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Eagles Acquire Defensive Tackle Hassan Ridgeway from Colts

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

On day one, the Birds moved up in the first-round to grab offensive tackle Andre Dillard. On Friday, they selected running back Miles Sanders and receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside. While a trade back seemed to net the Eagles an additional draft selection, defensive end Shareef Miller and quarterback Clayton Thorson were the team's only day-three selections.

Rather than pick a rookie in the seventh round, the Eagles and Howie Roseman worked out a deal that would get the team defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway from the Indianapolis Colts and send Frank Reich the 246th pick.

It is a move that resembles the one that Roseman made in the 2017 offseason when he acquired Tim Jernigan from the Ravens. Like Jernigan, Ridgeway joins the Eagles on the final year of his rookie deal. Unlike Jernigan, Ridgeway does not bill as a starter.

Continue reading "Eagles Acquire Defensive Tackle Hassan Ridgeway from Colts" »


Soul Win Season Opener as Romain Sets Franchise Interceptions Record

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Philadelphia Soul DB James Romain celebrates his first of two pick-6 interceptions opposite the Atlantic City Blackjacks and QB Randy Hippeard on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Wells Fargo Center (Kyle Bennett/Underground Sports Philadelphia).

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Kicking off its 14th season in franchise history before 9,245 fans, the Philadelphia Soul (1-0) edged Arena Football League newcomer Atlantic City Blackjacks (0-1), 48-41.

Taking the field for his 10th season in the league, Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh completed 21 of his 31 attempts, with one interception, combining for 151 yards and two touchdowns, one each to Darius Reynolds and Darius Prince. Fullback Adrian Ferns rushed for three touchdowns while netting 12 total yards.

With the win, the Soul won their fifth straight season opener, as well as their seventh straight game against a Ron James-coached team.


Romain Sets New Franchise Record

Last season's AFL Defensive Back of the Year, James Romain, made history in the second quarter. With the Soul down 20-7 and the Blackjacks threatening to extend their lead even further, Romain intercepted Blackjacks QB Randy Hippeard and went the distance for a 50-yard pick-6.

The interception, Romain's 33rd with the Soul since 2013, broke his tie with Eddie Moten (2005-08) for the most in franchise history.

With approximately five minutes to go in the third quarter, Romain would come up with another clutch pick-6, his second of the game to give the Soul their first lead following the successful extra-point (34-27).

Romain is the first AFL player to record multiple pick-sixes in a game since the Cleveland Gladiators' Joe Powell, against the Soul in 2016; he is the first Soul player to accomplish such feat since Joe Goosby in 2012. Also, Romain is one of the Soul's six returning defensive players from the 2018 season, in which he had four interceptions overall.


Game Notes:

  • Season-Opening Scuffles: Similar to tension seen at the Soul and Blackjacks' joint scrimmage on April 13 in Pitman, the season opener featured multiple scuffles between the two teams, culminating to two ejections with with just 48 seconds left in the first half: Blackjacks NG Micnaor Regis and Soul G Neal Tivis. The ejections happened after Darius Prince's touchdown at the end of the second quarter.
  • Serious Injury: With under seven minutes to go, Raudabaugh was picked off by Blackjacks DB Marvin Ross, who was carted off with a serious injury. Ross gave a thumbs up to the Philadelphia crowd.
  • Blackjacks’ receiver LaMark Brown finished with 79 yards and three touchdowns.

Stats

At Halftime

  • 1st downs: PHI 8, AC 5
  • Rushes-yards (net): PHI 6-3, AC 1-1
  • Passing yards (net): PHI 81, AC 90
  • Passing attempts-completions-interceptions: PHI 16-9-0, AC 13-8-1
  • Total offensive plays-yards: PHI 22-84, AC 14-91
  • Fumble returns-yards: PHI 0-0, AC 0-0
  • Punt returns-yards: PHI 0-0, AC 0-0
  • Kickoff returns-yards: PHI 2-21, AC 1-27
  • Interception returns-yards: PHI 1-50, AC 0-0
  • Punts (number-average): PHI 0-0.0, AC 0-0.0
  • Fumbles-lost: PHI 1-1, AC 0-0
  • Penalties-yards: PHI 0-0, AC 2-5
  • Possession time: PHI 17:17, AC 12:43
  • Third-down conversions: PHI 2/5, AC 2/2
  • Fourth-down conversions: PHI 2/3, AC 0/0
  • Red-zone scores-chances: PHI 2/2, AC 3/4

End-of-game

  • 1st downs: PHI 17, AC 10
  • Rushes-yards (net): PHI 12-8, AC 1-1
  • Passing yards (net): PHI 151, AC 171
  • Passing attempts-completions-interceptions: PHI 31-21-1, AC 26-18-2
  • Total offensive plays-yards: PHI 43-159, AC 28-172
  • Fumble returns-yards: PHI 1-16, AC 0-0
  • Punt returns-yards: PHI 0-0, AC 0-0
  • Kickoff returns-yards: PHI 3-38, AC 4-76
  • Interception returns-yards: PHI 2-73, AC 1-10
  • Punts (number-average): PHI 0-0.0, AC 0-0.0
  • Fumbles-lost: PHI 1-1, AC 1-1
  • Penalties-yards: PHI 5-30, AC 7-24
  • Possession time: PHI 35:17, AC 24:43
  • Third-down conversions: PHI 3/8, AC 3/4
  • Fourth-down conversions: PHI 3/4, AC 0/0
  • Red-zone scores-chances: PHI 5/5, AC 4/6

Scoring Summary:

1st quarter

  • AC, 7-0: QB Randy Hippeard to WR LaMark Brown (9 yards); 11:32 left in quarter
  • AC, 14-0: Blackjacks recover fumble on their kickoff to Soul; QB Randy Hippeard sneak (1 yard); 10:05 left in quarter
  • PHI, 7-14: FB Adrian Ferns rushing TD (1 yard); 1:11 left in quarter

2nd quarter

  • AC, 20-7: QB Randy Hippeard to WR LaMark Brown (38 yards); extra point missed; 14:14 left in half
  • PHI, 14-20: DB James Romain pick-6 (50 yards); 9:34 left in half
  • AC, 27-14: QB Randy Hippeard to WR LaMark Brown (14 yards); 6:35 left in half
  • PHI, 20-27: QB Dan Raudabaugh to WR Darius Prince (3 yards); extra point missed; 1:32 left in half

3rd quarter

  • PHI, 27-27: FB Adrian Ferns rushing TD (11 yard); 7:37 left in quarter
  • PHI, 34-27: DB James Romain pick-6 (23 yards); 5:34 left in quarter
  • AC, 34-34, QB Randy Hippeard to WR Antwane Grant (28 yards); 2:35 left in quarter

4th quarter

  • PHI, 41-34: QB Dan Raudabaugh to WR Darius Reynolds (3 yards); 14:16 left in game
  • AC, 41-41: QB Randy Hippeard to WR Kendrick Ings (2 yards); 5:56 left in game
  • PHI, 48-41: FB Adrian Ferns rushing TD (2 yards); 3:43 left in game

Soul Injury Report:

  • Center Jahlil Mathis-Ellis left game in 1st quarter and was replaced by tight end PK Manley. DB Willie Bailey also left with an injury; neither he, nor Mathis-Ellis, returned.
  • DE Sean Daniels walked off the field with approximately 13 minutes and 30 seconds to go. WR Darius Reynolds was shaken up late in the fourth, while completing a pass (59 seconds to go), with the Soul up 48-41. Both Daniels and Reynolds returned to action.
  • Injured reserve: OL Kyle Avaloy, FB Brandon Cottom, WR Josh Holderfield, WR DJ Myers

What's Next:

  • Friday, May 3, 2019: at Baltimore Brigade (1-0), 7 p.m.
    • TV: NBCSP+; Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Eagles Select DE Shareef Miller in Fourth, Clayton Thorson in Fifth Round of Draft

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

While Howie Roseman was active in the trade market on Thursday night as he moved up in the first-round to grab offensive tackle Andre Dillard, he stood pat on Friday, selecting running back Miles Sanders and receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the second round with the picks they already had prior to the start draft.

As such, it should not be suprising that Roseman was active on Saturday. His moves were very limited with only two picks in the final four rounds, but the team did make a move with the Patriots to move back four spots in the fifth round to acquire a seventh-round pick.

Eagles Trade Down in Round Five

Eagles Receive
Patriots Receive
Rounds
Pick
Round
Pick
5
167
5
163
7
246

Continue reading "Eagles Select DE Shareef Miller in Fourth, Clayton Thorson in Fifth Round of Draft" »


Phillies Reinstate SS Jean Segura from Injured List

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies will be delighted to hear that, prior to the club's Saturday evening matchup against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, shortstop Jean Segura has been reinstated from the 10-day injured list.

