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[#] Tue Jan 02 2018 16:22:02 EST from rss

Subject: Sixers Notes: Joel

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Joel Embiid is doubtful for tomorrow night with a bruised hand suffered during the Sunday win in Phoenix. The Sixers’ center was off to the side at practice Tuesday morning as a trainer worked on his injured extremity. “It was a legitimate scare,” said head coach Brett Brown. “A legitimate fall. If you saw the…

[#] Tue Jan 02 2018 16:51:21 EST from rss

Subject: Nick Foles might not have a long leash, and other Eagles takeaways from Doug Pederson

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Hear from the head coach.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson held a press conference on Tuesday and touched on a number of different topics.

Pederson was specifically asked about the team’s quarterback situation.

Q. Just to be clear, Foles is your starting quarterback going forward for the first playoff game?


Some will think it’s crazy that Pederson was even asked that question, but it really isn’t considering how much Foles has struggled in the past two games. He’s been horrendous.

Unlike Foles, Nate Sudfeld actually looked competent in Week 17. He showed actual traits you can hang your hat on: mobility, arm strength, decisiveness, able to catch a shotgun snap, etc.

Still, it’s not surprising that the Eagles are sticking with Foles due to his starting experience in the league. The coaching staff clearly trusts him more than the second-year Sudfeld right now.

But Pederson did not entirely rule out benching Foles.

Q. If Nick doesn’t play any better say for a half or three quarters, is that something you would consider?

COACH PEDERSON: It's hard to say right now until I'm in that situation. Listen, it's a one-game season. It's hard to be in desperation mode, but if you are in that mode, who knows. I do know this: it's not about one guy; it's about 11 on offense, defense, and special teams. A lot of contributing factors go into winning a game.

Pederson did originally confirm Foles as his starter, yes, but the “who knows” sentiment in this reply is a far cry from “Your question is ridiculous, Nick Foles is absolutely 100% the guy no matter what.” Others observers felt the same way.

You might say people are reading into things too much here, but the Eagles clearly went into damage control mode after Pederson’s press conference. Pederson wouldn’t just randomly text reporters like this. This is a calculated leak.

Showing confidence in Foles is important for the Eagles, especially since the veteran quarterback is a guy who reportedly struggles with that. Per the Inquirer:

A few years back, after Chip Kelly had traded Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, I had a few players and members of team personnel give some insight into why the Eagles had given up on Foles as a starter. His skill set, first and foremost, wasn’t starter-caliber, or at least good enough to consistently win games in the NFL. It had become abundantly clear to Kelly that Foles was more his 2014 version than 2013. But an additional concern, and one brought to my attention, was that Foles would sometimes let his performance or outside criticism outwardly affect his demeanor. He would get down on himself and the rest of the squad felt it.

If Foles continues to play as poorly as he has recently in the playoffs, there at least has to be some thought of benching him after a quarter or two. Right?

The Eagles will sure hope they don’t get to that point.

We’ll see.

And now for some other takeaways from Pederson’s Tuesday presser ...


When QB Nick Foles had his best year in 2013, Chip Kelly had him do a lot of quick throw, up-tempo type stuff. Do you consider even more up-tempo to get him into a rhythm and get him settled in quicker?

COACH PEDERSON: I've gone back and watched a lot of his tape here, [from when he was in] St. Louis, and when he was here before when I was here. I just wanted to go back and just see the types of plays. As you mentioned, the quick throw was there, a little play-action pass, the shotgun stuff. Those are all things that are in our system. We might just have to dust a few more off and get that ready to go. But that's kind of what this week is for: to get some of those ideas and thoughts down on paper and execute them this week in practice.

Doesn’t hurt for Doug to exhaust all options in this case.


Q. Some players after the game talked about how they are actually looking forward to getting back in the pads this week. What's your plan there? Do you want to maximize that, once this week, once next week?

COACH PEDERSON: Again, it's a fine line. At the same time, this is something that the players want. It's not a punishment thing; it's not coming directly from me. It's what the players want. I listen to my guys. I think they understand that there is a sense of physicality that we have to get back to. I'm not saying we're not there because obviously football is a physical game, but I think there is a sense over the course of a few weeks when you've been in shells, pad level begins to rise, and intensity sometimes can be minimized. So you get back into pads and it sort of refocuses the guys a little bit. It's not like we're going to tackle. It's not a training-camp-type-of practice. The fact of just having them on, banging around on one another, but still protecting each other, I think can be a nice asset for us going into our first game.

Q. How many days of pad work will you do between now and the playoff game?

COACH PEDERSON: One this week and considering one more next week.

Q. And that came to you through the players' council?


Q. What did they say to you?

COACH PEDERSON: We want to go in pads.

Q. Just like that?

COACH PEDERSON: Just like that.

Q. Did they explain why?

COACH PEDERSON: No. They just came to me and kind of asked if we could get back into pads. I didn't ask questions, and I said, ‘Sure.’

The Eagles have been taking it easy in practice lately since it’s late in the season. Pederson has to balance keeping guys sharp while also keeping them healthy. In this case, the players were advocating for more pad work, so that’s what happening. We’re ultimately talking about practice here, so who knows how much it really matters, but it’s cool to see the players want to maintain an edge instead of just resting.

Jay Ajayi could be poised for more playing time

Q. Do you plan on leaning on Ajayi more as your workhorse in the playoffs?

COACH PEDERSON: I think that's a possibility with what he's shown us down the stretch here and giving him rest last week, and we'll see where he is this week health-wise. I think he's one of the guys that we can rely on. Again, I don't want to get away from the things that got us to this point, too. That's the other thing is you don't want to just abandon ship on everybody else. I do think there could be a little more role for him down the stretch.

It’d be great if the Eagles can get their run game going. The thing is ... it’s hard to run when the pass isn’t much of a threat.

It’s unclear if Sidney Jones will have a role in the playoffs

Q. Will CB Sidney Jones have a role in the playoffs?

COACH PEDERSON: I don't know yet. Obviously he gives us depth now that he's activated and up. We have to see how he gets through this week and see the defensive game plan and the opponent we're playing and all that. Again, probably most of those will be game-time decisions of the seven who are going to be deactivated.

The Eagles will likely decide between keeping either Jones or Rasul Douglas on the activate game day roster. It makes more sense to keep Douglas active since he’ll likely just be playing on special teams.

Doug Pederson isn’t worried about head coaching interviews being a distraction

Q. There are reports that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo could interview for jobs this week. How do you balance getting them focused on the playoff game and still letting them focus on trying to go through the interview process?

