Mike Groh seems like he has very little interest in speaking to the media, but not in an asshole type of way. It’s more of a, “I really don’t have anything to say” kind of way.
I don’t blame him either, since there isn’t much going on until we get closer to the September 6th home opener.
But it was his turn to talk to reporters today, and he was asked a series of questions about QB acquisition Christian Hackenberg:
Q. How involved were you in the decision to bring QB Christian Hackenberg in? What do you know about him so far? (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
“That’s a personnel decision. We’re happy that he’s here and looking forward to working with him.”
Q. What do you know about Hackenberg? (Shorr-Parks)
“I recruited Christian when he was in high school and I’ve known his family for a long time. He’s had his struggles since he’s gotten into the NFL. We’re just looking forward to working with him.”
Q. When you do bring in a quarterback at this stage of training camp, how do you try to expedite their transition? (Kristen Rodgers)
“Just like any other player. We’ve got to spend a lot of time once the meetings are over, one-on-one time trying to catch him up. You try to shrink the playbook for him and make it more game-plan specific, so they can focus on what they need to know for each game.”
Q. What have your discussions with him been like so far? (Rodgers)
“We’ve just kind of exchanged pleasantries, if you will. He was in a meeting last night, and then obviously out here I didn’t have a lot of time to talk to him, but I’m sure we’ll have a lot of time to catch up.”
Q. What can he bring to the mix that you don’t already have? (Jamie Apody)
“We’ve just got to get him out here, and first of all, he’s got to learn what to do and then how we want it done. At this point, he’s got to crawl before he can walk.”
Q. Do you look forward to this challenge as a teacher to be able to develop a prospect like this who’s gone through some bumps? (Chris McPherson)
“We look forward to developing all the players on our roster.”
Really scintillating stuff there.
Groh didn’t have much of anything to say beyond that, but here are some nuggets:
If you watched WWF even casually in the 80s and 90s, then you were familiar with Jim Neidhart, who passed away this morning at age 63.
TMZ is reporting that he fell at his Florida home and struck his head, which caused him to suffer seizures and convulsions.
Neidhart was best known as one of half of the Hart Foundation tag team group alongside his brother-in-law, Bret “The Hitman” Hart. He won two tag team titles over the years while feuding with opponents like the Nasty Boys and the Legion of Doom.
Zhaire Smith broke his foot; I think y’all are quite familiar with that bit of news.
But we got an update today on fellow rookies Landry Shamet and Shake Milton, who were also injured this summer (go figure) –
STATEMENT FROM PHILADELPHIA 76ERS VICE PRESIDENT OF ATHLETE CARE DR. DANIEL MEDINA:
AUG. 13, 2018 – Rookie guard Shake Milton (spondylolysis, stress fracture, in his back) has been asymptomatic for several weeks and was recently cleared to resume limited basketball activities. An update on his status will be provided in approximately four weeks.
Rookie guard Landry Shamet (sprained right ankle) is now asymptomatic and has resumed light basketball activities. He is progressing and will continue rehabilitation under the supervision of the 76ers Athlete Care staff. An update on his status will be made available when appropriate.
Good news for both guys.
Shamet hurt his ankle in summer league action. Milton suffered the back injury in pre-draft workouts. He signed a two-way contract with the Sixers last month.
Smith had successfully surgery to repair his Jones fracture last Thursday.
This has been your rookie injury update.
Saw this on Twitter and it made me laugh –
It’s from a Mexican press conference, a team called Chivas de Guadalajara, who had manager Jose Cardozo speak to the media from a room that looked more like his kitchen.
He’s got two cans of coke, one on either side of a Tecate microphone flag. On either side of the coke is a can of what appears to be chocolate milk (leche). Then the display is book-ended by two bags of Granvita granola. The backdrop also features Coke, Granvita, and Tecate, along with Powerade, Sello Rojo (coffee), Omnilife, Puma, Caliente (gambling), and Grupo Akron, which is their stadium sponsor and some sort of Mexican gas/automative company.
