of players invited to New York City for the draft.

“It is an experience he should enjoy,” head coach Mack Brown said of Vaccaro’s invitation. “It is a great compliment to not only Kenny and not only [assistant head coach/defensive backs coach] Duane Akina, but to our entire program.”

Rumors of teams thinking about drafting Vaccaro have included the Rams, Saints, Cowboys and Titans after had private workouts with the latter two. But Vaccaro is keeping an open mind in terms of rosters.

“I’m fired up to go anywhere,” Vaccaro said. “This has been a dream my whole life. Wherever I go, I’ll excel at that team.”

Defensive end Alex Okafor is also projected to be drafted in the early rounds, thanks to his power, fundamentally-sound hand usage and production as a pass rusher. Sporting his Texas jersey for the final time against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl, Okafor tallied eight tackles and an Alamo Bowl record of 4.5 sacks. 

“Alex Okafor is a guy I like,” NFL analyst Mike Mayock said. “I love the way he sacked Geno Smith in the end zone [during the West Virginia game.] He has some burst off the edge. He does everything really well. He’s got good hustle.”   

Speedy wide receiver Marquise Goodwin wowed scouts and fans alike with a 4.27 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, the fastest in history by a wide receiver. Goodwin, who is an Olympic long jumper, is projected by some to go sometime during the fourth round. Despite the praise he’s earned for his quickness on the field, Goodwin said his speed often overshadows the other abilities he has to offer an NFL team.

“I definitely have a lot more to me than just my speed,” he said. “I’m physical, I block and I can catch, I can run routes, I can get open.”

Goodwin’s impressive performance at the senior bowl also grabbed the attention of scouts and analysts.

“I came out of the Senior Bowl going, ‘This kid’s a legitimate football player,’” Mayock said. “[He has] potential return skills [and] runs as fast as anybody in the NFL runs.”

Defensive tackle Brandon Moore surprised some with his announcement to enter the draft after just one season at Texas. Moore contributed including 18 tackles and two sacks this past season, alternating between inside and outside.

Moore’s size makes him a notable candidate, but lack of tapes could mean Moore will go in the mid-to-later rounds of the draft, CBSSports.com analyst Rob Rang noted. 

Wide receiver D.J. Monroe could earn a spot on a team as a late draft pick. Monroe spent five years with the Longhorns but only started twice last season.

“I’m just ready to see who is interested and who is not,” Monroe said. “I’m ready for another step, another chapter to open. This is my last goal in life. I feel like I accomplished the rest, and now I’m about to show them I can play in the NFL.”

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Christian Corona and Trey Scott muse their mock drafts. Corona has Vaccaro to the Rams at No. 16, while Scott has him going a pick earlier, to the Saints at No. 15.

Stat Guy: Shortened NBA Season has set the stage for an exciting second half

Courtney Lee slams the ball against the Toronto Raptors. Lee and the Rockets are relying on their youth to help them navigate the second half of thus shortened season.
Courtney Lee slams the ball against the Toronto Raptors. Lee and the Rockets are relying on their youth to help them navigate the second half of thus shortened season.

Now that the farce that the NBA calls the All Star Game is over( 88 points in a half, seriously?), basketball teams can look forward to the games finally counting as they push for division championships and playoff positions.

We’ll go ahead and get this one out of the way: there will be no mention of that phrase which has gone from quaint to cliché so fast, it made Tim Tebow’s head spin.

The New York Knicks were the talk of the NBA heading into the All Star break thanks to their resurgence at the hands of Jeremy Lin. Having lost two three point games in a row to the Bulls and Celtics, the Knicks turned to Lin and the rest was history. Seven straight wins later, and the Knicks were back in the playoff hunt.

New York Still has its flaws though. Lin can’t stop giving the ball to the other team with eight games with at least six turnovers. He was also held to eight points on one for 11 shooting against the athletic Heat. Five of the Knicks wins in the last 12 came against teams in the bottom quarter of the league, and played the Nets twice. Now the Knicks have an 11 game stretch starting on Sunday that features five roads games against teams with 20+ wins. If the Knicks really are a new team under Lin, the three weeks will prove it.

There are three teams sharing the title of top team in the league. Miami, Chicago and Oklahoma City all sit even with each other at the summit which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The next few teams in the standings might though. San Antonio, which is frequently written off as old have quietly made their way to the top spot in the division, and second in the west. Philadelphia and Indiana have also come out of nowhere to be in the top eight in the league, with the 76ers leading Atlantic division in the East. And Orlando, amid all the talk of Howard shopping his services elsewhere, is second only to Miami in the Southeast division.