COACH PEDERSON: Having gone through it a couple years ago myself, the one thing going for these two gentlemen is the fact that this is a bye week for us. We're not game planning specifically for a game this weekend, so it's a little bit easier from the standpoint of that. The challenge is having themselves prepared for a potential interview. That's the challenging part. At the same time, they have to balance the job they have here and making sure that we're ready for practice tomorrow and the next day. That's first and foremost. Listen, they put the Eagles first anyway and will continue to do that while they're here. It's a little bit of a fine line, but having an off week helps.

Jim Schwartz and John DeFilippo each reportedly have at least two interviews this week. They’ll be conducted in Philadelphia.

Injury update

Per Pederson, the following players won’t practice this Wednesday: starting defensive end Brandon Graham, starting left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and running back Jay Ajayi.

Graham suffered an ankle injury in Week 16. He’s expected to be ready for the first palyoff game.

Big V played 100% of the snaps in the Eagles-Cowboys game. He could be getting a breather.

Pederson cited Ajayi’s knee injury history as to why they’re resting him.

[#] Tue Jan 02 2018 18:54:00 EST from rss

Subject: Philadelphia Eagles sign former Bears wide receiver to futures contract

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Offseason depth.

The Philadelphia Eagles signed free agent wide receiver Marquess Wilson to a reserve/futures contract, according to a report from NFL insider Field Yates.

Note that Wilson isn’t joining the Eagles’ current 53-man roster. They would’ve had to clear a roster spot for him if that was the case. Instead, this deal means Wilson will be on Philadelphia’s 90-man offseason roster once the Eagles’ season is over.

Wilson is 25 years old. Chicago originally selected him with a seventh-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

The Bears started Wilson in 14 out of the 34 games he played over four years. During that span, Wilson logged 56 receptions for 777 yards (13.9 average) and three touchdowns.

I mentioned Wilson as a potential free agent flyer for the Eagles earlier this year. He shares connections with Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas and Eagles wide receiver coach Mike Groh.

Douglas was with the Bears when Wilson had his best season in 2015. The 6-3, 194 pound receiver caught 28 passes that year for 464 yards and one score. He averaged 16.6 yards per reception in his third season before then averaging 17.8 yards per reception in 2016, although on only nine catches. Could be an inexpensive low-tier option for the Eagles.

Wilson was a seventh round pick in Groh’s first year as Chicago’s receiver coach in 2013. Wilson had a career year under Groh in 2015.

Wilson is a long shot to make the team in 2018 but he’s worth taking a shot on.

[#] Tue Jan 02 2018 22:03:30 EST from rss

Subject: Brian Dawkins among 15 Hall of Fame finalists for Class of 2018

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Do the right thing, voters.

Legendary Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins has officially been named one of 12 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018. This is the second year in a row Dawk has made it to the finalist stage.

There’s no question Dawkins deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Earlier this season, BGN Radio actually announced a campaign called “Put Dawkins in the Hall.”

Last month, BGN Radio’s Vince Quinn interviewed Hall of Fame voter Paul Domowitch of the Daily news to talk about Dawk’s chances of getting in. BGN writer Tyler Jackson also interviewed another Hall of Fame voter about the same topic earlier this year.

Domowitch pitched a strong case for Dawkins last year but he remains unsure if this will be the year Dawkins gets his due. It’s really a shame Dawkins has already had to wait this long.

Former Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens is also one of the 12 finalists for the second year in a row.

The Class of 2018 will be revealed on the day before Super Bowl LII — Saturday, Feb. 3. There will be four to eight members enshrined in this year’s class.

Here’s a look at all 12 finalists this year.

LB Ray Lewis

LB Brian Urlacher

RB Edgerrin James

WR Randy Moss

WR Terrell Owens

WR Isaac Bruce

FS John Lynch

S Brian Dawkins

CB Everson Walls

CB Ty Law

OT Tony Boselli

C/G Kevin Mawae

OT Joe Jacoby

OG Steve Hutchinson

OG Alan Faneca

[#] Tue Jan 02 2018 22:05:36 EST from rss

Subject: Penguins 5, Flyers 1: In-state rivals spoil first game of 2018

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Penguins use three quick second period goals to breeze past Flyers.

The Flyers ended 2017 on a high note, but started out 2018 singing the blues. The Penguins scored four goals in just under four minutes in the second period as the Flyers’ rivals cruised to a 5-1 win at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night. Philadelphia wasted a solid first 20 minutes and wasn’t able to recover from a trio of quick strikes from Ryan Reaves, Conor Sheary, and Tom Kuhnhackl just 3:51 apart in the second period to give the Penguins a commanding 4-1 lead. Jordan Weal scored the lone goal for the Flyers, who squandered four power play chances while watching the Penguins score on both of their man-advantages on the night.

Brian Elliott wasn’t busy early, but did make a nice save on Patric Hornqvist with 9:20 left after the first sustained shift of the night from the Penguins’ top line. That long offensive shift led to an odd-man rush for Michael Raffl, but his pass went wayward and ended in a long attempt on goal from Jake Voracek off the bench.

Desperate to generate offense, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan started double-shifting Sidney Crosby with eight minutes left in the frame. That tells you all about how the past month has gone for the Penguins, who were 6-8 in the month of December. Best chance of the frame for either team was Claude Giroux hitting the post to the right of Tristan Jarry with 3:10 left. Both teams were off to slow start to the new year, to say the least, though the Flyers had the better of the action.

A net drive from Andrew MacDonald up on the play earned the Flyers the first power play of the game, with seven seconds left, as he was the recipient of a high-stick from Kris Letang. It was an uninspiring man-advantage for the Flyers to start the second, however. The best chance—and only shot—came from Jake Guentzel shorthanded, but he was denied by Elliott.

After seeing the Flyers carry play in the first for the most part, the Penguins responded in the first half of the second with a scoring chances first from Guentzel and then Crosby, only to be turned away by Elliott as well. At the 9:09 mark the Penguins would go to their first power play of the game with Travis Konecny off for tripping. The second-year forward thought he drew a penalty, but instead was pulled off for a quick retaliatory trip. The Penguins wouldn’t need long to take the 1-0 lead as Phil Kessel potted his 17th of the season at the 9:35 mark. Evgeni Malkin and Crosby picked up assists on the power play goal as the Flyers surrendered the first goal for the eight time in their last nine games. The lead would last 44 seconds as Weal would tip home a Radko Gudas point shot past Jarry to tie things up at 1-1 for the Flyers. Brandon Manning picked up the other assist on the goal, Weal’s fourth of the season.

