July 24, 2016 |
In retrospect, the most revealing moment of Bryan Colangelo's brief time as the 76ers' general manager came late on the night of the NBA draft, when he did so much to present himself as the well-meaning fellow you'd want sitting next to you at the poker table. After selecting Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick, the Sixers had tried and tried to acquire another pick in the top 10, a transparent overture to draft a guard. They failed, in part because everyone around the league had a good idea of which players Colangelo was willing to trade, and he reminded the world of his goals again that night.
June 15, 2016 |
YOU COULD almost hear the briefcase clicking shut Monday evening. That's when Howie Roseman finished a four-month negotiation with Fletcher Cox, perhaps already the best defensive tackle in Eagles history and probably the best athlete in the city, depending on how you regard Claude Giroux. According to ESPN, Cox, 25, agreed to a six-year, $103 million contract extension, $63 million of it guaranteed in various manners. It might turn out to be the most guaranteed money a non-quarterback has ever made, but NFL contracts are specious documents full of misdirection and hidden intent.
June 11, 2016 |
The final day of offseason workouts is anticipated by NFL players - it's akin to the last day of school before summer vacation. The Eagles' offseason program stretched two weeks longer than normal this year because they have a new head coach, and it included the introduction of Doug Pederson's schemes and philosophies. On Thursday, Pederson sent his players off for six weeks; they will reconvene for training camp in late July. The Eagles had an abbreviated one-hour practice, and players who have spent 10 weeks training packed up for their last encounter with down time until 2017.
June 10, 2016 |
Doug Pederson was never in a position to skip offseason workouts or attempt to force a trade or hold out for a new contract, but it's likely he wanted to at one time or another, and, at the least, shared locker rooms with players that were able to take those stances without repercussions. Would he have preferred for Sam Bradford, Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles to attend all of his first offseason as Eagles coach? Is Riley Cooper looking for a job outside the fast food industry? But Pederson never said as much publicly, never questioned their desires, and never instigated a showdown even though the Eagles had leverage in each circumstance.
April 29, 2016 |
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall wants to retain Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth, but he hasn't closed the door on trading one of the goalies if the right deal comes along. "I don't believe that's a strength that you want to weaken," Hextall said Wednesday at the team's Voorhees practice facility. "The old saying, 'Wayne Gretzky got traded, right, so?' I'm not going to sit here and say, 'No, I wouldn't trade anybody on our team,' because the reality of it is, if the deal was right it's my job to strengthen our team and the organization.
April 15, 2016 |
IF THIS HAD been a prison sentence, Sixers coach Brett Brown was given three years of hard labor. The third one, completed with the 72nd loss of the season on Wednesday, nearly broke him. Trying to find a point guard to effectively lead his team for the first third of the season wasn't a real option with the players he was given. He was given no veterans with on-court value who could help him develop the multitude of NBA infants. His star rookie got into off-the-court problems in three instances that involved police.
April 8, 2016 |
Rhys Hoskins asked the Phillies after last season if they would be able to find a team for him to play for in the offseason. There are winter leagues throughout Latin America where U.S. baseball players go to stay busy between seasons. Hoskins wanted to keep his rhythm after a scorching season with two of the Phillies' single-A affiliates. The first baseman told the Phillies that he was willing to go anywhere. And they took him up on it. Hoskins was sent to Sydney, Australia, a world away from Lakewood, N.J., and Clearwater, Fla. The experience was awesome, Hoskins said.
April 5, 2016 |
Doug Pederson spent the last month thinking about what he would say on Monday. Pederson became the Eagles' head coach on Jan. 18, but he was not allowed to meet with his full team until the offseason workout program begins on April 4. When Pederson spoke to the players on the roster during the last two months, the encounters were informal, and they were not allowed to discuss Pederson's scheme or how a player would be used. On Monday, Pederson will have his first chance to stand in front of the 69 players under contract and make his first formal impression as head coach.
January 6, 2016 |
IT PROBABLY is a bit simple to describe the current state of the Eagles by noting that the only constant in the NFL is change - except, it is that simple. Perhaps it was fitting that Monday was the coldest day of the Eagles' season. The Birds vacated their lockers at the NovaCare Complex for the last time in the 2015 campaign and walked into the dark void of uncertainty created by the firing of head coach and football guru Chip Kelly. What is next is anybody's guess. But if you listen to some of the players, they won't sit on pins and needles following the search for Kelly's replacement the way Eagles fans and the media will.
December 18, 2015 |
IT WAS A THURSDAY, which meant it was time for us to crowd around DeMarco Murray's locker and listen to him address a story that should probably already be dead. As usual, the Eagles' running back did not say anything noteworthy, and, by "as usual," I mean that Murray has never said anything of remote consequence regarding his diminished role with the team that less than nine months ago decided that he was worth an elite-level free-agent contract. I suppose this whole saga goes to show how easily we allow ourselves to get played in this business.