With the exception of San Antonio, who is uncharacteristically offensive this season, each of those teams is a top ten defensive team. Philadelphia leads the NBA in defense, holding teams to 87 points per game.

Meanwhile, traditional powerhouses like Los Angeles(Lakers), Dallas, and Boston have been unable to find the same fountain of youth that San Antonio has. Through 35 games last year, Dallas was 24-9, five games over its record this season. The Lakers were three games better last season through 24 games. Boston has suffered the biggest drop off, going from 28-7, to being a game under .500 this season. If the season ended today, the Celtics would be the eighth seed in the East, going to Miami for their first round matchup.

More intriguing matchups exist in the west though. Houston would play host to Dallas in the 4-5 matchup right now. The Lakers would have to make the long trek to the Staples Center against the Clippers, where little brother would try to unseat big brother for supremacy in Las Angeles. And San Antonio would get the revenge series against Memphis, who bounced San Antonio from the playoffs in the first round last season.

Only two months remain of the regular season, with the playoffs looming in May. Teams such as Philadelphia, Indiana, Houston, and Las Angeles(Clippers) are taking advantage of the shortened season, and are letting their youth carry them to the top of the standings. And having finally had a break, the older teams now have a chance to turn the seasons around and make the necessary moves that veteran teams make. This NBA season is shorter than usual, but should make up for that with an exciting, and unpredictable finish.

Men's Track & Field

The Longhorns proved to be a strong presence in the field events during competition at the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

Senior Marquise Goodwin remained consistent with another win in the long jump. Goodwin won with a jump of 7.86 meters.

Jacob Thormaehlen claimed UT’s top spot in the championship division shot put with a throw of 19.6 meters for third place. Hayden Baillio finished in seventh with a mark of 18.75 and Ryan Crouser was tenth.

In the shot put college division, Will Spence won the title with a throw of 17.84 meters.

Spence and Crouser also represented Texas in the championship division of the discus throw. Crouser’s mark of 55.67 meters placed him fourth overall, while Spence finished five spots behind at ninth with a heave of 50.77.

Three Texas athletes competed in the college division of the discus throw. Freshman Blake Jakobsson was the top Longhorn among the leader board with a second place throw of 52.26 meters. Baillio finished two spots behind in fourth with a mark of 50.37. Thormaehlen’s throw of 49.10 placed him farther down the pack in 10th overall.

But Thormaehlen was able to regroup and attack the hammer throw at full force. His heave of 56.37 meters placed him third overall in the college division.

During Saturday’s 4x100-meter relay finals, Alex Williams, Goodwin, Mark Jackson and Trevante Rhodes ran the event together and came in fourth at 40.69 seconds.

While the relay group celebrated in Philadelphia, Longhorn distance runner Kevin Rayes was doing the same in San Marcos. Rayes, along with several other Texas runners, competed in the Texas State Bobcat Classic on Saturday.

In the 1500-meter run, Rayes clocked in a time of 3:56.43 seconds to win the event.

Printed on Monday, April 30, 2012 as: Goodwin leaps to another gold in long jump

From left to ri

PHILADELPHIA — Jurors in a landmark church sex-abuse trial were presented with evidence Tuesday outlining the troubled clerical career of a priest who was convicted of child pornography charges yet remained in ministry for years despite similar and repeated complaints.

Prosecutors introduced decades of correspondence from mental health facilities, therapists and church officials regarding then-priest Edward DePaoli. The documents from the archdiocese’s secret archives outlined how DePaoli, after being convicted in federal court of child pornography charges in 1986, went through psychological treatment, rounds of therapy, and a half dozen church assignments over two decades before he was defrocked in 2005.

DePaoli is not a defendant in the trial, but prosecutors are using the testimony about him and others to build a case against Monsignor William Lynn, who was the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s secretary of clergy from 1992 to 2004 and entrusted with investigating complaints against priests. Lynn is the first Roman Catholic official in the U.S. charged with endangering children for allegedly keeping pedophile priests in parish work around children to protect the church’s reputation.

Also on trial is the Rev. James Brennan, charged with raping a 14-year-old boy in 1996. He and Lynn have both entered not guilty pleas.

The paper trail presented by prosecutors Tuesday began with DePaoli’s 1986 conviction, when he was assistant pastor at Holy Martyrs parish in Oreland just outside Philadelphia. He was found to have magazines, films and videotapes of underage boys. He received a one-year suspension.

