Author Archives: Vince Quinn

Hold On, You’re Going Home: The Finale

This is the fourth installment of the Hold On You’re Going Home Series. You can check out the previous three installments in order here, here, and here.

During Easter I somehow stumbled into three or four conversations that found their way towards an iconic character in television: Michael Scott. As a result, I will be doing this final installment of Hold On You’re Going Home in a way that would make him proud

roast

Roast Time!

 

Damaris Johnson: You were charged with embezzlement before joining the Eagles and after these two years we know the only thing that you embezzled is talent. Boom! You’re going home!

Bryce Brown: I know you had some problems at school, but no one ever mentions your kindergarten struggles…you’d only color outside of the edges. Boom! You’re going home!

Nate Allen: For a guy that can be described using the words “Florida” and “safety” you do a surprisingly horrible job of standing your ground. Boom! You’re going home!

Curtis Marsh: You wouldn’t have so many injuries if you had milk with your Wheaties as a kid. Then again you may have never had Wheaties either. It’s the breakfast of champions. Boom! You’re going home!

BONUS! DeSean Jackson: You got flack for being a bad guy in Philly, but I imagine you’ll do great work for the DC community when Dan Snyder hires you as a sign language translator. Boom! You’re already gone!

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Josh Harris is Dead On

The Sixers finally snapped their historic losing streak. (credit: ESPN.com)

This team is young and on the rise. (credit: ESPN.com)

Seriously.

The Sixers’ owner has gotten some flack for claiming that this season was “a huge success.” However, despite the 19-63 record, the NBA record tying 26 straight losses, and the abysmal amount of NBA talent he’s absolutely right. The 2013-2014 season was a monumental success.

To begin, we wanted that record. If the Sixers went 35-47, which would have given them the 11th best odds for the first overall pick, the year would have truly been a failure. This team was intended to tank and tank they did. That ugly, miserable 19-63 record is the shit in the soil that leads to a quality harvest. The worst is over in the best way possible. Don’t forget that the Sixers will almost certainly take the Pelicans’ pick from the Jrue Holiday trade too.

Secondly, you have to look at last year’s draft. It may be hard to remember at this point, but Michael Carter-Williams was considered a risky project with a bad jumper. A year later, the 14th pick in the draft is going to be the Rookie of the Year. If you take a look at the other recent picks in the 14th slot MCW’s season alone made this year a huge success for the organization. They couldn’t have stumbled across a better fit for their slogan “Building from the Ground Up”

Speaking of which, receiving Henry Sims in exchange for Spencer Hawes fits the mantra quite well too. You see the important thing is perception. The Sixers weren’t digging for gold in the mountains this year, rather they were searching for nickels on the beach. Sims is one such nickel. He’s a young hard-working player that will provide help from the bench next season—a low-risk, high-reward success story. Tony Wroten fits the bill here as well.

Lastly, if you follow this team you have to love Brett Brown. His brief tenure here has been a refreshing antithesis to the Doug Collins era. The style of play, the day to day focus on teaching—he has developed a culture focused on a greater future rather than a mediocre present (and we know the importance of culture). Assuming more talent is added to the roster it’s hard to imagine his trajectory going anywhere but up.

Given all of this, it’s quite clear that the Sixers achieved all of their goals. They stunk, found some role players, and added a quality coach for the job. Sounds like a huge success to me.

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Hold On You’re Going Home: Part Three

This is part three in the Hold On, You’re Going Home series. If you’d like to check out the first two installments you can check them here and here!

Alex Henery

A widely-known, but highly under-appreciated fact of life in the NFL is that kickers score the most points. Period. When looking at the list for the NFL’s all-time leading scorers the first non-kicker is Jerry Rice…and he’s 31st. Kicking is an essential part of NFL success, which is exactly why Alex Henery needs to be shown the door.

Selected in the fourth round out of Nebraska, Henery was considered an elite kicking prospect. He was the most accurate kicker in college history with a 89.5% conversion rate and was showered with awards over his four seasons as a Husker. The kid was good.

However, that success hasn’t translated to the NFL. In fact, Henery has regressed each season that he’s been in the league. His career kicking percentages are 88.9% (2011, 5th place), 87.1% (2012, 15th) and 82.1% (2013, 22nd). For 2013 specifically, Henery’s numbers took a dive due to struggles in the 40-49 yard range where he hit seven of ten.

So just how important is that decrease in field goal accuracy?

Read the rest of this entry

Eating Crow: An Open Apology to Paul Holmgren

Dear Paul,

Congratulations on making it to the playoffs! For a building riddled with tankitis, I’m sure there’s no better cure than playoff fever and most Philadelphians will agree. But I’m not writing this letter to talk of Stanley Cup dreams, rather I’d like to offer you an apology.

At this beginning of this season I had my doubts. Actually, I wanted your head to be punched off of your body by Ron Hextall…and that was before you fired Peter Laviolette three games into the season.

How was I going to trust a rookie head coach and an inconsistent goaltender to propel a sagging sadsack into the playoffs? How was adding another center going to improve a center-heavy team? Like every actress’ attempt to start a singing career, it simply wasn’t going to work. I prepared for another year of playoff-less hockey.

Instead, the Flyers have truly impressed me. Despite being in the gutter at the beginning of the season the Flyers have evolved into a legitimate playoff threat and the major pieces have your fingerprints. For example, Wayne Simmonds.

Simmonds, who was a part of the Jeff Carter/Mike Richards reconstruction project, has evolved into the best power play threat of his kind in the league. His production has been so stellar that he led the team in goals for the season with 29 (15 PP).

