The offseason really has begun for the Eagles. And Howie Roseman continues to fleece teams with unbelievable trades.
His most recent act: Acquiring Michael Bennett and a seventh round pick for rarely used wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth round pick. I still don’t know how he did it, but Howie did it.
He’s going to be a great fit not only on the defense as an edge rusher who can play inside, too, but also will be a fit in the locker room with guys such as Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long matching his stance on social justice issues. And he wants Meek Mill to be released from prison, which means he’s already off to a good start.
Players, including Mychal Kendricks, were already happy to have him on the team:
YESSIR!!!! Welcome to the squad @mosesbread72
— Brandon Brooks (@bbrooks_79) March 7, 2018
@mosesbread72 All I can say is welcome to the Gang❗️
— Jalen Mills (@greengoblin) March 7, 2018
Gonna miss playing with my man @Mojomdj … keep grinding man and keep believin’!
At the same time, welcome to the squad @mosesbread72 ! Excited to have you!
Also, I’m VERY glad I don’t have to play our D-Line 😬 #nasty
— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) March 7, 2018
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) March 7, 2018
— Nelson Agholor (@nelsonagholor) March 7, 2018
Bennett also posted a long letter to Seattle after the trade was reported:
Dear Seattle, #12s, You have meant so much to me and my family! I thank you from the bottom of my heart. First and foremost I want to thank my wife and family, for always supporting me and helping guide me in every situation. My wife is the backbone of our family and I am truly blessed to have her and our three daughters. I of course want to thank Paul Allen, Pete Carroll, John Schneider, Peter McLoughlin, Erik Kennedy and Mo Kelly for bringing me to the Seahawks and giving me the opportunity to help bring Seattle their first Championship. My teammates. My brothers! More important than any championship or ring are the relationships I have made with the men in that locker room. We experienced marriages, births, deaths, and everything in between, and those are moments I will cherish forever. Last but certainly not least, to the City of Seattle, one of the best in the world. You fans are world class. The way you support us players on and off the field, helping to build bridges across our communities and understand what it means to give back and be community-minded. I am forever grateful for allowing me to grow and evolve in this time that I’ve had with you. I expanded my family in this city, I had one of my babies here. This truly was home for us and it’s been such an incredible five years. I want to assure you that the work we have started here with The Bennett Family Foundation will not stop. We are committed to this city, community and the schools we serve. It’s been a blessing to be able to meet so many great people through our work, and share our passion and dedication to better the World, and we look forward to meeting so many more of you. We are just getting started. We thank you, we love you, God Bless! Love, Black Santa
The new league year begins next Wednesday. The Eagles are roughly $15.1 million over the projected salary cap for the 2018 season. That means more moves will have to be made. More than likely, Vinny Curry will either be released or cut. This is nowhere near done, and we’ll likely be moving bodies up until Wednesday.
Meanwhile with the Cowboys, owner Jerry Jones is opening his checkbook. Except it’s to pay the NFL more than $2 million in legal fees.
Prior to the trade, the big Eagles news was their official announcement of their coaching changes, including promoting Mike Groh to offensive coordinator:
— Chris Jastrzembski (@CFJastrzembski) March 7, 2018
Also, former Eagle Clay Harbor is going to be a contestant on the next season of The Bachelorette in May.
Speaking of the Eagles, Jason Kelce and Mychal Kendricks showed up at the Flyers-Penguins game and got the crowd riled up. However, the players on the ice couldn’t finish the job after getting a 2-1 lead in the second period, as the Penguins scored four unanswered to give them a 5-2 win.
After a Phil Kessel power play goal in the first, Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny got the Flyers going in the second period before Jamie Oleksiak tied the game after his shot deflected in front of Petr Mrazek. That’s when Conor Sheary came in and scored two goals of his own before the end of the period. Evgeni Malkin scored an empty netter late.
Mrazek stopped 23 of 27 shots in the loss, while Tristan Jarry made 26 saves of his own. With the win, the Penguins take over first place in the Metropolitan division with 82 points, three in front of the Flyers.
The Flyers have a short turnaround as they take on the Boston Bruins tonight at 7 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia+. They look to stay at least three points ahead of the New Jersey Devils in the division.
Looks like Richaun Holmes isn’t happy with head coach Brett Brown and his small amount of minutes.
Speaking of big men, Joel Embiid says he’s in a slump, thanks to getting used to playing a full season for the first time in his career. But it doesn’t seem like he’s in a slump:
“In a season, you’re going to go through slumps,” he said, “and I feel like I have been playing bad recently, although the box score might not say it.”
Embiid has averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, three assists, 1.5 blocks and five turnovers in the last two games.
He had 19 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and seven turnovers in Sunday’s 118-110 road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. With his team being outscored 33-14 in the decisive third quarter, Embiid wasn’t a factor. He missed all three of his shots while finishing with two points and grading out at minus-11 in the quarter.
Dario Saric is developing into a very good shooter in his second year in the league:
Saric currently ranks in the top 10 of NBA power forwards in points per game (10th), three-point percentage (7th), assists (6th), free throw percentage (1st), and total offensive rebounds (10th).
“Saric to me is a winning player,” Clifford said. “He’s tough, he can shoot, he’s a great rebounder, and he plays at both ends of the floor.”
Saric finished Tuesday night with 19 points on 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-7 from three to go with five rebounds and three assists.
Heading into Thursday’s game in Miami, Saric has nine double-doubles, a 40-game streak of scoring in double-digits (Nov. 29 to March 1) and is the team’s fourth highest scorer behind Embiid, Simmons, and JJ Redick.
Recapping Allen Iverson’s interesting interview during Tuesday’s game against the Hornets.