Doctor reports in December 1986 warned that DePaoli “is likely to repeat his past behavior and to become progressively worse ... he could go beyond fantasy (regarding) his sexual fantasies towards children.” Instead, DePaoli was transferred out of the Philadelphia archdiocese to St. John Vianney Church in Colonia, N.J., for three years. In 1991, he returned to Philadelphia as associate pastor at Saint John the Baptist Church.

A 55-year-old woman testified Tuesday that she was fondled by DePaoli when she was a 12-year-old parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Doylestown. She said her family had recently immigrated and did not report it out of fear that they would not be believed. She said they met with Lynn and Bevilacqua in 2002 after learning the priest was still around children.

“My feeling was that they didn’t really care,” she said. “They were just going through the motions.”

PHILADELPHIA — A group of protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement plans to elect 876 “delegates” from around the country and hold a national “general assembly” in Philadelphia over the Fourth of July as part of ongoing protests over corporate excess and economic inequality.

The group, dubbed the 99% Declaration Working Group, said Wednesday delegates would be selected during a secure online election in early June from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

In a nod to their First Amendment rights, delegates will meet in Philadelphia to draft and ratify a “petition for a redress of grievances,” convening during the week of July 2 and holding a news conference in front of Independence Hall on the Fourth of July.

Any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is 18 years of age or older may run as a nonpartisan candidate for delegate, according to Michael S. Pollok, an attorney who advised Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge last year and co-founded the working group.

“We feel it’s appropriate to go back to what our founding fathers did and have another petition congress,” Pollok said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We feel that following the footsteps of our founding fathers is the right way to go.”

Printed on Thursday, February 23, 2012 as: Occupiers to hold US delegation for fresh 'redress of grievances'

The Stumpy Point Congregational Holiness Church is shown surrounded by water following the effects of Hurricane Irene in Stumpy Point, N.C. on Sunday. The storm that spent 12-hours scouring the North Carolina coast killed at least five people, brought pockets of flooding that required rescues along the sounds and left nearly a half-million customers without power. (Gerry Broome/AP Photo)

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Stripped of hurricane rank, Tropical Storm Irene spent the last of its fury Sunday, leaving treacherous flooding and millions without power — but an unfazed New York and relief that it was nothing like the nightmare authorities feared.

Slowly, the East Coast surveyed the damage, up to $7 billion by one private estimate, and worried of danger still lurking: the possibility of rivers and streams swelling with rainwater and overflowing over the next few days.

“This is not over,” President Barack Obama said from the Rose Garden.

Meanwhile, the nation’s most populous region looked to a new week and the arduous process of getting back to normal.

New York lifted its evacuation order for 370,000 people and said it hoped to have its subway, shut down for the first time by a natural disaster, rolling again Monday, though maybe not in time for the morning commute. Philadelphia restarted its trains and buses.

“All in all,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “we are in pretty good shape.”

At least 19 people died in the storm, most of them when trees crashed through roofs or onto cars.

The main New York power company, Consolidated Edison, didn’t have to go through with a plan to cut electricity to lower Manhattan to protect its equipment. Engineers had worried that salty seawater would damage the wiring.

And two pillars of the neighborhood came through the storm just fine: The New York Stock Exchange said it would be open for business on Monday, and the Sept. 11 memorial at the World Trade Center site didn’t lose a single tree.

The center of Irene passed over Central Park at midmorning with the storm packing 65 mph winds. By evening, with its giant figure-six shape brushing over New England and drifting east, it was down to 50 mph. It was expected to drift into Canada later Sunday or early Monday.

“Just another storm,” said Scott Beller, who was at a Lowe’s hardware store in the Long Island hamlet of Centereach, looking for a generator because his power was out.

The Northeast was spared the urban nightmare some had worried about — crippled infrastructure, stranded people and windows blown out of skyscrapers. Early assessments showed “it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said.

Later in the day, the extent of the damage became clearer. Flood waters were rising across New Jersey, closing side streets and major highways including the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 295. In Essex County, authorities used a five-ton truck to ferry people away from their homes as the Passaic River neared its expected crest Sunday night.

Twenty homes on Long Island Sound in Connecticut were destroyed by churning surf. The torrential rain chased hundreds of people in upstate New York from their homes and washed out 137 miles of the state’s main highway.

In Massachusetts, the National Guard had to help people evacuate. The ski resort town of Wilmington, Vt., was flooded, but nobody could get to it because both state roads leading there were underwater.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen in Vermont,” said Mike O’Neil, the state emergency management director.

