Stock Up/Down: Camp Edition (Offense)

It’s been nearly two weeks since the Philadelphia Eagles reported to training camp. Us fans have finally gotten a look at the sort-of “new-look” Birds since they were eliminated by the Washington Football Team back in January. At last, we’ve been able to see the newest additions to the Eagles and how they’ve performed — whether they’ve exceeded or fallen below expectactions.

Keep in mind, its not been long — teams just started reporting to training camp on July 28th. However, the Eagles’ first preseason game against the Steelers is just 4 days away. Training camp prepared the team’s young players for these moments to make their mark, to show why they deserve playing time when it’ll truly matter. Before this chaos begins, let’s take a look at how training camp impacted the “Stock” of several players.

Jalen Hurts – Stock Same

Jalen Hurts has had a very confusing camp to this point. It’d be an exaggeration to say he’s been bad, because he hasn’t…but at the same time, we can’t necessarily say Jalen has been good, either. He experienced a shaky start to camp, completing just 5/14 passes, but gradually got better until just recently; he had his worst day of practice, as did the entire offense. We continue to see some beautifully placed passes from Hurts, but it may be followed by him missing simple passes. Due to this unpredictable play, Jalen’s stock won’t be touched for now.

Nick Mullens – Stock Up

From what I’ve been hearing, Nick Mullens has looked good in training camp thus far; he’s impressed the coaching staff, but has certainly had his ‘bad’ moments. However — as far as I’m concerned — these mistakes are easily fixable, and likely confidence more than anything else. Point being, Mullens’ overall camp performance has been positive.

Miles Sanders – Stock Same

When healthy, Miles Sanders is a phenomenal back. That’s been established. However, during camp, his poor play in the air attack — an issue that’s seemingly carried on from last season — is very prominent (mainly easy drops). This is unacceptable, especially after he was very effective in this area during his rookie season. It cannot happen, but at the same time, it’ll certainly not be something that holds the Eagles back.

Jason Huntley – Stock Up

Jason Huntley’s supposedly looked really, really good in training camp. He’s flashed great speed in the open field on multiple occasions. There haven’t been any negative comments regarding Huntley, and by the looks of it, he can very well make the 53-man if he keeps up his stellar play.

Kenneth Gainwell – Stock Up

Rookie, Kenneth Gainwell’s also been looking spectacular, particularly in the pass game. He’s constantly been a factor in the air attack, and Hurts has reportedly been targeting him at times as well. Gainwell can also pose a threat when rushing the ball with his explosiveness. It seems as if the Eagles have found another gem in this crowded backfield.

Jalen Reagor – Stock Down

Jalen Reagor’s camp has looked…well, bleak, to say the least. It began with a failed conditioning test, though, he wasn’t in the best mental state either. However, Reagor hasn’t been eye-opening once his mental state supposedly improved. There’s been several wide open drops talked about by the media. The sophomore’s definitely had his moments, including a sweet catch over Slay in 1o1’s, but there’ve been far too many simple mistakes that outweigh the nice moments.

Travis Fulgham – Stock Down

Travis Fulgham emerged as a reliable pass-catcher for this Eagles offense during the 2020 campaign, but unfortunately his role decreased as Alshon Jeffrey became healthy. Now that Jeffrey’s gone, it was expected that Fulgham would make a leap and flash his true potential. While its unfair to say he’s been a complete non-factor, there have been quite a few wide open drops, similar to Reagor. Difference is — due to expectations — Fulgham’s stock doesn’t take nearly as big a hit as Reagor’s.

Quez Watkins – Stock Up

Quez Watkins has been one of the few bright spots in this young WR core. He’s been able to expand his game from just using speed to beat defenders to winning at the line of scrimmage more often. During one play, Watkins completely burned his defender, Steven Nelson, along with the entire Eagles secondary for a 40-yard bomb from Hurts; this was just one of the few eye-catching plays he made. Watkins must be doing something right to be getting this much appreciation from the Philly media. He seems very comfortable in the offense, and could be a critical pass-catcher for Jalen Hurts.