Kevin recaps everything else from Tuesday’s game that didn’t involve AI.
Sixers return to action tonight in Miami against the Heat, eight days after they lost in South Beach by one.
In Spring Training action, Aaron Nola struck out five Red Sox in four innings as the Phillies defeated Boston, 2-1. They take on the Yankees today at 1:05 p.m., with Ben Lively scheduled to start.
A good sign for Hoby Milner: He thinks he has found his curveball, which will help in his development:
Milner struggled with his curveball since he started throwing sidearmed in 2015; he couldn’t find the correct wrist action when releasing the pitch. Other sidearmers offered advice, but their arm slot was lower. Nothing seemed to change as he tinkered with it last season. Finding that pitch, Milner told himself, would be a task for the offseason.
He found it during that game of catch, with advice from an unlikely source: a pitcher drafted in June who throws with a standard delivery.
“His name is Parker Mushinski, drafted last year by Houston out of Texas Tech,” Milner said. “He’s a big spike curveball guy. He was like, ‘This is what I do, I cock my wrist.’ ‘OK. I’ll try it.’ So I just use his grip and everything. Every time I throw a breaking ball, I’m throwing that one.”
Mike Schmidt is helping the Phillies with hitting for another Spring Training. This time, he’s focusing on the mental side of the art:
“I believe you have to be a thinking-man’s hitter,” Schmidt said. “I don’t believe in the see-the-ball-and-hit-it approach; just going to home plate, if he strikes me out he strikes me out, if I get a hit I get a hit. I believe in a plan for each day. I believe in feel.“When things have gone a little awry in your hitting, you’re pulling off the ball, you’re underneath the ball, you’re swinging too hard — things like that. I believe in feeling those kinds of things and making immediate adjustments. If you don’t want to do that, I don’t think you’re on the right track toward reaching your potential.”
Schmidt’s session Tuesday at the Carpenter Complex was called “The Mental Aspects of Hitting.” Joining him was Phillies mental-skills coach Geoff Miller; they became friends this winter. Miller prompted Schmidt on issues that hitters face, such as cutting down on strikeouts or hitting with men on base.
Schmidt provided lessons from his career, describing how he mentally responded to those situations. He gave advice on ways to stay relaxed at the plate and how to attack each at-bat with a plan.
Desi Relaford hated his time in Philadelphia:
There was just a coach that I dealt with there for a while that made my time there terrible… John Vukovich, he passed away a few years ago… I didn’t have a whole lot of fun there, so I don’t claim Philly like that.
He made it not fun. Like, it was dumb shit. Just always treated me ultra rookie and I couldn’t even be myself. Say if I was in the clubhouse and I was having a good time, talking, being like myself — I’m not shy, I have a good time. I don’t know, I’m not loud, but I’m talkative. I move around, talk to different people, whatever, whatever, but if I was being myself and doing that, then I was a rookie and I didn’t know my place. And if I was in my locker with my headphones on listening to music by myself, then I wasn’t a team-type guy. Or if I was taking groundballs … say I took 100 groundballs and the last ball, I make a bad throw or whatever, he’d like literally yell at me and tell me I wasn’t that good. Or if I went 3 for 4, he would harp on why I didn’t get the fourth hit. Like dumb stuff, it was always something.
Oh the fans, they were trash. I have some really good friends there but as fans? Oh yeah, the worst.
It wasn’t just me. It’s just well known … not only are they hard, but they’re just irrational. They boo just to boo. I saw them boo Billy Wagner one night because he didn’t throw 100. He threw 100 a few pitches in a row, they’re all excited, he threw 98 and they booed the shit out of him. Or Scott Rolen hitting two home runs in a game and coming up the last at-bat and not getting a hit and getting booed out of the stadium. Or me getting booed before they even announce my name: ‘Now batting, your shortstop, BOOOOOO.’ I get it, I was scuffling, I’m not saying you can’t get booed or fans shouldn’t boo. Yeah, if he deserves to get booed, boo his ass, give it to him. But there’s a time and place and it shouldn’t just be for any and everything, and especially your home team. I mean I can understand booing your home team, but things should be really, really bad before that happens.
The fan thing, you can kind of tune that out, it’s whatever. But when you have to deal with someone on a personal basis, day in and day out, and I was young. I got to the big leagues when I was 21. I’m just trying to fit in, I just want to do my job, man, and instead of them making it easier, it was hard.
In college hoops, UMass edged La Salle in the first round of the A-10 Tournament, 69-67.
Today, Villanova takes on Marquette in the Big East Quarterfinals at 7 PM on FS1, and Temple plays Tulane in the AAC First Round at 7 PM on ESPNU.
Kevin previews all the Big 5 teams (and Drexel, who already lost) in their conference tournaments.
In other sports news, the last episode of Tom vs Time is out. Probably the best episode yet.
Richard Sherman doesn’t expect to play for Seattle next season.
The Giants made a trade for Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree.
Derrius Guice was asked if he liked men during his scouting combine interview. Why are these questions asked?
University of San Diego head coach Lamont Smith resigned from his post 10 days after being arrested for domestic abuse.
Dwyane Wade visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School:
DWADE JUST PULLED UP AT DOUGLAS BROOOOOOOOOO WHAT pic.twitter.com/YYTaG5GFa5
— sebi #neveragain #msdstrong (@sebiloveschoco) March 7, 2018
This is a great read on Ichiro from Wright Thompson.
The Washington Redskins will give 1987 replacement players Super Bowl rings.
In the news, it was bad yesterday in the area with snow throughout the region.
Amazon’s Alexa is laughing at people, for some reason.
There’ll be three crunchy M&M flavors to choose from: Espresso, Mint, and Raspberry.