As both teams woke up after a sleepy first 20 minutes so did the score. Reaves finished off a workman-like shift with his second of the season to give the Penguins back the lead at 2-1 at 11:09. Reaves out-muscled Ivan Provorov and stuffed home a Kuhnhackl pass right on the crease.

But the Flyers’ arch rival wasn’t done yet. Sheary won a foot race against MacDonald at the Flyers blue line and lifted the puck past Elliott to stretch the Penguins lead to 3-1 just 40 seconds after Reaves’ go-ahead goal. Dearly trying to cut into the Penguins’ lead, both Raffl and Shayne Gostisbehere would be denied by Jarry as the Flyers looked to capitalize again in a wild second period. Instead it would be the Penguins at the other end making it 4-1 as Kuhnhackl beat Elliott this time on the glove side after Provorov couldn’t corral a loose puck in front of his own goal. Time of the goal was 13:26 and was assisted by Riley Sheahan and Reaves.

In goal, the Penguins would replace starter Jarry with Matt Murray with just a little more than five minutes left in the second, after suffering an injury to his hand earlier in the period.

That wouldn’t be the only goalie change in this one, as Flyers coach Dave Hakstol would send Michael Neuvrith out for the third period, marking his first action since November 28. Elliott finished with 10 saves on 14 shots in 40 minutes of action while Neuvirth stopped 10 of 11 shots in relief of Elliott, who did made his 14th-consecutive start.

Though much of the Flyers left their fight in the locker room after the first intermission, Manning took on the hulking Jamie Oleksiak in the third as the veteran tried to provide some spark for his teammates facing a three-goal deficit. Oleksiak did some work with his fists and would get in on the scoring, too. The massive defenseman made it 5-1 Pittsburgh with 5:56 left on the power play to put this one totally out of reach for the Flyers in their first action of 2018. Kessel and Malkin picked up helpers on the goal, Oleksiak’s first with the Penguins.

That would be all she wrote in this one as the Flyers would go on to lose by a 5-1 final as they start out 2018 with a runt right off the bat.

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 06:00:02 EST from rss

Subject: Wednesday Morning Fly By: New year, new Flyers? Just kidding.

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Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...

*The Penguins ran circles around the Flyers in the second period in their 5-1 on Tuesday night. [BSH]

*How Paul Holmgren kind of, sort of, eventually gave the Penguins Jake Guentzel, who’s turned out to be a productive third-round pick. [BSH]

*Part of the reason Brandon Manning keeps finding himself in Dave Hakstol’s lineup, and why Travis Sanheim could soon draw back in the lineup himself. [CourierPost]

*On Claude Giroux’s comeback season and Valtteri Filppula’s recent struggles. [The Athletic]

*At World Juniors, Team Switzerland was hoping to throw off Carter Hart and Team Canada, but Hart and the Canadians would have the last laugh in an 8-2 win. [TSN]

*Who’s hot and who’s not among Flyers prospects as the New Year hits. [NBCSP]

*The Flyers answer some questions that certainly weren’t certainly off-topic. [NBCSP]

*ICYMI, we did a mailbag! With your questions! On Hextall after nearly four years on the job and more. [BSH]

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 07:37:32 EST from rss

Subject: Crossing Broadcast: Gradual Reintegration and Deep Balls

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Kyle, Adam and Russ discuss the holiday break, Sixers injuries and Eagles’ potential matchups.   We recommend subscribing in Overcast, the best iOS podcast player, and using the Voice Boost and Smart Speed functions, which improve sound quality (for all shows) and speed up small gaps in the conversation. Download Overcast and just search “Crossing…

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 08:40:15 EST from rss

Subject: Live Podcast at Carlino

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We’ll do it live! We’re excited to welcome Carlino’s Market as a new site and podcast sponsor. To kickoff our partnership, and the Eagles’ playoff run (game?), we are doing a live podcast from Carlino’s in Ardmore next Thursday, January 11, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. What’s in it for you? First off, FOOD.…

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 08:43:22 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Doug Pederson is ready to increase Jay Ajayi

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/3/18.

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Eagles readying Jay Ajayi for heavier workload - ESPN
Ajayi's recent absence could be a cause for concern. But it can also be viewed as a sign the Eagles are preparing him for a heavier workload in the postseason. They have been conservative in their use of Ajayi, even though he's averaged 5.8 yards per carry since coming over while looking like the team's most explosive back. Despite bursting onto the scene with a 46-yard touchdown run against the Denver Broncos days after being acquired from Miami, Ajayi carried the ball seven times on average over his first four games with the Eagles. He has experienced an uptick of late, averaging 14 rushes in his past three games. Pederson hinted those numbers could go up in the postseason.

Nick Foles might not have a long leash, and other Eagles takeaways from Doug Pederson’s press conference - BGN
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson held a press conference on Tuesday and touched on a number of different topics.

A look at Sidney Jones' rookie debut, with gifs and stuff - PhillyVoice
Overall, there was some good and some bad, which you would expect of a rookie playing in his first game after a torn Achilles in Week 17 of the regular season. That said, I think the next time Eagles fans will see Jones on the field will be during the 2018 season.

The Eagles - Iggles Blitz
Pederson has talked about the need to run the ball and play strong defense in the playoffs. The Eagles are going to throw some passes, of course, but I’m happy to hear him talk so much about the run game. When the weather is crappy, you just don’t want to be throwing 40 passes. You must run the ball. You must be able to win ugly.

Complete NFL playoff predictions through Super Bowl 52 - PFF
The Eagles, on the other hand, are still adjusting to Nick Foles, who has a 25.1 passer rating under pressure and 19.4 percent conversion rate on third down passing in relief of Carson Wentz (81.7 and 47.9 percent, respectively). It’s not difficult to see New Orleans, Carolina or Atlanta, with their plus-defenses and Super Bowl-pedigree quarterbacks, going into Lincoln Financial and upsetting Philadelphia.

No Question: Nick Foles Is The QB -
There is no doubt, even as some want to create it. The Eagles have Nick Foles as their starting quarterback for the playoffs ahead, with second-year man Nate Sudfeld in reserve. That’s the end of the conversation ...

How hard could coaching losses hit Eagles? - NBC Sports Philadelphia
That's not the only reason for the team's gradual and almost complete decline over the second half of Reid's tenure with the Eagles, but it definitely had a lot to do with it. Reid was never able to properly replace that original group. Whatever magic he had building from that original staff was gone. And after going 75-37 with eight playoff wins from 2000 through 2006, his last six years in Philly resulted in two postseason wins and a 50-45-1 record. Which brings us to 2018, and Doug Pederson's staff, which I think is almost as strong as Big Red's initial staff was two decades ago.

