With the Flyers off and the Sixers overseas in London, we might as well discuss more about the Eagles. This question was brought up earlier in the day while I was interning at WIP for Big Daddy Graham.
Other than Nick Foles, which Eagle will be most important for the team’s success?
Answers given out were Brandon Graham and Jay Ajayi, before Halapoulivaati Vaitai came up.
I agree with the latter of the choices.
It’s not good that Jason Peters is done for the season, but Big V has done an okay job at times protecting the left side. But when you replace Carson Wentz with Nick Foles, his role becomes much more vital to the success of the team.
He’s going to go up against some good defensive ends in Brooks Reed (4.0 sacks), Adrian Clayborn (9.5 sacks), and rookie Takkarist McKinley (6.0 sacks). Clayborn’s sack numbers are a career-high, but almost 2/3s of his season total came against Dallas, where he had six sacks against two of Dallas’ backup left tackles.
They weren’t good, and that scares me a little bit when the game is three days away. At least Stefen Wisniewski will be at or close to 100% come gametime, which stabilizes the line a little bit.
But if the Eagles win on Saturday, Big V might have to face either Danielle Hunter from Minnesota or Cameron Jordan of New Orleans. Give us some hope.
Before we get started, TOMORROW. Live pod at Carlino’s Market in Ardmore! Damn good food! Damn good sports talk! Be there!
Plus, a new edition of the Crossing Broadcast is up. #LookAtChu!
Lane Johnson isn’t enjoying the negative press and how some have been counting the Eagles out when Wentz tore his ACL:
“I think everybody perceives us as being the weakest and that is fine. I think that is good. I think if teams want to overlook us, that is good. We’ll just see about Saturday. … We’re excited. We know what people are saying.”
The bandwagon had some jumpers when Wentz suffered a knee injury last month in a win over the Los Angeles Rams.
It wasn’t long after that when Johnson took offense and declared a media boycott that ultimately didn’t last long.
“What bothered me was we were 12-2 [at the time] and treated like we were the Browns,” Johnson said. “It happens, but I think although we don’t like it, it’s a good motivator to have people not write good things. I think it’s the best motivator there is and you can go and change it.”
Nick Foles explains what Doug Pederson meant when he told him to “go be Nick”:
“It’s just going out there and playing and staying in the zone and trusting my instincts,” Foles said. “I’ve played this game a long time. There’s a reason I’ve been able to do what I’ve been able to do. …When I play my best and I’m most comfortable, I just go out there and play. That’s the big message.”
Foles had all of last week to reflect. He has this week to prepare.
Text messages and phone calls are going unreturned. He’s aware of the pessimism about how he’s played and the skepticism about the Eagles’ chances of reaching the Super Bowl with Foles at quarterback. He’s trying to remain unaffected by both.
Injured Eagles safety and special teams ace Chris Maragos understands Dan Quinn and what he brings to the table for the Falcons:
“Coach Quinn, the thing about him is, he’s just so personable. He’s got a lot of energy, a lot of excitement,” Maragos said Tuesday. “Really optimistic guy, really detail-oriented. Great person, great human being.”
The Eagles signed center Jon Toth to a reserve/futures contract.
I love Dave Fipp even more:
Yes Dave Fipp. pic.twitter.com/sAhCE3WT3p
— Chris Jastrzembski (@CFJastrzembski) January 9, 2018
He’s jamming to “Black & Chinese” by HUNCHO JACK, Travis Scott, and Quavo.
With the team in London, it’s a great time for the team to build their brand internationally:
Dario Saric, Robert Covington, T.J. McConnell and Trevor Booker headed over to CitySport to teach basketball fundamentals to 60 kids at a Jr. NBA Clinic from 3:15 to 4 p.m. They were joined by players from the Crystal Palace soccer team, which Sixers owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer also own. Thirty minutes later, the four Sixers joined their teammates for a media availability, where for about a half-hour they talked about everything imaginable to reporters from all over Europe. Then after warming up, the Sixers had their closed practice.