John Hightower – Stock Same

John Hightower’s most definitely had his moments during camp so far. He had a beautiful down-the-sideline catch on a perfectly placed dart from Jalen Hurts in 11o11 and has done well in individual drills too. Unfortunately, Hightower’s also dropped some relatively easy passes and has shown little effort in the run-block…his stock remains untouched.

Jordan Mailata & Andre Dillard – Stock Up & Down

Regarding the LT battle, it’s transparent now; Mailata’s seemingly gotten better and has performed better while Dillard has seemingly gotten worse and played worse; nothing much more than that. Mailata will — barring anything unforeseen — be the Week 1 starter for Philadelphia.

Nick Sirianni – Stock Up (Bonus)

Nick Sirianni has been doing an amazing job with this young Eagles team. On one hand, he doesn’t let players get away with silly mistakes, and is always in their ear if he sees something he doesn’t like. He keeps his guys honest, and that’s something we’ve lacked for quite a while. On the other hand, Sirianni’s always bringing positive energy when someone does something right. The players seem to respect him, and when your group has that type of mutual respect, it’ll almost always translate to the field.

If you made it this far, I appreciate it! If you had to invest in one of these guys’ stocks, whose would it be?

76ers vs Thunder: Final

RING THE BELL! The 76ers finally take a W after a week of continuous L’s. They blew the OKC Thunder out of the water, 121-90!

Philadelphia 76ers

This was a much-needed win for the Sixers, and they knew it. The games started out very close. There was a lack of effort on defense from the Sixers, which allowed the Thunder to stay with them; then the 2nd quarter came. Philly started playing incredible defense, which led to easy buckets on the other side. At halftime, we were sitting with a comfortable 15-point lead. Once the 2nd half came, Sixers did not take their foot off the gas. The best part? No starter played over 25 minutes. Guys like Tyrese Maxey, Paul Reed, Dwight Howard, Rayjon Tucker, and Isiah Joe among others were able to close out the game.

Again, what stood out most was the defensive play from Philadelphia. They had a total of 22 steals and 7 blocks compared to OKC’s 11 and 1. We also forced a whopping 30 turnovers.

Oklahoma City Thunder

If you’re the Thunder, what are you supposed to do in this situation? The youngest team in the league that sits near the bottom of the Western Conference had to go against an experienced Sixers’ team fighting for the top spot in the East. There was no doubt on how this game would pan out.

However, the Thunder must be credited for something, and that was their ability to capitalize off turnovers; OKC had 35 total points off turnovers, compared to Philly’s 19.

Best Performances:

PHI:

  • Joel Embiid – 21 PTS | 5 REB | 3 STL
  • Ben Simmons – 12 PTS | 3 STL | 2 BLK
  • Tobias Harris – 11 PTS | 4 AST | 4 STL

OKC:

  • Darius Bazley – 14 PTS | 2 AST | 7 REB
  • Ty Jerome – 22 PTS | 2 AST | 2 REB
  • Moses Brown – 11 PTS | 1 AST | 8 REB

Overall, this was a great team performance by the Sixers, and we expected no less, going against this inexperienced Thunder squad. Let’s hope we can transfer the momentum onto Atlanta on Wednesday!

76ers vs Thunder Preview

The Philadelphia 76ers will be taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at 7:00 PM EST! This is a very important game for the 76ers; they’re on a 4-game skid, and this is a perfect time for them to turn it around before the end of the season. There’s also a chance they get some key reinforcements back!

Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia has blown their last 4 games to the Warriors, Suns, and Bucks (twice). However, injuries have played a major role in their — quite frankly, pathetic — losing streak. As a result of the losing streak, Sixers currently hold the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. It shouldn’t be a tough turnaround, though, as Philly has the easiest remaining schedule in the NBA, according to ESPN, while the Brooklyn Nets (who currently hold the 1st seed), have to play the Bucks (twice), Nuggets, and Mavericks.

PHI Injury Report:

  • Joel Embiid – QUESTIONABLE
  • Ben Simmons – QUESTIONABLE
  • Danny Green – QUESTIONABLE
  • Tobias Harris – QUESTIONABLE
  • Furkan Korkmaz – QUESTIONABLE
  • Paul Reed – QUESTIONABLE

Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City has been absolutely atrocious this season; they sit near the bottom of the Western Conference (13th seed; 20-40), and are in the midst of a 13-game losing streak. However, this is the youngest team in the NBA and one that is, thus, rebuilding. Thunder have also dealt with several injuries, and that doesn’t change tonight.

OKC Injury Report:

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – OUT
  • Luguentz Dort – OUT
  • Josh Hail – OUT
  • Mike Muscala – OUT
  • Gabriel Deck – OUT
  • Tony Bradley – QUESTIONABLE

A loss tonight would be absolutely embarrassing. Whether or not we are missing 2 guys on the injury report or all of them, we’d have to try to lose this game.

Important Information for Tonight’s Game:

  • Against? – Oklahoma City Thunder
  • When? – 7:00 PM EST
  • Where? – Wells Fargo Center
  • TV? – NBCSP

76ers vs Bucks Preview

For the final time this season, the Philadelphia 76ers will take on the Milwaukee Bucks. These two clubs battled it out on Thursday, but the outcome wasn’t in Philly’s favor: Milwaukee won, 124-117. The Sixers look to avoid the season sweep against the Bucks, as they are 0-2 against them this season.

Philadelphia 76ers

Like we just mentioned, the 76ers are coming off a horrible loss to the Bucks. Milwaukee seemed to hit nearly every shot they attempted, and the Sixers couldn’t respond; their play on the offensive end was pretty good, they just couldn’t make any defensive adjustments. A lot has to change this afternoon. Harris HAS to be more impactful consistently, rather than just here and there today. Though he’s coming off an injury, the team needs to see his normal form sooner rather than later. It will give Embiid more than enough room to operate if he can keep the defense honest. We must also see a change in the defense: whether that be schemes, execution, etc. More on-ball pressure is needed. Starting Thybulle may help immensely. Philly cannot afford to give up all momentum and dig themselves in a hole, expecting to come back against Giannis.

PHI Injury Report:

  • Ben Simmons – OUT
  • Paul Reed – OUT
  • Joel Embiid – QUESTIONABLE
  • Furkan Korkmaz – QUESTIONABLE

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are coming off a massive victory against the Sixers, just 2 days ago; they’re looking to translate that energy to today’s matchup; most importantly, Milwaukee’s looking to replicate the magnificent shooting. They’re also looking for another great performance from starters, Giannis, Middleton, and Lopez, along with Portis off the bench. These guys practically handled business by themselves! However, it shouldn’t be as easy this time around; Bucks should most definitely expect changes in the Sixers play, on both ends of the ball.

MIL Injury Report:

NO INJURIES.

Tune in at 3:30 PM EST, on ESPN, to watch Philly battle Milwaukee in their final matchup of the season!

76ers vs Bucks: Primetime Matchup Preview

The Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks will be facing each other for the 2nd time this season in a primetime matchup! The last time these clubs matched up, Philly was without the presence of MVP candidate, Joel Embiid. Despite the disadvantage, the Sixers put up a respectable fight, not giving the Bucks any breathing room up to the final buzzer.

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers are coming off a loss to the Phoenix Suns just last night. They were missing 3 starters, including DPOY candidate, Ben Simmons, All-Star caliber player, Tobias Harris and sharpshooter, Seth Curry. Though this game will go in the losing column for Philly, the short handed squad showed tremendous fight. Phoenix was never able to get comfortable. Joel Embiid had a dominant performance, scoring, (38 points), and doing the dirty work, (17 boards), as he continued his MVP campaign. Though the 76ers lost, Philadelphia still holds the No. 1 seed with Brooklyn close behind, (0.5 games back).

PHI Injury Report:

  • Ben Simmons – OUT (illness)
  • Tobias Harris – AVAILABLE (right knee soreness)
  • Seth Curry – AVAILABLE (left hip flexor)

Milwaukee Bucks

The Suns seem to be giving every Eastern Conference contender trouble, beating the Bucks on Monday. Khris Middleton had just hit a game-tying 3-pointer with approximately 22 seconds left in regulation. Moments after, Devin Booker was fouled by PJ Tucker on a controversial call that resulted in game-winning free throws for the 2x All-Star. Giannis Antetokounmpo left the game in overtime with a leg cramp. Milwaukee is currently on a 2-game losing streak and 3.5 games back from 1st place in the Eastern Conference.

MIL Injury Report

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo – PROBABLE (leg cramp)

Along with being an important exhibition matchup for both parties, this is also a potential playoff series preview. Hopefully the Sixers are healthy and can come out with the W!

The Eagles Are Once Again Being Linked To A Deshaun Watson Trade

Another report stating the Philadelphia Eagles have interest in acquiring Texans star QB Deshaun Watson. Mike Fisher reported this morning that a trade can happen anytime after the draft. The obvious roadblock in preventing a trade is Watson’s legal issues. Watson is currently facing 21 allegations of sexual assault. One case has been dismissed but we are a long ways away from this issue being resolved. Innocent or not this process will be very exhausting. It will be long and won’t be solved anytime soon.

The Eagles continue to monitor the situation which shows the teams interest and willingness to acquire Watson. Jeff McLane dropped a report 2 or 3 weeks ago stating Eagles GM Howie Roseman ‘is willing to give up everything he has’ for the star QB.

While there’s obvious interest on Philly’s end, we’ve yet to here about the Texans being willing to trade the 25 year old QB. Watson has given in a formal trade request but the Texans front office isn’t budging. Before all these allegations came in, the Texans showed they had no interest in trading Watson…but we don’t know if these allegations change the teams mind. Stay tuned for more on the Watson situation and what the Eagles are willing to do.

Kyle Lowry Mock Trades

Many executives think it’s time for the Raptors to move on from Kyle Lowry, and the Raptors are reportedly open to doing so. Several teams are supposedly interested in the 34 year-old guard, including the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Miami Heat, Sixers and Clippers being the favorites.

Lowry could boost Philly’s chances of coming out of the East and potentially winning a title. Why? He’d provide instantaneous production alongside Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid. Lowry is still playing at an All-Star level, averaging 17 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game. It would just add another option for Philly to rely upon when others aren’t working, and Lowry is a court-general. As of now, Simmons is playing that role, but with Lowry, it would allow Ben Simmons to be more aggressive. Acquiring Lowry would add yet another closer to the Sixers, on top of Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. It would allow Doc to be more creative with his game planning. The best part? Lowry has just 1 year left on his contract, so Philly doesn’t have to keep paying him. It also shouldn’t be too expensive to trade for Kyle. With that, let’s look into some mock trades.

Mock Trade #1 | TOR: Danny Green, Mike Scott, Terrance Ferguson, Vincent Poirier, 1st round pick | PHI: Kyle Lowry

In this trade, Philly would be giving up Green, Scott, Ferguson, and Poirier, Green being the only rotational player. In return, they’d get back Kyle Lowry. Toronto may not be getting back the value they’re giving, which means Sixers would HAVE TO throw in a first round pick to spice up the deal. Ferguson may turn out to be a good depth piece for the Raptors as a young 3&D player.

Mock Trade #2 | TOR: Danny Green, Mike Scott, Tony Bradley, Furkan Korkmaz, Vincent Poirier | PHI: Kyle Lowry, Patrick McCaw

This trade has more parts than the previous one. Toronto would again be receiving Danny Green, Mike Scott, and Vincent Poirier, but this time the trade would also include Furkan Korkmaz and Tony Bradley. Philadelphia would receive Kyle Lowry, and this time, Patrick McCaw. Raptors may have to throw in another player, but according to ESPN’s Trade Machine, this trade is valid. I feel that this trade is a win-win for both teams. Philly would be receiving Kyle Lowry and gain some extra depth with Patrick McCaw. Toronto would be getting a familiar face in Danny Green & Furkan Korkmaz, two rotational players for them. Raps would also be gaining front-court depth with Tony Bradley, something that seems to be a need for them.

