Previous month:
September 2013
Next month:
November 2013

Chip Kelly to Nick Foles: "Grip It And Rip It"

Nick FolesAfter a dismal performance against the Dallas Cowboys, Nick Foles has the opportunity to redeem  himself and capture the Eagles quarterback job Sunday in Oakland.                                  Photo courtesy: Washington Post.

Two weeks after playing the worst game of his professional career and perhaps one of the poorest showings of any Philadelphia Eagles quarterback in franchise history, Nick Foles will get back on the horse and take the ball Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

For Foles who for whatever reason rapidly regressed from his 133.3 passer rating three touchdown passes and one rushing score against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just one week prior morphed into a less than pedestrian quarterback throwing for just 80 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. The challenge now for the second-year quarterback is putting that dreadful afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field in the rearview. 

Continue reading "Chip Kelly to Nick Foles: "Grip It And Rip It"" »


Chip Kelly to Nick Foles: "Grip It And Rip It"

Nick FolesAfter a dismal performance against the Dallas Cowboys, Nick Foles has the opportunity to redeem  himself and capture the Eagles quarterback job Sunday in Oakland.                                  Photo courtesy: Washington Post.

Two weeks after playing the worst game of his professional career and perhaps one of the poorest showings of any Philadelphia Eagles quarterback in franchise history, Nick Foles will get back on the horse and take the ball Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

For Foles who for whatever reason rapidly regressed from his 133.3 passer rating three touchdown passes and one rushing score against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just one week prior morphed into a less than pedestrian quarterback throwing for just 80 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. The challenge now for the second-year quarterback is putting that dreadful afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field in the rearview. 

Continue reading "Chip Kelly to Nick Foles: "Grip It And Rip It"" »


Should Of Kept? Phillies Fans Pine For Shane Victorino

ShaneVictorino3

Last night the Boston Red Sox won their third World Series title in ten seasons when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 to take game six.    The Red Sox offense was little beyond David Ortiz for most of the series.  But game six went to the Red Sox thanks to the offensive contributions of former Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, who drove in four runs.  The box score will tell you that Victorino hit .154 in the World Series, but the big hits had Phillies fans wishing that Shane Victorino was still in a Phillies uniform.  

So, would the Phillies have better off keeping Victorino?   For a clear answer to that question, there are many things to consider.  It is clear, however, Victorino was a perfect fit for the Boston Red Sox.

What position would Victorino play on the Phillies?
Shane Victorino played right field for the Phillies in 2006 after Bobby Abreu was dealt to the New York Yankees and moved to center field in 2008 after the Phillies let Aaron Rowand walk away as a free agent.  When the Phillies were assessing their needs after 2012, the Phillies felt the clear need to bring in a younger, speedier center fielder.   A great deal of Victorino's outfield success came with his speed.  If he got a bad jump or took a bad route to a ball, his speed always made up for it.  However, as with any player in his 30s, Victorino's speed would surely decline so they looked for young Ben Revere.

Should the Phillies have signed Victorino to be a right fielder?  It is very easy to look at what Delmon Young gave the Phillies in 2013 and scream a resounding "YES!", but one must consider the goal of a right fielder on most teams.   The right fielder should be a power bat.  The Phillies did well with Victorino in right field in 2006 and 2007 because he hit like a second baseman while Chase Utley hit like a right fielder and Jimmy Rollins hit like a left fielder.  Victorino would not be seen as that power-type bat for the Phillies in right field, and Rollins and Utley have declined and are hitting more like traditional up-the-middle players.

The Phillies need a power bat in right field and that is more clear than ever.   With the Phillies committed to Rollins and Utley and a youthful center fielder up the middle, Victorino probably would not be a fit in right field.

Would Victorino Switch-Hit Or Bat Right-Handed?
Victorino found a lot of success giving up switch-hitting.   As a right-handed hitter, Victorino's stance hovers over the plate.  It caused him to get a hit a lot (he was hit 17 times as a right-handed hitter and only once as a left-handed hitter), but Victorino's stance as a right-handed hitter enabled him to get more of the pitches thrown his way.   Victorino hit 12 home runs (helping make up for Pedroia's career low of nine) from the right side of the plate, batted .309 , and got on base at a .376 clip (partially thanks to being hit).  The Red Sox found his successful spot.

Would the Phillies have figured out that Victorino is better suited to hit right-handed?  They probably should have.   Victorino's numbers were always exponentially better batting right-handed.  But Victorino would only bat right-handed against left-handed pitchers and knuckleballers.  In Victorino's last full season with the Phillies he posted an OPS of 1.032 as a right-handed hitter.  In 2010 it was  .934 and in the World Series seasons of 2008 and 2009 he had an OPS of .882 and .844 respectively.

Victorino has said he would return to switch-hitting next season, but I tend to doubt it.  His success as a right-handed hitter was too strong to give up at this point.

Boston is the Perfect Fit
I think much of Victorino's success has to do with the team he is on.   Right field in Boston is perfect for his defensive ability, and the coaching staff helped get the best out of Victorino.  Moving Victorino to right field may have been seen as a demotion to Victorino and he may not have taken it that well.  The Phillies did not have the offense elsewhere for Victorino to fit into the lineup and I am not sure that Phillies leadership would have thought to move him away from switch-hitting.  In this case, I think the enviornment. the needs of the team he signed with, and coaching of the Boston Red Sox all lined up perfectly for him to have success.  I am not sure he would have found it here in Philadelphia.

But of course, we Phillies fans are happy for him.  Congratulations on your ring, Shane.


Isaac Sopoaga Trade Opens Door For Young Eagles Linemen

Bennie LoganEagles nose tackle Bennie Logan is now officially a starter in the wake of the team trading Isaac Sopoaga Tuesday. Photo courtesy: Philly.com

In spite of him only getting limited snaps for the Philadelphia Eagles this season, the team trading away Isaac Sopoaga to the New England Patriots Tuesday certainly means more opportunities for the team's young defensive linemen. 

"I thought Isaac did a nice job for us, but we felt like we had a couple younger guys that we really need to continue to get in there, and when they've played, they continue to really produce," Kelly said Wednesday at the Novacare Complex. "I think Clifton Geathers is a great example.  Clifton Geathers played 13 snaps on Sunday versus the Giants and had three contacts with the ball, and he's a guy that just keeps getting better. I think Bennie Logan is a guy we need to see more of. Damion Square is a guy who was up for of course two games, but because we kept seven defensive linemen, we brought Vinny up and Square down, but you watch Square every day in practice and I think Square, Logan and Geathers need more reps."

Continue reading "Isaac Sopoaga Trade Opens Door For Young Eagles Linemen" »


Isaac Sopoaga Trade Opens Door For Young Eagles Linemen

Bennie LoganEagles nose tackle Bennie Logan is now officially a starter in the wake of the team trading Isaac Sopoaga Tuesday. Photo courtesy: Philly.com

In spite of him only getting limited snaps for the Philadelphia Eagles this season, the team trading away Isaac Sopoaga to the New England Patriots Tuesday certainly means more opportunities for the team's young defensive linemen. 

"I thought Isaac did a nice job for us, but we felt like we had a couple younger guys that we really need to continue to get in there, and when they've played, they continue to really produce," Kelly said Wednesday at the Novacare Complex. "I think Clifton Geathers is a great example.  Clifton Geathers played 13 snaps on Sunday versus the Giants and had three contacts with the ball, and he's a guy that just keeps getting better. I think Bennie Logan is a guy we need to see more of. Damion Square is a guy who was up for of course two games, but because we kept seven defensive linemen, we brought Vinny up and Square down, but you watch Square every day in practice and I think Square, Logan and Geathers need more reps."

Continue reading "Isaac Sopoaga Trade Opens Door For Young Eagles Linemen" »


Isaac Sopoaga Trade Opens Door For Young Eagles Linemen

Bennie LoganEagles nose tackle Bennie Logan is now officially a starter in the wake of the team trading Isaac Sopoaga Tuesday. Photo courtesy: Philly.com

In spite of him only getting limited snaps for the Philadelphia Eagles this season, the team trading away Isaac Sopoaga to the New England Patriots Tuesday certainly means more opportunities for the team's young defensive linemen. 

"I thought Isaac did a nice job for us, but we felt like we had a couple younger guys that we really need to continue to get in there, and when they've played, they continue to really produce," Kelly said Wednesday at the Novacare Complex. "I think Clifton Geathers is a great example.  Clifton Geathers played 13 snaps on Sunday versus the Giants and had three contacts with the ball, and he's a guy that just keeps getting better. I think Bennie Logan is a guy we need to see more of. Damion Square is a guy who was up for of course two games, but because we kept seven defensive linemen, we brought Vinny up and Square down, but you watch Square every day in practice and I think Square, Logan and Geathers need more reps."

Continue reading "Isaac Sopoaga Trade Opens Door For Young Eagles Linemen" »


Phillies Faithful Podcast: Episode 1

On the panel for the first ever episode of Phillies Faithful Podcast, we have Dan DeFeo, Nick Boccella, and Mike Elser.  We cover a range of topics, including the first few games of the World Series, comparing the Phillies to the Red Sox and Cardinals organizations, potential transactions for the Phillies, and things to be optimistic about.  We hope you enjoy!

http://philliesfaithful.com/wp-content/uploads/podcasts/PhilliesFaithfulPodcast-Ep1.mp3


Rant: Congrats to Shane, jealousy towards Boston

I want to muster up the energy to hate New England teams for winning another championship, roll my eyes at the increasingly spoiled fan base, and make passive aggressive comments about the post-game rioting that occurred in Boston but I just can't.

I don't have it in me.

Rather, I am jealous that the Red Sox organization has the right personnel in place to make wise and sometimes difficult decisions in order to properly rebuild the franchise over a very short period of time.

I want that here in Philly -- but not in the Ed Snider knee-jerk reaction way.

I want the Phillies to have the personnel in place -- *cough* new GM *cough* -- that can recognize when it's time to cut ties with a player, how to rid a team of bad contracts, and when it's appropriate to spend giant sums of money on both free agents and re-signing players.

I can be happy for Shane Victorino, at least. It's not like he wanted to be traded. As a matter of fact, he wanted a contract extension and then to come back to Philadelphia as a free agent.

I could probably do without a playoff team that was full of dirty Kevin Youkilis looking clones, though. And this:

[caption id="attachment_1086" align="alignnone" width="584"] Jennifah Gahnah[/caption]


Game Recap: Sixers take down the Heat 114-110

 Wow.

    After losing 15 consecutive regular season games to the Heat, the 76ers finally find a way to defeat them, winning tonight 114-110. With arguably the most unrecognizable roster in the NBA, the Sixers have officially shocked the basketball world tonight. 

    Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams burst onto the NBA scene tonight. He looked like a seasoned veteran, nearly achieving a tripple-double with 22 points (6-10 FG), 12 assists, and 9 STEALS! That is a rookie record for steals in a debut game. Oh, and he also grabbed 7 rebounds. He did all of this while turning the ball over just once all night. 

    Evan Turner led all scorers with 26, adding 4 rebounds and 5 assists. He shot efficiently from the floor (10-19), and the Sixers would love to see more of this from Turner this season. Turner and MCW both played over 35 minutes tonight. 

    Spencer Hawes turned in an extremely efficient night for the Sixers. In 29 minutes he put up 24 points (10-14 from the field!), 9 boards, and 2 assists. That kind of production from the center position is something the Sixers have been missing for years. If Hawes can consistently hover around 10-15 points per night with 7-10 rebounds per night, the Sixers will be in good shape. 

    Thaddeus Young's performance was a bit disappointing. He finished with 10 points on 5-15 shooting, with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 5 turnovers. The rest of the Sixers role players picked up the slack for Thad, and I expect he will bounce back from this performance next game. 

    The Sixers showed the world that despite their lack of talent, they can still compete with the best team in the league. Their hustle was outstanding, their teamwork was refreshing, and Brett Brown and Sam Hinkie have definitely caught the attention of this city. 

    The Sixers travel to D.C. to face the Wizards on Friday at 7 p.m

76ers Game One Preview: Heat @ 76ers

Thaddeus Young

The 76ers finished the preseason with a record of 2-5, which is very bad. Tonight will be their first regular season game this year. The Miami Heat played their first game yesterday actually, and they beat the Chicago Bulls by a score of 107-95. ESPN has the Miami Heat at number one in the power rankings to start the season, and they had the 76ers at number thirty, last in the NBA, so this game isn't too evenly matched.

Key Matchup: Evan Turner and LeBron James: Evan Turner might be the best player on this 76ers team, and LeBron James is the best player in the entire NBA, so obviously this is going to be a key matchup in  this game tonight. Evan Turner is a guy who needs to start playing well, or else he will be declared a bust. Turner, 24, was drafted second overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. He has been a quality player over the course of his short career, but he was drafted second overall a few years ago, he should be doing much better. This season, he will be a key player for these 76ers, and they might actually win a few games if he steps up and reaches his potential. LeBron James was drafted first overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. He has been a solid player throughout his NBA career. He was actually the MVP of the NBA last season, and he carried his team to a NBA title, so he is obviously a great player. If the 76ers have any chance at winning this game tonight, then Evan Turner will have to play well, and the 76ers will have to shut LeBron James down. This seems like a rather impossible task, but if the 76ers are going to win then it will have to happen. 

Game Prediction: Heat 102, Sixers 81: The Miami Heat are a much better team than the Philadelphia 76ers, in pretty much every aspect of the game. You'd think that the 76ers would have no chance, but this is the NBA and anything can happen because these guys are all professionals, and they all have good or bad games. That is why I think that the Heat will only win by 21 points. 

This game symbolizes the beginning of an era for the Philadelphia 76ers. They traded their best player Jrue Holiday over the offseason to get Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first round pick from the Pelicans. This season, the 76ers will be in full tank mode, because they want to get a good pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. This draft will be a good one, because there are many great talents in the lottery this year. This game is a game that 76ers fans have looked forward to for awhile, and I am very excited. This game will be broadcasted on Comcast Sportsnet at seven o'clock tonight.