Anyway, that’s nine different sponsors that show up in this one frame from the press conference:
#productplacement too much? I know the club has financial troubles but having all those products at the press conference seems a little exaggerated. Prob not top of the list of issues at Chivas at the moment though. #ligamxeng pic.twitter.com/LO95uPHoCY
— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) August 13, 2018
Gotta be a record, or close to one.
Anyway, just for comparison, I used my mediocre Photoshop skills to build an example of what this might look like in Philadelphia (after the jump) –
What’s Joel Embiid doing this offseason?
Well he recently played in the NBA Africa game. He’s been working out with Drew Hanlen a bit. You know – staying in shape, getting in the gym, enjoying a healthy and full offseason for the first time ever.
He’s also playing pick up soccer with Cameroonian kids and throwing down bicycle kicks while wearing a Paul Pogba jersey:
Joel Embiid playing with the kids in Cameroon 👌🏾 pic.twitter.com/r7CUnENpqF
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 13, 2018
Swing and a miss, but I did like the left-footed finish in the third clip there.
One of my favorite recent stories was the “plight” of Antonio Callaway, the rookie Browns receiver who was recently pulled over and cited for marijuana possession and a suspended license.
Callaway, a 4th round draft pick out of Florida, didn’t tell the Browns about the traffic stop. Police also found bullets and a gun part in the car, according to ESPN.
As punishment, head coach Hue Jackson didn’t limit his playing time in the preseason opener, he actually made Callaway play more snaps.
From the article:
“I was trying to make him play the whole game if we could,” Jackson said of the rookie wide receiver. “I did not want him to come out.”
Callaway didn’t inform the Browns that he was cited for marijuana possession and a suspended license last week, and Jackson didn’t become aware of the incident until the news broke Tuesday.
“Make him play as long as he could. There were a couple of times he kept waving to come out, and we said, ‘No, stay in.'”
Callaway, who was on the field for 54 plays Thursday, finished the game with three receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown on a 54-yard pass from Baker Mayfield. After the game, he told reporters that he was “doing whatever I have to do to gain my coaches’ and my teammates’ trust back. So that won’t happen again.”
Let’s play a game.
It’s called, “penalty, or not a penalty?”
We’re talking about the new NFL policy which bars players from lowering their helmet to strike an opponent. The new rule comes with a 15 yard penalty and can be paired with an ejection based on these standards:
- Player lowers his helmet to establish a linear body posture prior to initiating and making contact with the helmet
- Unobstructed path to his opponent
- Contact clearly avoidable and player delivering the blow had other options
We now have a decent sample size of plays to look at after one week of preseason games, so let’s go through social media and see what we can find, starting with this hit from Cardinals safety Travell Dixon:
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) August 12, 2018
Looks pretty fair to me. I don’t see him lowering the helmet and establishing “a linear body position.” It looks like a textbook tackle, as the tweeter explains.
It’s hard to get good still shots at the point of contact, since the motion makes the image very blurry, but here’s what I was able to clip:
I don’t know.
I really don’t know.
I guess they feel like they can bring him in as another camp body, get him some reps, and see if they can maybe mold him into something.
That’s the obvious takeaway, the fact that Doug Pederson and company successfully (and quickly) turned Carson Wentz into an elite quarterback and coached Nick Foles to a Super Bowl win. And you saw some good things Thursday night from Nate Sudfeld, who they’re looking to turn into a legitimate backup.
Hackenberg hasn’t been great in the NFL. He actually hasn’t even played in a regular season game despite being drafted by the J, E, T, S, Jets Jets Jets in the second round of the 2016 draft. Since then, New York turned in a pair of 5-11 seasons with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty, and Josh McCown under center.
The thought was that the former Penn State QB would translate into a decent pro, maybe better than he was in college, simply for the fact that he had the measurables of a typical pro-style thrower. He’s about 6’4″, 225 pounds, built in the same mold as Wentz, Foles, and Sudfeld. Hackenberg certainly is not mobile, but I don’t think you’d say that Foles and Sudfeld are. If those guys can be successful, maybe Doug can do something with Hackenberg? Who knows.
I didn’t watch a ton of Penn State back then, but this is how Christian finished after three years in Happy Valley: