Rookie head coach Nick Sirianni is trying to project positivity, which isn’t easy to do when the Eagles have problems upon problems with a 2-5 record.
On Wednesday, Sirianni threw on rose-colored glasses and revealed that he had talked to the team about comparing it to … a flower.
“Keep watering, and look at yourself first and know, are you watering and are you fertilizing every day?” Sirianni said. “So, when it’s time to pop, it will pop.”
— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport
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As columnist Marcus Hayes noted, Sirianni’s been spreading fertilizer for months. His schemes don’t work with the personnel, and his decision-making from the sideline has been questionable. He has spoken about need for a Dawg Mentality and wore a “Beat Dallas” shirt that only ended up with the Eagles getting a beat-down in Dallas.
All this, and the Eagles chose to hire Sirianni over Duce Staley — a familiar face they’ll see coaching for the other team in Detroit. In an alternate universe, would Staley have resorted to hokey analogies and hibernated the running game?
This week, the Eagles will likely play against the Lions without Miles Sanders, who is recovering from an ankle injury. That means carries for Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott. To KC Joyner, the Eagles won’t necessarily see a drop-off and shouldn’t go back to a pass-heavy offense.
Off the Dribble
How good have the 76ers been through their first four games? While the Sixers have hardly produced a sizable sample, the early warning signs suggest the team is middling at best without Ben Simmons. A trend has emerged through their early slate: win against bad teams, find a way to lose against good teams. This held true in wins against the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder and losses to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. This week should provide another test of that theory with the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks coming to town tonight and Saturday, respectively.
Next: The Sixers return to Philly for a 7 o’clock game tonight against the Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center, the first contest in a four-game homestand.
On the Fly
The Flyers played the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, but NHL games took a backseat to disturbing off-ice news from Chicago.
After the results of an investigation into alleged sexual assaults by former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich against two former players were released Tuesday, on Wednesday, one of the unidentified players revealed himself to be former Blackhawks first-round pick Kyle Beach.
“I think, obviously, it’s a big issue, and the NHL is going to handle it the right way, like they always do,” Flyers defenseman Yandle said when asked about the Blackhawks assault case. “I think, in the locker room, we’re a brotherhood here, and everyone’s working together, trying to make a living for ourselves. And we’ll have some good, healthy conversations about it.”
On the ice, Yandle and the Flyers earned a statement win to begin their western Canada road trip, beating the previously unbeaten Edmonton Oilers by a score of 5-3. Cam Atkinson scored twice, including the game-winner, while Carter Hart stopped 34 of 37 shots in an impressive homecoming.
Next: The Flyers will play the second leg of a back-to-back tonight against the Vancouver Canucks at 10 (NBC Sports Philadelphia). Martin Jones will start in goal against the team he grew up rooting for.
Carli Lloyd is passing the torch to a new generation of U.S. women’s soccer players — fast-footed, tricky talents who are more than ready to run with it, as they told Jonathan Tannenwald.
The Union and their fans were warned by Tannenwald about New York being a trap game, and then Jim Curtain’s team still proceeded to fall right into it. What’s next now that they’ve missed the chance to clinch a playoff spot? Beware, because Tannenwald is also sounding the alarm on Alejandro Bedoya, the team’s cornerstone veteran, needing more load management.
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Worth a look
All better? Penn State heads into its showdown against Ohio State with some positive news: After playing at less than full strength in last week’s nine-overtime loss to Illinois, quarterback Sean Clifford is feeling 100% healthy.
Perfection at risk: Welterweight Jaron Ennis puts his undefeated record on the line Saturday in Las Vegas against Thomas Dulorme. A Philadelphia native, Ennis looks forward to eventually getting a title fight.
Golf fans bilked: Turns out stealing and reselling golf tickets is a lucrative business, until the crime is discovered.