2018 NFL Free Agent Tracker - Rotoworld
Comprehensive list of upcoming free agents. Who should the Eagles sign?

The Playoff Crashers: Some Welcome New Teams and Fresh Faces for the Postseason - Sports Illustrated
Eight teams that didn’t make the postseason last year are in the playoffs this year—outsiders like the Bills, Rams, Jaguars and Titans and surprising high seeds Philadelphia and Minnesota. In what has been a tumultuous season, it’s a refreshing restart.

Ranking the NFL’s best and worst head coach openings in 2018 - SB Nation
Which head coaching job should be the most appealing this offseason?


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[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 09:00:10 EST from rss

Subject: The best photos from the Flyers loss to the Penguins

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January 2, 2018: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins featured gallery

Scroll through Kate Frese’s photos from last night’s Philadelphia Flyers game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 09:07:00 EST from rss

Subject: Your Wednesday Morning Roundup

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As streaky as the Flyers have been, they’re somehow still very much in the playoff picture. With a win last night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they would’ve been two points behind Carolina for the final wild card spot, and they’d be out of last place in the very competitive Metropolitan Division. But the Penguins managed…

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 10:00:07 EST from rss

Subject: Penguins 5, Flyers 1: Yep, still in last place

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Some observations for your morning...

We were so happy, so excited for a moment there, weren’t we? I guess all good things must come to an end. And here’s what we learned, in the process.

All stats via Natural Stat Trick and

1. Slow start

Remember in yesterday’s preview, when I said that the Flyers had to not do that slow start thing? That it wasn’t helping them, and they had to shape up? Well, they didn’t listen.

From the start, we had some issues. The first shift set the tone, was rough, as they failed to connect cleanly on passes and get much movement going. And this issue haunted them through much of the first period. Passing continued to be an issue, and the Flyers found a good number of their plays well broken up. They also spent a lot of time tied up in the neutral zone, and struggled to break cleanly into the offensive zone. As such, they had to resort to dump and chase, which hindered their ability to get plays going in the zone. So everything compounds everything, and all the things were bad.

Okay, maybe not all the things. We can be honest. But once again the slow start returned, and failed to do them any favors.

2. Slow start (part two)

And we’re not done talking about slow starts, either. When you look past the struggles in passing and generating controlled entries, there were still more problems. In general, the first period saw both teams failing to generate much in terms of offense. Through the first ten minutes of the period, the shots were 4-1 in favor of the Flyers, and it felt like kind of a slog. The effort was clearly present, but the emphasis seemed to fall more on breaking up their opponents’ plays, rather than cleanly generating their own.

But things turned around for the next twenty minutes. The Flyers were able to generate six more shots before the end of the first period, as well as draw a penalty that would send them on the power play, to start the second period. They seemed to be picking up steam, and were working to create more quality chances that they were so close to capitalizing on. So the slow start gave way to a bit of good hockey. And then, because we cannot have nice things, things went bad again. So it goes.

3. The power play is bad again

And such has been the story of the season--when the power play looks like it’s starting to get things turned around, like they might consistently be able to produce, they don’t. And, right now, we’ve arrived back at the latter.

The Flyers did well to draw penalties last night--four in total--and were able to convert on exactly zero of the power play chances they were given. And, to be fair, this can in part be credited to Pittsburgh’s aggressive penalty killing strategy coming up big, but the Flyers were all but useless to combat it.

And, for the love of god, get Dale Weise off the power play. The second unit has been struggling, and they needed to find something to help turn things around, sure, I can hear that. But the answer to the question of generating more offense is almost certainly not replacing Travis Konecny with Dale Weise. It isn’t working, and you have to think that they’ll have to figure something else out.

4. Well would you look at that, the penalty kill is still bad

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, it wasn’t exactly a banner night for the Flyers’ special teams. But while the power play’s struggles were relatively new--at least in this cycle--the penalty kill’s were not.

The Flyers did well enough in the best penalty killing strategy--that is, not taking penalties at all--but went 0 for 2 in killing the penalties that they did take. And sure, we can concede that maybe the first penalty shouldn’t have happened, if the trip Konecny himself took had been called. No second trip, no Kessel goal. And the second Pittsburgh power play goal was equally flukey, as the breakdown the allowed for it happened in part because Provorov blocked a shot to the leg and was having trouble staying upright, let alone blocking further shots. Sure, that’s all true. But, even so, the results still stand.

All this doesn’t change the fact that Pittsburgh was able to score just 26 seconds into their first opportunity, or that their methods are increasingly passive, and just plain not working. And I don’t know how much longer we can talk about this passivity killing them, before the team actually decides to do something about it.

5. Mixed bag of a night on defense

Matching the tone of the rest of the game, the performances by Flyers defenders were distinctly up and down.

The good: Ghost broke up three rushes, including one 2-1, in the first period. Manning set up Gudas from behind the net, and Gudas sent the puck in on net, for Weal to tip in, for the only Flyers goal of the night.

The bad: Khunhackl’s shot going straight through Provorov’s legs and past Elliott. MacDonald and Hagg getting caught on the same side of the ice, giving space for Sheary to breakout, and MacDonald getting beat, trying to catch him.

The ugly: Provorov blocked a shot in the leg while trying to kill off the Raffl penalty. He struggled off the ice, clearly feeling quite a bit of discomfort.

More good: He took a few more shifts at the end of the game, and was walking around the locker room after the game without any ice or bandages or the like. So at least there’s that.

6. But that thing Gudas does actually worked!

But we have to give credit where credit’s due, and a nod to perhaps the strangest turn of events in last night’s game.

What started as a frustration and now is mostly just a thing to laugh at (but still be frustrated about, in our hearts of hearts) is how, nearly without fail, whenever Gudas gets the puck, he will shoot it at the net, no matter how far away he is. And this, as you can imagine, this has led to a pretty low conversion rate for him. But he keeps up with it, anyway.

So, when Manning fed him from low in the zone, Gudas did exactly what you’d think he would--he shot. And something remarkable happened. Tipped by Weal, it flew right into the net, resulting in a Good Hockey Goal. Imagine that. And while it’s a method that hasn’t produced much in the way of results, and likely won’t be doing so any time soon, the Flyers were hurting for goals last night, and we’ll certainly take whatever we can get.

7. Revolving door of goaltenders

In short, last night was not a good night to be a goaltender playing in the city of Philadelphia. After sustaining an injury in the second period, Tristan Jarry was replaced by Matt Murray for the rest of the game. Then, after giving up four goals in the third period, Elliott was pulled in favor of Neuvirth.