Mock Trade #3 | TOR: Danny Green (76ers), Lou Williams (Clippers), Patrick Patterson (Clippers), Terance Mann (Clippers), Mfiondu Kabengele (Clippers) | LA: Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Furkan Korkmaz (76ers) | PHI: Marcus Morris Sr. (Clippers), Luke Kenner’s (Clippers)

Last one is a three-team trade! The Sixers aren’t receiving Kyle Lowry in this one, but the other favorites in the Clippers will be. There are a lot of moving pieces in this one. Let’s start with the Clippers. They’d be getting Kyle Lowry whom they’ve expressed interest in, and some backcourt depth to make the loss of Mann and Williams easier. For the Raptors, they’re getting a large haul. Danny Green from the Sixers who’s on a 1-year deal, Lou Williams from the Clips who’s on a 1-year deal, Patrick Patterson who’s on a 1-year deal, and then Kabangele and Mann, both of them being on 3-year deals. Finally, the Sixers get Marcus Morris Sr. and Luke Kennard. All teams seem to be getting what they want here, but the Clippers have to give up a significant amount of players. However, Mann and Williams are the only ones getting minutes. Overall, I think this trade benefits most teams in the long run.

Thanks for reading!

5 Free Agents the Phillies Should Consider

Not only did the Phillies fail to make the playoffs in 2020, but their postseason drought is also now the longest in all the National League. It has been 9 years since the ballclub has played a meaningful game in October, and the faithful are starting to grow restless. It comes as no surprise that ownership has decided to make a change.

General Manager Matt Klentak lost his job after last season, and the front office has since undergone a makeover. Dave Dombroski was brought in to serve as the President of Baseball Operations, and Sam Fuld was promoted to the GM title. Dombroski and his team have spent the last several months making moves to gear up for the upcoming season, bolstering the team in the process.

With that being said, there are still a few glaring holes on the roster, most notably in the bullpen and off the bench. Here are 5 names the Phillies should consider bringing in with Spring Training fast approaching.

  • Jose Alvarez (LHP)
    Alvarez spent the last 2 seasons as a reliever with the Phillies and has pitched rather effectively. His 2020 campaign ended prematurely after taking a line drive off the groin, and his production was sorely missed. The southpaw could serve as a veteran of sorts to a largely inexperienced bullpen group.

  • Tyler Clippard (RHP)
    Few bullpen arms have logged as many innings as Tyler Clippard over the past decade, but that’s for good reason. The guy flat out knows how to pitch, and get hitters out late in games. He would be a welcome addition to the backend of the bullpen.
  • Matt Joyce (OF)
    The veteran outfielder has spent the past few seasons in the NL East, with Atlanta and Miami. A power threat from the left-hand side, Joyce could take the spot occupied by Jay Bruce, who did not resign. Joyce also has connections with GM Sam Fuld, being the two played together in Tampa Bay.

  • Jason Kipnis (UTL)
    The longtime Cleveland Indian spent his first season in the NL last year with the Cubs and helped them capture a NL Central title. Kipnis, a two-time all-star, may not have the bat-speed he once had in his prime, but I feel as if he still has something left in the tank.
Image result for jason kipnis
  • Brad Miller (UTL)
    “Bamboo Brad” had a stint with the Phillies in 2019, and was well-liked by fans and teammates alike. Miller is a strong utility man, who can play multiple positions. Our bench could use his bat from the left-hand side.

