Football players are liars. At least that is true much of the time. I love the game and I love players, but they are generally the worst source of info. Players exaggerate, good and bad. They tell you what they think you want to hear. Half the time I think they are trying to convince themselves that something is true.
I mention this in regard to things we'll hear this summer from players about where they are. The Eagles have several guys coming off injury. All of them are fine. Actually, awesome. They will all start and feel the best they ever have. Super Bowl, here we come.
Okay, I'm exaggerating a wee bit (I use the word wee to honor Craig Ferguson. He now has the best sidekick in late night history - Geoff Peterson). Some players are doing well. It sounds like Stewart Bradley is in excellent shape and will play at a high level. Other players I'm less certain about.
Marlin Jackson talked to the media on Wednesday about how good he felt and how well he moved. Les Bowen said that "He ran with a noticeable limp...". GCobb mentioned something very similar. Another beat writer used the words "still hobbling". Marlin feels great that he's on the field and running around. We can't confuse how he feels with how he looks.
Cornelius Ingram is back. Expect him to be a little rusty. He tore his ACL last August. That's plenty of recovery time, but the Eagles have moved him along slowly to make sure he heals right. I'm sure his body will have an adjustment period as he gets re-accustomed to running around and making football moves. Jogging is one thing. Running a pass pattern is completely different (unless your name is Moss or Owens and you decided to take the play off). Ingram said all the right things to PE.com, but he's nowhere close to 100%. I think he'll work into pretty good shape and I expect him to be the backup TE this year. He still has about 8 weeks until the pads go on at Training Camp. He'll improve quite a bit between now and then.
Very few people in society like to be critical of themselves. Football players are no different. There is no game film to study so guys can say whatever they want. Of course most will be overly positive. I'm not trying to pick on these guys, but the reality is that you can't trust what most players say to the media, especially what players say during the spring and summer. We have to listen to and read what they say because there isn't any game action and we're all dying for any decent football talk. Just keep in mind who the messenger is when taking in stories and interviews.
* Jamar Chaney got snaps at WLB. He played there as a Sophomore so the position isn't entirely foreign to him.
* Quintin Demps spoke to the media and said all the right things yesterday. He got a big piece of humble pie last summer when Macho got his starting job. Actions speak louder than words. We need to see Q back up his talk with what he does on the field. The fact we drafted 2 Safeties tells you that the Eagles don't fully trust him. Q is a good KOR and still has the potential to be a starting S. He's got to convert talent and potential into work and production. Both Q and Max talked about their wife and family affecting their more serious approach to the game and their careers. Let's hope that is true and both players play accordingly.
* I mentioned yesterday that Nate Allen is fully healthy and practicing. This really is great news. We need him and Marlin Jackson to fight for the FS job. Allen is the complete package, but only a rookie. Marlin is the talented veteran, but has the bum knee(s). I want Nate to get as many reps as possible so that he's can win the job or at least make it tough for the coaches to choose between him and Jackson. Macho somewhat got the job by default last year. We need someone to outright win the FS spot this time around.
The basketball gods are confused. They screwed up and somehow gave the Sixers the #2 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. This is sort of exciting, even for a passive NBA fan like myself.
My first sports love was Dr. J. I have been a Sixers fan since 1976 (ironically, I guess). That was the year that Doc moved from the Nets to Philly. Listening to Dave Zinkoff do the pre-game intro for Erving used to give me goose bumps. Still does, actually. The team added guys like Bobby Jones, Mo Cheeks, and Andrew Toney. What wasn't to love? Then came Moses Malone and a title. Life was good.
Harold Katz broke the team up quickly enough. The Sixers managed to remain pretty good in the late 80s with Charles Barkley. Once he was gone the team fell apart. I kept my interest as long as I could, but football became my passion. The team drafted Allen Iverson and things began to look up when he and Larry Brown got together. The trip to the Finals in 2001 was magical. I loved over-achievers like Aaron McKie and Eric Snow. That group fell apart quickly and the team has been pretty mediocre ever since.
I'm not going to pretend that I know a lot about the Sixers. I don't. My love for the NBA was huge in the late 70s and early 80s. That all went away in the age of Michael Jordan and NBA expansion. I never liked Mike, for a variety of reasons. The NBA watered down the product and I haven't cared a whole lot for the league in the last 25 years.
Now the Sixers have a chance to land an impact player with the #2 pick. That is part of the basic equation for turning a franchise around. You must draft a stud, sign a key FA or make a trade, and add a key foreign player in order to become a top team. The first move is getting the pick right.
Several of you want Evan Turner, the G from Ohio State. I watched him play a bit this year. He can defend really well. He looks like a solid shooter. Good size, tough guy. He hit some real clutch shots to win games or keep OSU in the mix. That sounds like a pretty good prospect to me.
I am in no way, shape, or form an NBA draft expert. I'll defer to you guys. Anyone here watch a bunch of OSU games this year? What's the book on Turner? No matter what, this is the most exciting thing to happen to the Sixers in a while. The last entry that I know of in Great 76ers Moments was the halftime booing of Destiny's Child in the 2001 Finals. Time to replace that.