Segura, 29, was placed on the IL last Saturday, retroactive to his most recent appearance on April 16, with a left hamstring strain. Segura suffered the injury while running the bases in the first inning during the Phillies' blowout home win against the New York Mets and Steven Matz. in which the southpaw failed to record an out.

The Phillies hoped the two-time All-Star in Segura would be able to return to the lineup without an injured list stint, however they did not want to rush him back following slower-than-expected healing.

Segura was off to a strong start prior to his injury, slashing .328/.384/.478 with five doubles, one triple, one home run, 10 RBI, one stolen base, five walks and 11 strikeouts spanning 16 games and 73 plate appearances. He has five hits, including one double and one home run, three RBI and three walks over his last 15 plate appearances dating back to April 14.

With fellow shortstop Scott Kingery also on the injured list for a hamstring strain, Phil Gosselin and Sean Rodriguez had been filling in at the position for the current-first-place Phillies. Neither were sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley as a corresponding move for Segura's reinstatement, however, but rather outfielder Dylan Cozens, who grounded out in his 2019 season debut on Friday, a pinch-hit appearance.


Phillies Acquire INF/OF Hunter Stovall from Rockies

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Prior to the Philadelphia Phillies' 4-0 shutout victory over the Miami Marlins on Friday, the club dealt southpaw James Pazos — one of the players acquired from the Seattle Mariners for J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana — to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for minor league INF/OF Hunter Stovall.

Stovall, 22, slashed .281/.414/.439 with eight singles, seven doubles, one triple, two RBI, 12 walks and 12 strikeouts spanning 18 games and 70 plate appearances with the South Atlantic League's Low-A Asheville Tourists this season. The Birmingham, Alabama, native was selected in the 21st round of last year's amateur draft. The Mississippi State University alumnus homered in each of his first two professional at-bats last July.

Pazos, 27, was designated for assignment just two days prior to the trade; he posted a 3.39 ERA with 110 strikeouts through 103 2/3 innings over the last two seasons in the majors. At Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2019, he posted a 6.14 ERA and 2.045 WHIP over seven appearances and 7 1/3 innings.


Soul Set to Host AFL Newcomer Blackjacks in 14th Season Opener

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The 2019 Philadelphia Soul revealing their new uniforms with a group picture at the "Meet the Team" event at Colonial Marble on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 (Matt Rappa/SportsTalkPhilly.com).

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

This afternoon, the three-time Arena Football League champion Philadelphia Soul will kick off its 2019 season opposite league newcomer Atlantic City Blackjacks at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Soul are coming off a disappointing finish to their 2018 season, after winning back-to-back championships in the two seasons prior. They begin their quest for a fourth championship on Saturday — the first time opening the season at home since their first championship season in 2008.

“One thing that hasn’t changed for the Philadelphia Soul: Our goal is to be the world champions,” said Soul owner Ron Jaworski. “We were not last year. Our goal is to be the world champions this year ... It’s all about winning. And we know where the greatest fans in the world are…right here in
Philadelphia.”

Among a slew of six rookies on the 2019 Soul roster, veterans that played key roles during the team's recent championship run also make up the 24-man set, including quarterback and former league MVP Dan Raudabaugh and wide receiver Darius Reynolds

Last season's Defensive Back of the Year James Romain, and First Team All-Arena wideout Darius Prince — who recently played in the now-defunct AAF — also have returned. In addition to Prince and Romain (first-team), the Soul have five other returning players who were named to All-Arena teams last season: DE Jake Metz on the first-team, along with WR Aaron Wascha, C Phillip-Keith Manley, OL Neal Tivis, and DB Dwayne Hollis on the second-team. Six defensive players from last season have also returned, including Romain and Hollis.

Raudabaugh said it is the team's "job" and "mission" to win another championship, and that "anything else is unacceptable." “We’ve got the right guys. The right culture is growing here in Philly,” he said.


