August 25, 2015 |
WHEN THE Eagles signed Rasheed Bailey as an undrafted free agent in early May, it made for a nice, sweet, local-boy-makes-good story, even if the kid's chances of making it to the 2015 regular-season starting line with the team seemed somewhere between slim and none. The Roxborough High product had been an NCAA Division III pass-catching scourge at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, leading the nation in receiving yards (1,707) and touchdown catches (19). Set the school record for career receiving yards (3,138)
July 31, 2015 |
CHIP KELLY starts training camp Sunday, and by the time he's done his decision-making, the roster will have 53 players on it. Here's one man's opinion on what Kelly will wind up with: Quarterback (3) Sam Bradford Mark Sanchez Tim Tebow Cutdown casualty: Matt Barkley Comment: Kelly has kept three QBs the last two years and that isn't expected to change this season. If Bradford stays healthy, he'll be the starter and Sanchez will be the backup. There will be no "open" competition for the starting job. Tebow has worked his butt off the last two years to improve his throwing mechanics, but I didn't see a whole lot of difference in him in the spring workouts.
July 23, 2015 |
Forget that Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is expected to miss next season due to a bone in his right foot being broken - again. If you go to a game, you'll at least find a new player at the food concession: Lee's Hoagie House. The Southampton, Bucks County-based chain has reached a deal for the next year to operate two stands at the Wells Fargo Center for all events - sports, entertainment and other, including the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, said Jon Waxman, corporate vice president of Lee's Hoagie House Franchise Group.
July 17, 2015 |
LAS VEGAS - On July 5, a contingent of players left Philadelphia and headed for the Summer League in Utah. Meanwhile, back at the 76ers practice facility, another group was preparing to make the trek to Las Vegas to participate in that league. The groups have competed in seven games, with only one win. But that's not what the summer is about. It's about evaluating talent, determining strengths and weaknesses and, at least for fans and media, trying to predict who will get invited to training camp, which will start in late September, and who will be on the roster Opening Night.
July 16, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - It's been two decades since Kevin Garnett opened up the NBA Preschool Learning Academy by jumping immediately from high school to the NBA draft. Since 1995, the Association and its fans have adjusted to the rush of kids, accepting that potential has become the driving force in player selection and that it is better to gamble on getting the next Kobe Bryant or LeBron James than to be cautious and face the wrath of missing out. Major league baseball has not reached the point where the NBA is, but it does seem to be undergoing a shift in the conventional wisdom of how to best develop an exceptional young prospect.
July 3, 2015 |
AFTER THE FLYERS cleared cap space in a trade with Arizona last weekend, adding Sam Gagner to the mix, the general question around Flyerland was: What forward comes next? Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said that upgrading the skill level up front was crucial for the team's offseason. And after two days of free agency, Gagner might be that upgrade after all. He also might be the only player the Flyers add to their first three lines this summer, barring any trades. "He is a very skilled forward," Hextall said of Gagner.
July 3, 2015 |
Pete Mackanin understands the reality of the task he agreed to take on. The Phillies' interim manager knows that the roster he has been handed could very well see one or two high-profile subtractions by the end of this month. So as the calendar turned to July, Mackanin did not dance around a question regarding the possibility that Cole Hamels could be dealt before the July 31 trade deadline. He even called it "probable," but added that's just his gut feeling. "I know exactly what's going to happen, but I don't want to tell anybody," Mackanin said with a straight face.
June 19, 2015 |
The nail that sticks up gets hammered down. - Japanese proverb For the second straight day, Chip Kelly was asked on Wednesday to clarify the perplexing question of why he chose to dismiss an accomplished starter who had two years remaining on his contract. And for the second straight day, Kelly said a lot without saying very much, content to allow one explanation to chase the other's tail like a dog spinning in a tight circle while going nowhere. Kelly is a pretty good football coach, but he's untouchable in debate class.
June 11, 2015 |
THE EAGLES hoped veteran wideout Jeremy Maclin would be OK, especially since they released DeSean Jackson and signed Maclin to a pricey deal. They expected slot receiver Jordan Matthews, their top offensive pick, to make a splash as a rookie. They figured Marcus Smith, their top defensive pick, would contribute on special teams and push for playing time in place of veteran linebacker Trent Cole by midseason. They projected that free-agent safety Malcolm Jenkins would stabilize their secondary.
June 2, 2015 |
The prospective third-string quarterback of the Eagles stopped in the center of a NovaCare Complex practice field Thursday to shake owner Jeffrey Lurie's hand and chat a while, and then Tim Tebow turned to his right to face a familiar sight in a familiar setting. There, 105 reporters and writers clustered together in a tight, sweat-stinking group under an oppressive midafternoon sun. It was 90 degrees, the air like moist gauze, and from the weather to the horde of media awaiting Tebow, this could have been Gainesville, Fla., in 2008 or Cortland, N.Y., in 2012.