Elliott, despite the four goals, didn’t appear to be in altogether poor form. He didn’t make any major mistakes, and didn’t appear, on the surface, fatigued. But the four goals allowed still stand. On the other hand, let’s be fair, this was his 14th straight start, and he was due for a less than exemplary game. It’s just a shame that it came last night.

And how did Neuvirth do, in his return to Flyers ice? He was alright. He stopped 10 out of 11 shots faced, only allowing for the one power play goal. He wasn’t flashy, but he got the job done. So, on the whole, not a bad reintroduction.

8. Match-ups not working

Remember back to last Friday, when the Flyers took home a triumphant victory over the Lightning. That was nice, right? Even on a less than optimal lineup, they still somehow got it done.

As such, it was no surprise when news broke that the lineup for last night’s game would be the same, and Sanheim and Leier would remain healthy scratches. Agree with the thought process or not, you could kind of see where Hakstol was coming from with this plan. If it worked once before, this lineup should be able to continue to get results, right?

Wrong. So wrong.

And perhaps the clearest example of how this was so was the fact that the Flyers allowed not one but two goals from the Penguins’ fourth line, who haven’t exactly been dominant up until this point. And maybe there’s an argument to be made for wanting to match up against a big, heavy line with a heavy line of your own. Fine. But when your own big, heavy line isn’t getting it done, you have to stop and wonder if you’re actually putting the optimal lineup out there. And last night, to put it plainly, they didn’t.

9. And it all sort of crumbles, in the end

We talked at length about how the very beginning of last night’s game was not so great, and so too was the end. Down by three goals, they slowly started to sag, culminating in a distinctly lackluster third period. And while, in those final 20 minutes, they managed to only give up one goal, they also let Pittsburgh close the gap in shots--an area where the Flyers had held an edge through most of the game.

In the third period, they didn’t completely break down and start self destructing with a huge number of penalties taken, as we’ve seen them do in the past. Rather, all of the energy just sort of left them. What promised, going into it, to be a high-intensity divisional game fell flat. It was a team looking tired after days of rest. The frustration was palpable, and they’ve got to hope that they can do something, channel this, and turn things around.

10. The only damn thing I know

It must have been a pretty quiet night for Crosby. I know that without even looking at his stats for the game. I know that because the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center--who booed loudly literally every time he touched the puck--was also pretty quiet, on the whole. Outside of a few pockets of boos, we didn’t get too much of it. The downside? When it went quiet, it was spooky quiet. The building was as full as I’ve seen it recently, and you could hear a pin drop, at times. I wonder why that could be.

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 11:00:04 EST from rss

Subject: BSH Radio reacts following a 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh

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New year, same Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers kicked off 2018 with an embarrassing effort in front of the Wells Fargo Center crowd on Tuesday night, falling to their biggest rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-1.

Philly fell asleep in the middle of the second period, surrendering four goals in four minutes to the Pens, including a pair of goals to the fourth line, allowing both Ryan Reaves and Tom Kuhnackl each to tally their second goals of the year. Reaves and Kuhnackl combined for four points on the evening.

Michal Neuvirth saw his first action in a month, relieving Brian Elliott to start the third period, but the change did little to spark the Flyers as they settled for perimeter shots all night and did little to threaten Pittsburgh’s three goal lead before Jamie Oleksiak netted his second goal of the season at 14:04, just to add insult to injury.

Check out the Facebook Live postgame video below for the immediate reaction you’ve come to know and love from your favorite BSH Radio host.

Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Tuesday, January 2, 2018

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 11:38:00 EST from rss

Subject: New Year, Same Story: Five Takeaways from Penguins 5, Flyers 1

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As many of you know from my last post, I’ve been missing the past few Flyers games (live) because of my involvement with Big Daddy Graham’s “A Row Home Christmas.” But as it turns out, I haven’t been missing much. The Flyers are what we thought they were, and have been, and will continue to…

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 12:00:02 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers prospect report: Oskar Lindblom breaks out

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Morgan Frost and Matthew Strome also headline this week’s prospect fun

Phantoms update:

12/20 - 5-4 OT LOSS
12/23 - 3-2 WIN
12/27 - 5-4 WIN
12/29 - 3-1 WIN
12/30 - 5-2 LOSS

Philippe Myers (D): 4 GP, 2 assists, 3 shots, 4 PIM
Undrafted Free Agent

Myers is back from injury! He last played on November 25th. It’s been a injury-ridden year for Myers as he sits at just 18 games in his first professional season. He has 9 points (2 G, 7 A) so far, but remains the Flyers best defensive prospect not playing in the NHL.

Mark Friedman (D): 4 GP, 7 shots
2014 3rd Round Pick, 86th overall

I feel like a bit of a broken record here, but still no goals for Friedman who has put up 57 shots on goal in 32 GP.

Danick Martel (LW): 5 GP, 1 assist, 17 shots, 6 PIM
Undrafted Free Agent

That certainly won’t help his shooting percentage this season. Despite the slow week, Martel is still 5th in AHL goal scoring with 17 goals in 32 games.

Mike Vecchione (C): 3 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, 2 PIM
Undrafted Free Agent

Vecchione makes his return to the Phantoms lineup, being out since 12/9 with an injury. He picked up his 8th goal and 15th assist. I know its only been 29 games, but there should be a point this season where Vecchione gets another crack at the Flyers lineup.

Nicolas Aubé-Kubel (RW): 5 GP, 1 goal, 8 shots, 8 PIM
2014 2nd Round Pick, 48th overall

NAK snags his 9th goal, tying his career-high from last season (though taking 36 less games to do so). The turnaround for Aubé-Kubel has been a bright spot among actual Phantoms prospects this year as his outlook was not looking too well entering the season.

Oskar Lindblom (LW): 5 GP, 4 goals, 3 assists, 13 shots
2014 5th Round Pick, 138th overall

After a slow start to the year, it might be time to start getting excited about Lindblom again. In his last 17 games he has 16 points (8 G, 8 A), which puts his overall season numbers (25 points in 35 games) into perspective.

Alex Lyon (G): 2 GP, 4 GA, 67 saves
Undrafted Free Agent

Alex Lyon makes his return to the Phantoms after serving as a permanent bench warmer for the Flyers the past couple weeks. More excitingly, he actually puts up two of his better performances of the season. His SV% creeps up over .900% for the first time since November.

Phantoms Notes: Samuel Morin (D) and Mikhail Vorobyev (C) both remain out with injuries.