Rivers roared in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In the Hudson Valley town of New Paltz, N.Y., so many people were gathering to watch a rising river that authorities banned alcohol sales and ordered people inside. And in Rhode Island, which has a geography thick with bays, inlets and shoreline, authorities were worried about coastal flooding at evening high tide.

The entire Northeast has been drenched this summer with what has seemed like relentless rain, saturating the ground and raising the risk of flooding, even after the storm passes altogether.

The storm system knocked out power for 4½ million people along the Eastern Seaboard. Power companies were picking through uprooted trees and reconnecting lines in the South and had restored electricity to hundreds of thousands of people by Sunday afternoon.

Under its first hurricane warning in a quarter-century, New York took extraordinary precautions. There were sandbags on Wall Street, tarps over subway grates and plywood on storefront windows.

The subway stopped rolling. Broadway and baseball were canceled.

With the worst of the storm over, hurricane experts assessed the preparations and concluded that, far from hyping the danger, authorities had done the right thing by being cautious.

Max Mayfield, former director of the National Hurricane Center, called it a textbook case.

“They knew they had to get people out early,” he said. “I think absolutely lives were saved.”

Mayfield credited government officials — but also the meteorologists. Days before the storm ever touched American land, forecast models showed it passing more or less across New York City.

“I think the forecast itself was very good, and I think the preparations were also good,” said Keith Seitter, director of the American Meteorological Society. “If this exact same storm had happened without the preparations that everyone had taken, there would have been pretty severe consequences.”

In the storm’s wake, hundreds of thousands of passengers still had to get where they were going. Airlines said about 9,000 flights were canceled. United, Continental, Delta and JetBlue said they planned to resume service into and out of New York on Monday, and in Boston on Monday. Philadelphia International Airport was reopening Sunday afternoon, but there were no departures scheduled yet and only a few arrivals.

In the South, authorities still were not sure how much damage had been done. North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue said some parts of her state were unreachable. TV footage showed downed trees, toppled utility poles and power lines and mangled awnings.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell had initially warned that Irene could be a “catastrophic” monster with record storm surges of up to 8 feet. But the mayor Virginia Beach, Va., suggested on Twitter that the damage was not as bad as feared, as did the mayor of Ocean City, Md.

One of two nuclear reactors at Calvert Cliffs, Md., automatically went offline because of high winds. Constellation Energy Nuclear Group said the plant was safe.

In New York, some cabs were up to their wheel wells in water, and water rushed over a marina near the New York Mercantile Exchange, where gold and oil are traded. But the flooding was not extensive.

“Whether we dodged a bullet or you look at it and said, ‘God smiled on us,’ the bottom line is, I’m happy to report, there do not appear to be any deaths attributable to the storm,” Bloomberg said.

New York officials could not pinpoint when the trains would run again but warned that the Monday commute would be rough. The New York subway carries 5 million riders on an average weekday.

The casinos of Atlantic City, N.J., planned to reopen Monday at noon after state officials checked the integrity of the games, made sure the surveillance cameras work, and brought cash back into the cages under state supervision. All 11 casinos shut down for the storm, only the third time that has happened.

In Philadelphia, the mayor lifted the city’s first state of emergency since 1986. The storm was blamed for the collapses of seven buildings, but no one was hurt and everyone was accounted for. People kept their eyes on the rivers. The Schuylkill was expected to reach 15 feet.

The 19 deaths attributed to the storm included five in North Carolina, four in Virginia, three in Pennsylvania, two in New York, two in rough surf in Florida and one each in Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey.

In an early estimate, consulting firm Kinetic Analysis Corp. figured total losses from the storm at $7 billion, with insured losses of $2 billion to $3 billion. The storm will take a bite out of Labor Day tourist business from the Outer Banks to the Jersey Shore to Cape Cod.

Irene was the first hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States since 2008, and came almost six years to the day after Katrina ravaged New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005.

As the East Coast cleans up, it can’t afford to get too comfortable. Off the coast of Africa is a batch of clouds that computer models say will probably threaten the East Coast 10 days from now, Mayfield said. The hurricane center gave it a 40 percent chance of becoming a named storm over the next two days.

“Folks on the East Coast are going to get very nervous again,” Mayfield said.

Printed on Monday, August 29, 2011 as: Northeast deals with floods, power loss.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Vince Young laughs as he is introduced to the media after the morning session of NFL football training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., on Saturday.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Vince Young hasn’t had a lot go his way recently.