Game Notes:

  • The Soul look for their fifth straight season opener victory; they are 10-3 all-time to open the season.
  • The Blackjacks will play their first-ever game, coached by two-time AFL Coach of the Year Ron James. The last time James coached an AFL game was against Clint Dolezel and the Soul in ArenaBowl XXX, when his Tampa Bay Storm fell 44-40. James has lost six straight games to the Soul as head coach.
  • With 88 coaching wins, Dolezel needs six more to pass current Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden for the seventh most in AFL history. Dolezel is 88-40 all-time (including playoffs), 77-32 with Philadelphia.
  • Raudabaugh will begin his eighth season with the Soul, and the 10th season of his career; he is coming off an injury-plagued 2018 season where he missed five games, albeit throwing 36 touchdowns, just six interceptions, and a career-high 69.4 pass completion percentage.
  • Prince's return from the AAF is much welcomed by the Soul; the 2017 ArenaBowl MVP caught a team-high and league second-best 24 touchdowns in 2018 spanning 89 overall receptions and 1,076 receiving yards.
  • Romain (2013-present) needs just one more interception to set the Soul franchise record. He is currently tied with Eddie Moten (2005-08) with 32.
  • Last season, Soul wide receivers Prince, Reynolds, and Wascha combined for 2,498 receiving yards and 59 touchdowns (58 receiving, 1 rushing). Reynolds (2016-present) needs just five more receiving touchdowns to reach 91 and move into second place in franchise history, trailing only Tiger Jones (117, 2012-14).
  • The Soul and Blackjacks faced off in a joint scrimmage exactly two weeks ago at Virtua/Total Turf Experience in Pitman, New Jersey, welcoming the new Atlantic City franchise to its first action against a league opponent. Total Turf is home to the Soul practice facility this season.

Broadcast Information:

  • Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.
  • TV: NBCSP+
  • Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

What's Next:

  • Friday, May 3, 2019: at Baltimore Brigade, 7 p.m.
    • TV: NBCSP+; Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Eagles Add Two Offensive Weapons in Second Round of Draft

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Eagles GM Howie Roseman is typically extremely active during the NFL draft and likes to move around in the draft.

Fans saw him do just that on Thursday night as he moved up in the first-round to grab offensive tackle Andre Dillard. Dillard would most certainly have gone to the Texans one pick later had the Birds not moved up.

Friday night was just the opposite. The Eagles had two picks and they took both of them without moving up or down. In fact, the Eagles really didn’t need to move with the first half of the second-round featuring offensive lineman, corners and a quarterback, the three positions that were of the least interest to the Birds.

Continue reading "Eagles Add Two Offensive Weapons in Second Round of Draft" »


Eagles Trade Up, Select Offensive Tackle Andre Dillard in First Round of Draft

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

2017 was the last time that the Eagles made a first-round selection. It was the year that the Birds selected defensive end Derek Barnett. It was the year Philadelphia hosted the draft.

Of course, it was also the year the franchise won it’s first Super Bowl.

On Thursday night, the Eagles made their first selection on the first day of the draft since then, making Andre Dillard, a tackle from Washington State, the 22nd overall pick.

Continue reading "Eagles Trade Up, Select Offensive Tackle Andre Dillard in First Round of Draft" »


MLB Suspends Mets Pitcher Who Threw at Phillies' Hoskins

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

New York Mets pitcher Jacob Rhame and Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Jared Dudley have received anything but positive comments from Philadelphia fans in recent days.

Dudley, for being vocal in more ways than one in the series against the Sixers, and Rhame for throwing multiple times near Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins' head on Tuesday.

Both the Sixers and Phillies had their "sweet revenge," respectively eliminating the Nets in the playoffs and Hoskins launching a two-run home run, followed by an approximate 34-second-long home run trot around the bases at Citi Field.

Things got "sweeter" on Thursday, as MLB announced it has suspended Rhame two games, as well as fined an "undisclosed amount," for "intentionally throwing" at Hoskins. Unless he appeals, Rhame's suspension will start Friday.

Rhame, 26, has allowed three runs through as many appearances and 3 1/3 innings this season. The Atlanta, Georgia, native has a career 6.65 ERA and 1.634 WHIP through 42 appearances since debuting in September 2017.


NBC Sports Philadelphia to Broadcast All 2019 Blackjacks, Soul Games

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The 2019 Philadelphia Soul revealing their new uniforms at the "Meet the Team" event at Colonial Marble on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 (Matt Rappa/SportsTalkPhilly.com).

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Less than two days remain until the Philadelphia Soul begins their quest to capture a fourth championship over 14 seasons, kicking off the 2019 season home against the Atlantic City Blackjacks.

While attending games is filled with excitement, fans who cannot make it down to the Wells Fargo Center will not miss any action. On Thursday, the Soul announced that all 12 of their 2019 games will be simulcast on either NBC Sports Philadelphia (NBCSP) or NBC Sports Philadelphia+ (NBCSP+) — marking the eighth consecutive season that the network will broadcast their games.

Continue reading "NBC Sports Philadelphia to Broadcast All 2019 Blackjacks, Soul Games" »