Notable Canadian junior performers this week:

Connor Bunnaman (C/LW), Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
2016 4th Round Pick, 109th overall

  • 12/28 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 shot, 7 for 7 FOW
  • 12/29 - 1 goal, 1 shot, 4 for 7 FOW
  • 1/1 - 4 shots, 1 for 5 FOW

As Craig noted last week, Bunnaman is having a nice little season for himself. He is now up to 35 points (17 G, 18 A) in 35 games. You can see his 17th goal here.

Anthony Salinitri (LW/C), Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2016 6th Round Pick, 172nd overall

  • 12/28 - 5 shots, 8 for 9 FOW
  • 12/31 - 1 goal, 5 shots, 3 for 3 FOW
  • 1/1 - 1 assist, 2 for 7 FOW

Salinitri keeping pace with his numbers for last season, sitting at 0.92 points-per-game after having a 0.88 pace in 16/17. His 35 points (16 G, 19 A) in 38 games puts him 5th in team-scoring for Sarnia.

Morgan Frost (C), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
2017 1st Round Pick, 27th overall

  • 12/28 - 1 goal, 2 shots, 2 PIM, 13 for 21 FOW
  • 12/29 - 2 assists, 2 shots, 10 for 18 FOW
  • 12/30 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 shots, 14 for 23 FOW

Perhaps Team Canada didn’t need Frost for their World Junior Championship roster, but instead Frost gets to continue contributing to Sault Ste Marie’s incredible season, who are on an astounding 23 game winning streak. In that stretch, Frost has 46 points (17 G, 29 A). Overall on the season he has 60 points (21 G, 39 A) in 36 games, leading the OHL in scoring. Here is Frost’s 21st goal of the season.

Isaac Ratcliffe (LW), Guelph Storm (OHL)
2017 2nd Round Pick, 35th overall

  • 12/28 - 2 goals, 2 shots, 2 PIM, 0 for 2 FOW
  • 12/30 - 2 goals, 6 shots, 1 for 1 FOW
  • 12/31 - 0 shots

Ratcliffe had the moves last week, potting goals 15 through 18. You can see two of his goals here. He has 32 points (18 G, 14 A) in 35 games, which is 2nd best on his team and tops among forwards.

Matthew Strome (LW), Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 106th overall

  • 12/28 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 shot, 1 for 1 FOW
  • 12/30 - 2 goals, 4 shots, 1 for 1 FOW
  • 12/31 - 1 goal, 4 shots, 0 for 2 FOW

Once again folks like Morgan Frost are really overshadowing what Strome is doing this season. Strome now has 40 points (21 G, 19 A) in 35 GP and is on pace (1.14 PTS/G) to shatter his previous career-high (62 points in 66 GP). Here is his 21st goal of the season.

Carsen Twarynski (LW), Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
2016 3rd Round Pick, 82nd overall

  • 12/27 - 2 shots, 0 for 3 FOW
  • 12/29 - 4 shots, 5 PIM, 1 for 5 FOW
  • 12/30 - 1 shot, 2 PIM, 2 for 2 FOW

This was the first time since a 3-game stretch back in mid-October in which Twarynski hadn’t scored any points. He still sits at 39 points (24 G, 15 A) in 34 games.

Pascal Laberge (C), Victoriaville Tigres / Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
2016 2nd Round Pick, 36th overall

  • 12/28 - 1 shot, 3 for 9 FOW
  • 12/30 - 2 shots, 6 for 7 FOW
  • 12/31 - 1 shot, 2 PIM, 4 for 10 FOW

A trade to Quebec couldn’t jump start Laberge’s season. In 34 games this season, Laberge has just 20 points (6 G, 14 A).

Juniors Notes: Maksim Sushko (LW), Carter Hart (G) and German Rubtsov (C) are all participating in the World Junior Championships. Look for a full report on them (and Linus Högberg) after the tournament concludes this week.

Notable European performers this week

David Bernhardt (D), Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
2016 7th Round Pick, 199th overall

  • 12/19 - 1 shot, 11:53 TOI
  • 12/21 - 13:48 TOI
  • 12/26 - 2 shots, 17:43 TOI
  • 12/28 - 1 shot, 13:29 TOI
  • 12/30 - 2 shots, 08:31 TOI

The yo-yoing of ice-time continues for Bernhardt, as he still sits at 3 points (1 G, 2 A) in 29 games.

David Kaše (C/W), Mora IK (SHL)
2015 5th Round Pick, 128th overall

Hopefully Kase is back from injury for good. The first year SHLer has 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in 22 games.

Olle Lycksell (RW/C), Linköping HC (SHL)
2017 6th Round Pick, 168th overall

  • 12/19 - 08:10 TOI
  • 12/26 - 1 assist, 1 shot, 2 PIM, 09:48 TOI
  • 12/28 - 2 shots, 10:15 TOI
  • 12/30 - 1 shot, 10:02 TOI

Lycksell is back in the SHL after a short stint in Allsvenskan and juniors. Across 3 levels of competition this season he has 24 points (11 G, 13 A) in 37 games as an 18 year old.

Ivan Fedotov (G), Toros Neftekamsk (VHL)
2015 7th Round Pick, 188th overall

It was not a great week for Fedotov, whose season has been as equally not great. He sports a .895 SV% in 20 games for Toros.

Kirill Ustimenko (G), MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg (MHL)
2017 3rd Round Pick, 80th overall

Ustimenko sure is something, getting his 7th and 8th shutout of the season. In 35 games he has a .929 SV%, which is 9th best in the MHL.

Euro Notes: Linus Högberg (D) is out of the lineup for Växjö as he plays for Team Sweden at the WJC. Felix Sandström (G) remains out of action with what seems to be a season-ending injury.

Notable NCAA and USHL performers this week:

Wade Allison (RW), Western Michigan University
2016 2nd Round Pick, 52nd overall

  • 12/28 - 1 goal, 2 assists, 2 shots, 1 for 2 FOW

After a long break, college hockey is back in action and it appears Allison hasn’t missed a beat either. He has 28 points (15 G, 13 A) in 20 games, leading the NCAA in scoring.

Tanner Laczynski (RW/C), Ohio State University
2016 6th Round Pick, 169th overall

  • 12/29 - 1 goal, 3 shots
  • 12/30 - 1 assist, 2 shots

Laczynski’s impressive season continues with his 9th goal and 16th assists and is just 3 points off Allison for the league-lead.

Cooper Marody (C), University of Michigan
2015 6th Round Pick, 158th overall

  • 1/1 - 1 shot, 13 for 23 FOW

Marody falling behind his fellow Flyers forward prospects, sitting at 25 points (4 G, 20 A) in 17 games out of the break.