Covington and Markelle Fultz also participated in a meet-and-greet with United Kingdom fans, sponsored by Tissot watches.
“We are going to treat this in a way that will produce a real enjoyable experience, with the bottom line we are coming here to win a game,” Brown said. “So somewhere out there, there’s a little bit of a juggling act.”
An interesting quote from Celtics point guard Terry Rozier:
“We have a great history and not knocking the 76ers because they’re a great team, but I think the fans are going to find out why they should support us over the 76ers come when we play them in London.”
Kevin writes how the turnover issue isn’t that bad.
Tim is thankful the Sixers didn’t draft Lonzo Ball, particularly because of LaVar Ball. And everybody is talking about LaVar, including The Athletic, even though they have a “no LaVar Ball” policy despite posting two previous stories before deleting them:
The Athletic pretended to have a "No LaVar Ball" policy bc SERIOUS JOURNALISM™, got called out and then tried to delete their archives to cover their tracks 😂😂
Links are cache'd versions of the deleted articles.
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) January 9, 2018
The Phillies appear to still be in a war with blogs.
Carlos Santana was seen hitting balls in the Dominican Republic (h/t Mike Mullin):
— Mike Mullin (@MULLINitover27) January 9, 2018
With the Flyers off until Saturday night against the Devils, Sam Donnellon caught up with goaltending prospect Carter Hart fresh off his gold medal in the World Junior Championships in Buffalo for Team Canada:
During a preliminary-round game against the U.S., played outdoors in the Bills’ stadium in a blizzard, the foam in the back of his helmet froze, icing the back of his head. No problem. Reaching for his water bottle after a series of saves, that too had frozen.
“There was so much snow, it was insane,” he said. “They were taking wheelbarrows of snow off the ice. It was crazy. But fun.”
And when it ended with another shootout loss to the U.S.? Hart shrugged it off, and ran off a string of stellar – and more meaningful — performances from there. “I’ve never seen a goalie that’s just so calm back there,” said Team Canada defenseman Cale Makar after the 3-1 gold-medal victory over Sweden. “Even when we’re down or have a few lapses, he’s able to pull us back together.”
Four local college hoops games tonight: St. Joe’s visits George Mason, and La Salle takes on UMass in A-10 conference matchups at 7 PM. Top-ranked Villanova hosts No. 10 Xavier at 8 PM at the Wells Fargo Center on FS1. And Temple looks to get back to .500 on the year with a road game against SMU at 9 PM on CBS Sports Network.
Cole Beasley released a rap single. Haven’t listened to it and it probably sucks, but Howard Eskin liked it (I guess) and suggests he continues to go that route:
So now @Bease11 is a rapper. Do have to admit Cole you are better rapper than receiver. That’s because not very good receiver any longer. New career is good idea. @SportsRadioWIP https://t.co/xOAd5O5mml
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) January 9, 2018
Over in Lithuania, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball made their professional debuts in the Big Baller Brand Challenge Games for Vytautas in a 90-80 win. LiAngelo finished with 19 points and three rebounds, and LaMelo added 10 points and nine assists, but committed six turnovers.
That spin tho. 😂 pic.twitter.com/6Mg3UWUEqS
— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) January 9, 2018
Former Cleveland Browns and North Penn head coach Mike Pettine is expected to replace Dom Capers as the Packers’ defensive coordinator.
Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane said there was a “misunderstanding” of what Richie Incognito said during Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars.
Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason, the guy that was replaced by Jake Fromm earlier this season, will probably transfer to Washington.
In the news, James Kauffman, the husband of former New Jersey radio host April Kauffman, was accused of having his wife killed in order to protect an alleged drug ring. Crazy.
Steve Bannon is leaving Breitbart News, again.
A magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit the sea north of Honduras. Not a lot of damage happened.
Kodak, which is somehow still a business, announced their own cryptocurrency called KodakCoin.