Lane Johnson loves beer. That’s obvious.
At the beginning of the season, he offered to buy the entire city beer for a Super Bowl parade if the Eagles won the big game (which they did). Bud Light later came in and said they would pick up the tab.
You know the rest. They won the Super Bowl, we had a parade, and free beer was given out.
Prior to the start of the new league year, Johnson agreed to restructure his contract to help the team’s salary cap situation. He’s still making the same amount of money, except his base salary for the season is now $790,000.
As a gift for his actions, Bud Light sent him more beer for helping his team out.
— Lane Johnson (@Lanejohnson65) March 17, 2018
Where would Lane rank in the Bud Light royal family? He’s probably not the king (though he should be), but he’s definitely a knight.
I can’t wait for the eventual Bud Light Lane Johnson commercial to come out that has him saving the entire village from disaster.
I don’t really have a clever opening paragraph because it’s the weekend and I’m totally fried. Later this afternoon, hoards of drunken white folks will descend on Philadelphia as they celebrate their Irish roots, or as the liberals would say, “appropriate” other cultures in tasteless fashion. We’ll leave it to Philly Mag to cover Saint Patrick’s Day.
As for the Sixers, they got the job done last night, the second night of a back-to-back against a surprisingly feisty Brooklyn squad that they just had trouble defending.
Brett Brown brought that up, unprompted, when asked for his takeaways from the four-point win:
“They really are difficult for us to guard. I think their style of play and the people that they have playing, we have struggled defending them. I give them a lot of credit. I think that our guys have been quite exceptional in the fourth period, sometimes you hate arriving at the fourth period the way that we did, but I thought we executed quite well offensively in the fourth period tonight.”
They did, and we’ll get to that shortly, but they “won” in other areas last night, hitting 44.4% from three-point range and going 22-26 from the foul line. They grabbed 13 offensive rebounds while successfully navigating early foul trouble and took care of the basketball, committing a season-low five turnovers. That went a long way in tilting the playing field on a night where Brooklyn limited mistakes while shooting 50% from three.
Brown on the turnovers:
“I think we’re just so mindful of trying to arrest that. We played a lot out of our motion, we avoided a lot of static sets and I think that moving people around and trying to make some passes simpler, we had a big turnover at the end with JJ trying to get Ben at the rim with about 1:30 left. I called a timeout, we tried to run a pick-and-roll play with those two guys but we just weren’t successful. I think just by being aware and conscious that we have to get better in that area.”
That Redick turnover was one of the few blemishes on a final period that feature some excellent playmaking and execution.
So it did happen.
From the press release:
The Philadelphia Eagles announced they have released DE Vinny Curry.
Originally a second-round draft pick of the Eagles in 2012, Curry played in 84 regular-season games during his six years with Philadelphia and appeared in every contest dating back to Week 3 of the 2013 season. Curry totaled 147 tackles, including 27.5 TFL, 22 sacks, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in the regular season, while adding 13 tackles in four postseason appearances.
Curry became a full-time starter for the Eagles in 2017 and recorded career highs in tackles (48) and TFL (13), while notching three sacks and a forced fumble. He finished the season with a team-high 41 combined QB pressures and hits.
A few weeks ago, Curry seemed like an obvious offseason departure due to the $11 million cap hit he was carrying. After the release of Brent Celek and restructuring of Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz’s contracts, it seemed like the Birds would be able to keep him after all. But Curry wound up on the market anyway after he reportedly turned down a pay cut to stay with the team:
Eagles are releasing DL Vinny Curry, source says. Unable to find an agreement on a pay cut.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 16, 2018
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2018
Curry was entering the third season of a five-year, $46m deal. The Eagles will save five mllion dollars with his release.
They will likely start sophomore end Derek Barnett in his place with backup coverage from the newly acquired Michael Bennett and returning veteran Chris Long. Not like it’s a huge deal, since the Birds rotate on the d-line and find plenty of snaps for everybody.
Vinny posted a farewell message on Instagram:
Who would’ve thought a small town boy from Neptune, NJ who grew up an Eagles fan, would’ve been drafted to his favorite team and win his and the teams first Super Bowl Championship! All Gods Plan! Philadelphia, Thank You! Thank you fans for opening your arms and taking me in as one of your own! This has been a dream come true for me to have the ability to play for my dream team and bring the Lombardi trophy home to you all! Thank you to the entire Eagles organization, coaching staff and my teammates, MY BROTHERS! UNDERDOGS! Without you guys, none of this would’ve been possible! I love you all from the bottom of my heart! I am humbled by this opportunity and can’t be more proud to call myself an Eagle for life! This experience has been one hell of a ride! I can’t wait to see what the future now holds for me. Thank You Philly!
This is a very loose rumor, but I think it’s our duty to share it anyway.
Because it’s about giving you, the reader, all of the information we can find. We report, you decide, just like FOX News.
This is not an attempt to frame a narrative about the contemptible and scandalous New England Patriots. This is fair and balanced journalism, free of bias.
A Boston sports anchor named Mike Giardi has a source who says some of the Pats aren’t exactly in a good spot right now:
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) March 16, 2018
Bill Belichick making people miserable? You don’t say!
From the story:
A source tells Mike Giardi some Patriots “don’t feel appreciated,” and Bill Belichick is making “planet players” (such as Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski) miserable.
Giardi followed the NBC Sports Boston writeup with this tweet:
It appeared the Phillies had their starting rotation set when they went out and signed prized free agent pitcher Jake Arrieta earlier this week.
So much for that, with reports emerging from Clearwater this morning that Jerad Eickhoff is set to miss 6-8 weeks with a lat strain.