Brendan Warren (LW), University of Michigan
2015 3rd Round Pick, 81st overall

  • 1/1 - 1 assist, 1 shot, 0 for 1 FOW

Warren gets a point to give him 6 (3 G, 3 A) in 17 games this season.

Noah Cates (LW), Omaha Lancers (USHL)
2017 5th Round Pick, 137th overall

Cates has been steady as he goes, though perhaps slightly under par or where most thought he’d be this season offensively. While no regulation goals this week, he did have the shootout winner in the 12/30 game. Overall this season he has 16 points (6 G, 10 A) in 24 games. Cates had 7 points in 11 games last season.

Matej Tomek (G), Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
2015 3rd Round Pick, 90th overall

Tomek picks up his first career shutout, improving his season numbers with a .912 SV% in 13 games.

NCAA Notes: Wyatt Kalynuk (D) and Terrance Amorosa (D) are still on break, but will be back in action this week.

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 12:03:54 EST from rss

Subject: Here

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Joel Embiid remains doubtful for tonight’s game against the Spurs with a sprained right hand suffered in the Phoenix win. San Antonio didn’t hold a shoot around, so we’ll have to wait to see who suits up for the visitors on the second night of a back to back. That’s it for the morning update.…

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 12:37:15 EST from rss

Subject: NFL Rumors: Some sources are downplaying Jim Schwartz to the Giants

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Slow down on Schwartz to NYG?

There’s been a lot of buzz about Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz potentially being the next head coach of the New York Giants.

Pro Football Talk continues to push the idea that Schwartz is David Gettleman’s guy. ESPN said Schwartz is “expected to be a favorite -- if not the favorite” for the job and will interview for the vacancy this week. NFL Network also said Schwartz is expected to be a “strong favorite.”

But while the big media outlets might be connecting Schwartz to New York, one Giants beat writer is singing a different tune. Check out what Gary Myers of the New York Daily News had to say about Schwartz’s chances.

So why the conflicting information?

One theory is that the big media outlets are being fed by Schwartz’s agent, who is trying to create a competitive market for his client. The Giants might have some level of interest in Schwartz, sure, but it might not be to the extent it’s being made out to be.

It’s also possible Myers could be wrong. But I’d wager it’s less likely he’s pushing an agent-driven agenda compared to the other outlets.

In addition to being expected to interview with the Giants, Schwartz has also been linked to the Cardinals head coach vacancy. Arizona has reportedly requested an interview with the Eagles’ DC.

I’ve maintained that it wouldn’t shock me if Schwartz gets a head coaching job, but I still think it’s more likely he stays around as Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator for at least another season.

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 13:41:30 EST from rss

Subject: Why Eagles fans should actually be rooting FOR the Saints on Wild Card weekend

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The Eagles’ best chance to move onto the NFC Championship Game is against Drew Brees and New Orleans. I’m not kidding.

Ahhhhhh.... it’s nice to be on the bye this weekend, huh?

While four NFC teams are killing each other in two wild card match-ups, the Eagles get to kick back, rest up, heal, and get in an extra week of practice as they await either the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers or Atlanta Falcons to come to Philadelphia a week from Saturday.

Of course, the Birds have some issues to deal with, like how to get Nick Foles to stop his Brandon Weeden impersonation, how to get the run game going again, how to generate a few more sacks from the defensive front, and who to use in the secondary. It’s entirely possible the Eagles will be an underdog at home as the No. 1 seed in the divisional round, something that has never happened before.

So, of the three teams who are playing on wild card weekend that could visit the Linc in just over a week (as the No. 3 seed, the Rams cannot be one of the teams to play here), who should you be rooting for? Who would be the best match-up for the Eagles?

It’s the Saints.

Yep, the Saints.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking some kind of amoeba has attached itself to my frontal lobe and is slowly eating away at it. New Orleans was No. 2 in the NFL in total offense (391.2 yds/gm) this year, No. 5 in both passing (261.8 yds/gm) and rushing yards (129.4 yds/gm) and No. 4 in total points scored (28.0 per game).

Of the three QBs who could come into Lincoln Financial Field next Saturday (Drew Brees, Cam Newton or Matt Ryan), Brees is the only one who has ever won a playoff game on the road. And Brees did it in Philadelphia. In 2013. Against Nick Foles and the Birds.

Look, I get it. It sounds dumb. But it isn’t.

The Eagles clearly have a problem at QB. Unless we see the “hot” Foles in two weeks, the passing offense is going to struggle. Reports indicate the Eagles plan to run the ball a lot more in their playoff opener, no matter the opponent, and opening running lanes for Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, and Corey Clement is essential to the Eagles putting enough points on the board to win.

Having Stefen Wisniewski back at left guard will be a big help, but what will also help is for the Eagles to match up against the team with the worst run defense among the Saints, Falcons and Panthers - and that is the Saints.

This year, New Orleans was No. 16 against the run, giving up an average of 111.7 yards per game (the Eagles were No. 1, by the way, at 79.2 yds/gm). Atlanta was No. 9 (104.1 yds/gm) with Carolina a very stingy No. 3 (88.1 yds/gm).

And if you’re scared of the Saints’ offense, running the ball effectively will keep Brees, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and the rest of their high-scoring unit on the sidelines. Besides, if the Eagles defense plays as well as expected, I like the chances of them holding down a good offense like the Saints more than I like the Nick Foles-led offense scoring off a better defense.

I get the arguments for the other teams. The Falcons weren’t the same offensive team this year without Kyle Shanahan running things, and Matt Ryan had a down year. But let’s not pretend Julio Jones and Devonte Freeman aren’t scary dudes in a one-game playoff.

And yes, the Eagles beat the Panthers earlier this season in Carolina, 28-23, one of their more impressive victories of the season. Newton threw three interceptions in that game and completed just 28 of 52 passes. But their defense held Carson Wentz in check for much of that contest, and has the best chance of any of the three teams at shutting the Eagles down completely with Foles in there.

I believe the Eagles can beat any of these three teams, especially if Foles plays well (don’t laugh, it could happen!). But if I had to choose which team I want to see, which team gives the Birds the best shot at moving on, I choose the one that will allow us to run the ball the best.

And based on the 2017 regular season, that is the New Orleans Saints.

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 14:00:31 EST from rss

Subject: Number Crunchers: The Sixers, The Three Ball, and the Pace of Play

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This is the second installment of a data dive I’ll write periodically throughout the Sixers season. We did the first one after 10 games, when the team was 6-4 and had just wrapped up a five-game winning streak that carried into the west coast road swing. They were shooting the three-pointer at a high clip…

[#] Wed Jan 03 2018 15:09:48 EST from rss

Subject: Taking stock of NFL head coaching searches and how they impact the Eagles

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The NFL landscape is about to change once again.