Then there’s Steve Mason who had a career year in both record and save percentage. A qestionable commodity before the start of the season, Mason has proven to be a rock for your team while stealing a few games in the process. The sooner he gets back into net, the better this team’s championship odds are.

But again, this letter isn’t about the Cup. It’s about you and the credit you deserve for making this season what it is. You’re an unpopular man working under an unpopular owner. It’s not exactly ponies shitting rainbows, but you’ve made the bold moves to make it work and, for that, you have my respect.

For now.

Sincerely,

Vince

 

 

Hold On, You’re Going Home: Part Two

Fat Orlando Bloom?

Fat Orlando Bloom?

This is the second installment in the “Hold on, You’re Going Home” series You can view the first installment here.

The case for keeping Matthews is simple when put in recent context. In a way Casey Matthew is the anti-DeSean. A player under Chip Kelly in college, Matthews has a long-established relationship with Kelly. Also, given that he’s still on the team it’s reasonable to believe that he buys into the “Chip Kelly way”.

Secondly, Chip famously said that there’s an obvious way for someone to make the team “special teams, special teams, special teams.” Matthews has certainly been a solid special teamer as well as he led the team with eight ST tackles last season.

However, the fact remains that he’s the anti-DeSean in talent as well.

Read the rest of this entry

Hold On, You’re Going Home: Part One

via reclinergm.com (AP Photo/Mark Stehle)

via reclinergm.com (AP Photo/Mark Stehle)

The offseason is almost over for the Eagles as we near the start of (not so) voluntary workouts, which start April 21st. There’s also that little, totally under-hyped thing called the draft on the way. Instead of blathering about needs that we all know I’d rather discuss the players that should get the boot before the regular season starts. I’ll be doing this series in installments because I said so. Wanna fight about it?

The first player on this list actually really hurts. However, as much I don’t like it, it’s time for Brandon Graham to move on. Graham, who was the Eagles first pick in the 2010 draft, is no longer a fit with this team.

The initial intent was to land a pass rushing force on the opposite side of Trent Cole in the 4-3. It worked. Despite a slow start to his career and a torn ACL, Graham was one of very few bright spots for the 2012 Eagles. In fact, he was utterly dominant. Take a look at the numbers according to PFF:

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A Peek Into the Sixers Youth Movement

The Sixers finally snapped their historic losing streak. (credit: ESPN.com)

(credit: ESPN.com)

Amidst what has been a truly historic season for the Sixers, the main focus has been directed towards youth. When Brett Brown and his staff were hired it was clear that the focus was player development.

Thanks to a piece from Dan Feldman at ProBasketballTalk, we get a glimpse into how the coaching staff has managed such a young squad. For example, check out this excerpt about Tony Wroten:

Of 76ers who’ve actually played this season, 20-year-old Tony Wroten is youngest.

“You would never realize that I’m the youngest guy playing right now,” Wroten said.

That’s because Wroten spent last season with the Memphis Grizzlies. The guard has played more NBA games than anyone in Philadelphia outside Young, Anderson and Byron Mullens.

That’s a fun fact for you! If you’d like to read the whole piece, which has plenty of interesting nuggets, you can view it here.

 

I personally find Feldman’s piece fascinating because the issue of locker room culture has come up quite a bit recently. Both the Eagles and Sixers are young teams with new leadership and I think any chance to get behind the scenes is beyond beneficial. It means one thing to talk about locker room culture, but to understand aspects of the day-to-day for a team provides a better picture of how the organization operates a whole.

With this information, it’s quite clear that the team is on the right track.

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Follow Vince @VQuinn_TWC

 

Around the Cooler 4/4/14: DeSean’s True Colors (Burgundy and Gold)

DeSean SkinsHere’s what we’re talking about:


Play on your Mobile Device or Right Click to Download: Around the Cooler 4-4-14

What are you talking about around the wooder cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

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Musical theme written by Matthew Schwalm.

A Deep Breath After DeSean Jackson

DeSean JacksonAfter weeks of back and forth, the Eagles released DeSean Jackson on Friday. Now, he’s a Washington Redskin.

The debate over Jackson’s departure has hinged on the simple and seemingly unanswerable question: Was this the right move?

In order to give a fair assessment of this decision you can’t look at the move as an isolated instance. Yes, the Eagles just released a 27-year-old Pro Bowl receiver coming off of a career season. Yes, they’ll need to add some depth. However, I don’t think the answer can be found by asking ‘how does this affect the team?’ It should be ‘what does this say about the organization?’

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Quick Peek At Evan Turner

Evan Turner will join Paul George in Indiana. (credit: USAToday.com)

Evan Turner will join Paul George in Indiana. (credit: USAToday.com)

So I’m looking through some basketball news today and saw this gem from ProBasketballTalk:

AsTom Haberstroh of ESPN pointed out on twitter, in the 149 minutes Turner and Hibbert had played together since the trade deadline move to bring Turner to Indiana, he has gotten one assist passing to Hibbert. One.

It makes me smile. Even though the Sixers only managed what amounted to a second round pick in the deal, it’s fairly cathartic to see him screwing up a legitimate title contender in the Pacers who have been 8-10 since March 1st.

Turner has earned a steady decrease in minutes the last few games and continues to put up some god awful stat lines. For example, Turner played all of seven minutes against the Spurs shooting 0-2 from the floor with no assists. Three nights prior to that against the Wizards Turner dominated in 14 minutes, going 0-4 with no assists.

 

It seems like the Villain is more of a sleeper cell.

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