Potential Eagles 2021 Draft Gems, Episode 16: Dillon Radunz

Player Preview:
Dillon Radunz, left tackle
6’5, 304 pounds

High School Career:
Dillon is from Becker, Minnesota where he had a great high school football career. In two seasons of starting, he won back-to-back 4A state championships as their left tackle. At one point, he also finished Top 10 in Mr. Football in Minnesota (the best high school football player in the state) in 2015. The winner was J.D. Spielman, the wide receiver who later played at Nebraska and TCU. Rudunz was also a team captain and All-State, All-Metro, and district MVP.

College Career:
At North Dakota State, Dillion would redshirt his first season in 2016, the only time the Bison didn’t win a national championship in his tenure. In his redshirt freshman campaign, he, unfortunately, got hurt week one with a season ending knee injury. In his sophomore season, he started 15 games at left tackle, with 626 snaps and only allowing 3 sacks while also getting 27 knockdowns in that season, resulting in him receiving 1st Team All-MVFC. His junior campaign is the most important one for him, as he was consensus first-team All-American for the FCS, and unanimous All-MVFC as well. In 16 games, he played 682 snaps, didn’t allow a single sack, and recorded 63 knockdowns, while going on to be a part of the first national championship team that went 16-0 in a season.

Summary of why he would fit in Philadelphia:
With the newest head coach Nick Sirianni previously of the Indianapolis Colts, it seems that it will be a more run-first offense in Philadelphia. With that being said, Radunz is a great run blocking tackle leading the way for one of the top offenses in the FCS. He has some higher class athleticism as well, with the settled mix of power in his hands. He performed against some of the most-talented edge rushers the Missouri Valley offered and succeeded. If they move forward with Jalen Hurts at quarterback, Radunz has great experience blocking for mobile quarterbacks, with protecting Easton Stick (former 5th round pick of the Los Angeles Chargers) and Trey Lance (a projected top 15 pick in this year’s draft.) With his track record of protection only 3 sacks given up in 2 years, you can say he excels in pass protection as well. Lastly, with each year, the Eagles seem to always be snakebitten with injuries. By selecting Radunz, that would endure a safety blanket to the left side of the line and brings in a tackle with some of the best potential in the entire class.

With his solid showcasing at the Senior Bowl, Dillion might have improved his draft stock to high 2nd round to perhaps a sneaky late first-round selection which Philadelphia would have to trade back in to get. This would be a great pick in the long run in my opinion.

Phillies, Realmuto Agree to 5-Year Contract

Heeeeee’s Back! *Tom McCarthy Voice

After months of anticipatedly waiting, the Phillies got their guy. Yesterday, J.T. Realmuto signed on a 5 year contract worth $115.5 million. The deal will make Realmuto the highest paid player at his position, going by average annual value (AAV). The man who many believe to be the best catcher in baseball, or BCIB, will now be in town through the year 2025.

Since the beginning of 2015, only Yadier Molina has caught more games behind the plate than Realmuto. Given the length of the deal, one might question whether he will spend the entirety of contract behind the plate. With that being said, I would never bet against him. Realmuto has the stamina and athleticism that most backstops can only dream of. He runs the bases exceptionally well for a catcher, and his baseball instincts are unmatched.

Realmuto is a career .278 hitter, with 95 home runs in the big leagues. The two time all-star made his debut with Miami back in 2014, and has spent his whole career playing within the NL East. Despite having played 7 years at the highest level, Realmuto has never made the postseason. The Phillies are hoping that will change in 2021.

What’s Next?

With Realmuto back in the fold, the front office will look to fill other holes on the roster. Adding a shortstop remains a hot topic, and Didi Gregorius remains unsigned. With a bunch of names coming off the board in recent days, (Galvis,Simmons,Semien), he remains the likely target. The team has also been linked to 2nd baseman Kolten Wong, and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr, if they decide to go a different route.

In other news, the team added two arms on minor league deals in right-handers Bryan Mitchell and Ivan Nova. Both guys are familiar with manager Joe Girardi, having pitched with Yankees at the start of their careers. I would expect more minor league deals in the near future with spring training quickly approaching.