Jerad Eickhoff has a mild lat strain and is out 6-8 weeks. He will not throw for 7-10 more days and will have to restart his spring training program. #Phillies
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) March 16, 2018
Not ideal. The injury news makes the former Cy Young Award winner’s arrival all the more important as a rotation already filled with question marks takes a significant hit. Or maybe it doesn’t.
Lost in the shuffle of Thursday’s Nigel Bradham and Haloti Ngata news was the introduction of linebacker Corey Nelson, probably the most curious and low-key of the Eagles’ early offseason additions.
The former Bronco joins on a one-year deal and was a key special teamer in Denver, appearing in 53 regular season and 4 playoff games. He recorded three special teams tackles in the 2015 Super Bowl win.
I thought the Eagles would have him playing that same role here, a guy who can be an ace on the third unit while providing some backup linebacker snaps ala Najee Goode or Joe Walker.
But when Nelson spoke to the media yesterday, that didn’t seem to be the case:
“First and foremost, the Broncos are a great organization. Nothing against them whatsoever. I just wanted to kind of break the mold of me being a second-string linebacker. I didn’t want to have that title. I kind of wanted to go out on a limb and show people that I can be a starter in this league and the Eagles gave me the opportunity to be able to compete, to work hard to try to earn that right.”
Nelson was asked what job he’s competing for:
“The WILL position. I’ll compete for that, and also on special teams as well.”
There ya go.
Claude Giroux stood there. His mouth throbbing. His lip swollen. The dried blood changing the red in his beard to a different shade.
Take a puck to the face, and these things happen.
But there he was, trying to talk through the swelling, and explain what is wrong with his team – a team that just 19 days earlier was in first place in the division – but now, after losing to Columbus 5-3 and dropping their seventh game in the last eight contests – finds itself no longer in control of its own destiny and in need of help from around the league.
(Unless they win all 11 remaining games in regulation, which we all know isn’t going to happen)
So, there was Giroux, gutting it out with the media after he had just played another terrific game – registering a point for the eighth consecutive contest as he scored one of the three Flyers’ goals – in the midst of a truly terrific individual season, telling everyone that the Flyers were, once again victims of their own mistakes.
Which prompted me to ask him a question:
Are the mistakes that are happening something new every night or are they something chronic that keep happening every game?
“To be honest, I don’t know what to say to that,” he said. “It’s a good question, but I don’t have an answer for you.”
That’s OK Claude, because you just gave a very clear and lucid answer.
By not answering the question, Giroux spoke volumes. He obviously doesn’t want to be put in a position where he has to say something like, “Yes, we keep making the same mistakes over and over again and they aren’t getting corrected.”
He’s never been the kind of player to point fingers at others. He’ll fall on a sword for his team. It’s what makes him a good leader. But, it’s hard to be so selfless when he’s playing at such a high level and the rest of the team is not.
Giroux is a smart guy. He’s not going to be disingenuous. He’s not going to say something to make teammates look bad, but he’s also not going to say something to make the rest of us roll our eyes and have the B.S. detectors beeping like crazy.
So, he chose not to answer, but at the same time said a bunch.
Because this Flyers team continues to beat itself. It’s maddening to watch, too. Because they aren’t wrong when they say they do a lot of good things. They do. The Flyers get sustained pressure for good chunks of games. They do out-skate and outwork teams – even teams that are probably more talented – for good stretches of time. There are a lot of moments within games that are very encouraging.
But they are then, inexplicably, prone to disastrous mistakes that end up costing them because even if they lead the world in effort, they definitely still lack in talent and depth, and when that’s the case, simple errors end up costing you more frequently.
So after talking to Claude, I decided to ask the coach the same question. Maybe he’d give me an answer.
So I asked.
And he stared at me. For a good three seconds, which made it feel longer. I can only imagine how it looked on television.
But then he gave a good response:
“I’d say tonight for me the second goal against is a big one,” Dave Hakstol said. “Ten seconds after we gave up the first. So that coverage goal, you can’t duplicate that.
“Then the fourth one which was a puck that didn’t get deep and caught on a line change. Doesn’t matter how you want to categorize them. Those are two mistakes that I thought made it a deep hole to come out of.”
I bolded those key phrases for a minute. Because it says, “Yes, Anthony. These are the issues that keep happening and we can’t seem to stop them from happening.”
It looked like the Sixers’ woes would continue on the road against a struggling New York team Thursday night. But then, they woke up.
Threes from Robert Covington, JJ Redick, and Dario Saric helped the Sixers beat the Knicks 118-110:
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 16, 2018
For the second straight game, Ben Simmons recorded a triple-double with 13 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. He also became the third rookie to tally 1,000 points, 500 assists, and 500 rebounds in a season, joining Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. He passed Johnson for triple-doubles as a rookie:
Since he passed him in the triple-double stat tonight, I just wanted to run this comparison one time.
Obvious caveats: I don't expect him to be Magic Johnson, nor do I expect an all-time finals game in year one.
(That FT gap is real, and the biggest key for Simmons) pic.twitter.com/yizFYoyFC7
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) March 16, 2018
Joel Embiid led the game with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Dario Saric also had a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Covington, Redick, and Marco Belinelli all scored in double figures as well. Covington went 5-for-7 from three.
The win gives the Sixers some breathing room with Milwaukee. They’re now up a game and a half on the Bucks for 6th in the East, and are now two games behind Indiana for third.
They look to gain more ground tonight as they take on the Brooklyn Nets at home at 7 PM.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) March 15, 2018
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) March 15, 2018