The days of him doing a Heisman pose with a crystal ball, leading comeback after comeback and playing in Pro Bowls seem like a distant memory after the turmoil and controversy that have characterized Young’s career recently. All fans seem to remember now is Young getting hurt too often, throwing his pads into the stands and never getting along with his coach, Jeff Fisher.

Young’s days in Tennessee are over, and he gets a fresh start in Philadelphia, where he will try to replicate the turnaround Michael Vick has enjoyed there. The former Longhorn was released by the Titans last Thursday and signed a one-year deal for up to $5.5 million with the Eagles two days later. It was one of many masterful moves made by Philadelphia, who also acquired defensive end Jason Babin and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (a member of last year’s Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers), along with cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha, who was considered the finest member of this year’s free agent class.

Both sides should benefit from this agreement for many reasons. First, Young may only be in Philadelphia for one season but should be comforted by the drastic improvements Eagles quarterbacks have made before him. Donovan McNabb was booed by Philadelphia fans the day he was drafted and he was a revered Eagles legend by the time he left. Kevin Kolb went from an unproven system quarterback to being handed the reins to the Arizona Cardinals offense. Remarkably, Vick has gone from a loathed dog-killer to a redeemed gun-slinger.

Reid and his coaching staff will also be more supportive of Young and his playing style than the Titans’ staff was. Offensive coordinator Norm Chow never seemed to realize trying to make Young a pocket passer was like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Fisher never even wanted Young. Titans owner Bud Adams’ desire to draft Young trumped Fisher’s wish to get USC’s Heisman-winning quarterback Matt Leinart. Reid won’t mind Young scrambling to move the chains, because he’s seen it work for Vick. He won’t call the cops on Young because he mistakenly thinks he’s going to kill himself, and he certainly won’t throw him under the bus the way Fisher did.

Michael Vick is the most electrifying starting quarterback in the NFL, but he’s also the most injury-prone. At 6’0”, 215 pounds, Vick runs like a gazelle but doesn’t absorb hard hits like other, bigger quarterbacks do. The Eagles’ front office is aware Vick is more susceptible to injury than most and knew they needed a quality backup after sending Kolb to Arizona. That’s why they got Young. With skill players like DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy, Young not only has a chance to play, but to play well.

That being said, this isn’t a move that will only benefit Young. There aren’t many teams who have a backup quarterback who’s been to two Pro Bowls, won over 60 percent of their starts and been Rookie of the Year. If Vick gets hurt, not only will they have a proven winner still taking snaps, but they won’t have to change their offense much because the way Young and Vick play is so similar. Vick is as good as it gets when it comes to quarterbacks, but if he gets injured, the Eagles will still be left with one of the league’s most talented signal-callers.

Young had his ups and downs in Tennessee, but it was time for him to go. His last few months there were filled with injuries, controversies and scandals. The Titans didn’t want him anymore and Young had nothing left to gain from them. They felt they needed to go in a different direction (even if it meant starting from scratch again with veteran Matt Hasselbeck preparing rookie Jake Locker). Bottom line: Tennessee was no longer a good fit for Young. Philadelphia is.

Women's Track

Texas sprinters turned in a strong performance over the weekend at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.


The 1,600-meter relay made up of juniors Angele Cooper and Kendra Chambers, freshman Briana Nelson and senior Chantel Malone won on the final day with a season-best time of 3 minutes, 30.08 seconds.


The women ran the fastest mile relay time by a Texas squad since 2009, and the Longhorns now have the most 1,600-meter relay titles in the history of the Penn Relays. This year’s race, however, was especially close.


“I think coming out of this meet, everyone has the feeling that they can compete with the best, especially in the sprints,” said head coach Beverly Kearney. “With the four-by-400 meter relay, it’s exciting to win, and it was really a neck-and-neck relay. We were up against teams that beat us at NCAA Indoors.”


The race came down to Texas and Texas A&M, and A&M dropped the baton — giving Texas the final advantage it needed.


On Saturday, the Longhorns also placed second in the 800-meter relay in 1:30.93.


“I thought the weather today was great,” freshman Shanay Briscoe said Saturday. “Some people said it was too cold, but the cooler weather helped me.”


The Longhorn distance medley relay of Julie Amthor, Kendra Chambers, Marielle Hall and Betzy Jimenez finished 11th in 11:20.93, the best by a Texas group since 2008.


The Longhorns will spend the next two weeks training for the Big 12 Outdoor Championships, which will be held May 13-15 in Norman, Okla.


“From here, I’m going to go home and get ready for the conference meet,” Briscoe said.