Now that we’ve seen a number of NFL teams make head coaching changes, let’s take stock of what’s happened and how it impacts the Philadelphia Eagles.


Six out of 32 teams currently don’t have a head coach in place.


Bruce Arians retired. Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz are reportedly expected to interview with the Cardinals. Arizona doesn’t have an easy path to getting a quarterback, so I don’t know if Flip would really be crazy about going there.


Ben McAdoo got fired during the season. Some reports indicate Schwartz is a “favorite” for the New York job. Other reports are downplaying Schwartz’s chances of being the next Giants boss. Schwartz fits the Giants’ desire for an “experienced” candidate, but I don’t think he’s a slam dunk option thanks to his history with Detroit. Flip doesn’t fit the “experienced” mold the Giants are looking for so it doesn’t seem like he’ll end up with NYG, which is good.

If I’m the Eagles, I’d be rooting for the Giants to hire Pat Shurmur. He may have done some nice work with Case Keenum but based on my experience around him he’s just not that inspiring.


The Bears fired John Fox. DeFilippo is reportedly expected to interview with the Bears, which makes a lot of sense for both sides. Chicago should want Flip to work with Mitchell Trubisky.


The Lions fired Jim Caldwell. They haven’t been connected to any Eagles assistants yet. There’s been talk Detroit might want to keep offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. If that’s the case, Flip might not be a likely candidate. Schwartz obviously won’t be in the running for the Lions job.


The Colts fired Chucka Pagano. Indy should absolutely have interest in Flip. So far, there’s been no reported connection. Pairing Flip with Andrew Luck would make a lot of sense. That is, assuming Luck is going to return to football.


The Raiders fired Jack Del Rio. It sounds like the Raiders are really going to hire Jon Gruden. If that’s the case, one less job opening for an Eagles assistant.


The firings aren’t necessarily over just yet. It’s possible that one or two more jobs could become available.


There was thought Mike Mularkey would be fired if the Titans didn’t make the playoffs. Well, Tennessee got in, but I wonder if Mularkey keep his job if the Titans gets blown out by the Chiefs on Wild Card weekend. Flip could be a candidate for this opening since he’d be good to pair with Marcus Mariota. Schwartz has old connections to Tennessee but I don’t know if they’re really hot for him.


There’s been talk about Bill O’Brien being on the hot seat. He’s reportedly set to get an extension, though, so maybe he’s safe after all. Something to keep an eye on, at least.


There were rumors going around that Pete Carroll, who turns 67 in September, might retire. He denied them. Carroll is the oldest coach in the NFL.


The expectation was that there was going to be a lot more than merely six job openings this offseason, but that’s not the case. A number of teams have shown commitment to their current head coaches.

Notable coaches who are safe include: Todd Bowles of the New York Jets, Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals (two-year extension LOL), Hue Jackson (despite being 1-31), Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos, Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins, Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers, and Dirk Koetter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


DeFilippo and Schwartz are the obvious names that could be moving on.

I really think Flip is more likely to leave than Schwartz is. Even if Flip somehow doesn’t get a head coaching job, teams would likely want to hire him as an offensive coordinator. The Eagles could block those OC requests, as they did last year, but they might not deny him that opportunity two years in a row.

As for Schwartz, I just don’t get the sense teams are really hot for him. Take this recent ESPN poll, for example. Out of 45 combined reporters/analysts/former players, Schwartz only got two fifth place votes. Compare that to Flip, who was ranked as the 11th overall best candidate. I think people are still sour on Schwartz’s time as a head coach in Detroit. That, plus I don’t think defensive head coaches are trendy in today’s NFL.

The names of Eagles offensive cordinator Frank Reich and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp have been thrown around as potential head coach candidates. They haven’t been really connected to any openings, though.


If the Eagles lose Flip, here are some candidates they could consider to replace him:

Jim Caldwell - Dating back to college, Caldwell has 15 years of experience as a quarterback coach. He most notably worked with Peyton Manning from 2002-2008. Joe Flacco had one of his best regular seasons under Caldwell in 2012. That’s also the year Flacco got really hot in the playoffs and won a Super Bowl. Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas was with the Ravens during Caldwell’s two-year stint in Baltimore.

Ben McAdoo - Man, this certainly wouldn’t be popular, and I doubt they do it, but the Eagles wanted to hire McAdoo over Doug Pederson. So I had to at least mention it. I’m sorry.

Press Taylor - Taylor is the Eagles’ offensive quality control/assistant quarterbacks coach. He was originally hired by the team in 2013. He’s only 29 years old (four years older than Carson Wentz). Philadelphia might be looking for a Flip replacement who has a little more experience.

Trent Miles - Listed merely as a “coaching assistant” on the Eagles’ website, Miles is an under-the-radar name to watch. The Eagles hired Miles in late August to an unspecified assistant role. It was reported that he’d be working with the team’s quarterbacks, so maybe that was the Eagles preparing for the possibility of Flip moving on.

If the Eagles lose Schwartz, here are some candidates they could consider to replace him:

Steve Spagnuolo - The Eagles reportedly wanted to hire Spags before hiring Schwartz. Spags seems like an obvious preference for Philadelphia. He might not be available, however, if the Giants actually hire Pat Shurmur as their head coach. Shurmur was the Rams’ offensive coordinator when Spags was a head coach in St. Louis.

Jack Del Rio - JDR has overseen some good units as a defensive coordinator. He has experience running both the 4-3 and the 3-4.

Gus Bradley - The Eagles seemed to be ready to hire Bradley as their head coach before they realized they could get Chip Kelly to leave Oregon after all. Bradley flopped as a head coach but he previously did some good work as a defensive coordinator in Seattle and with the Chargers in 2017. Bradley is a free agent because he only signed a one-year deal with Los Angeles.

Vic Fangio - Fangio is considered to be one of the best defensive coordinators in the league. He runs a 3-4 defense, though, so the fit might not work.

Chuck Pagano - Experienced option but he runs a 3-4 and the Ravens reportedly want him back. He also might just take a year off.

Cory Undlin - Some have suggested the Eagles could promote their defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator but I’d be surprised if that happened. Doug Pederson gives full control to his DC. That’d be a lot of control for a first-time coordinator in the case of Undlin.

Ken Flajole - If the Eagles were to promote any in-house candidate, Flajole at least has some DC experience. His defenses weren’t anything to write home about, so I doubt it happens, but it’s worth mentioning.

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