Birds Out to Put Preseason Behind Them

Birds Out to Put Preseason Behind Them

Whether it meant anything or not--and trust me, it didn't--last week's preseason debacle in Pittsburgh took the wind right out of the Eagles' sails.

Nobody wants to get embarrassed like that, least of all on national television, even if technically it didn't count. And naturally, with all the hype surrounding this franchise right now, an effort like last week's is bound to get blown out of proportion.

That should explain why Andy Reid and the boys are taking tonight's meeting with the Browns a lot more seriously--even though, again, these games carry little weight. That said, we are entering the third week of the scrimmage period, which is traditionally treated as the most relevant around the league.

So nobody is going to complain if the Birds play to win this one.

Conversely, should the Eagles suffer a similar fate tonight, in their own building against a perennial loser, the bandwagon will undoubtedly be less full by the time the regular season kicks off in little more than two weeks.

Just about anybody that I spoke to or who reads this blog either disagreed with or was surprised by my indifference toward last week's shellacking. (Big surprise there.) The thing is, it's nothing we haven't seen before.

Last season, Cincinnati roughed up the Birds 22-9, and Michael Vick looked dreadful. In '09, it was the Colts dissecting the secondary en route to a 23-15 victory. And the year prior to that, Carolina took a 6-0 lead into the locker room, only for the reserves to rescue a W by scoring 24 fourth quarter points.

What those three performances all have in common, besides disappointment in either the first team offense/defense or both, is each one happened in Week 2. The Eagles have recently wrapped up training camp, and the intensity, focus and preparation simply aren't there, perhaps even intentionally.

Meanwhile, all three of those teams were in the playoffs, making a run to the NFC Championship game in '08, while climbing into the picture for a post-season bye each of the past two seasons. Needless to say, when we claim the preseason measures little, we mean it.

Yes, this is the "most important" exhibition game (sort of like saying John Beck is the Redskins "best" quarterback). And yes, the expectations tonight are they must have a strong outing versus an inferior opponent.

But the final score of tonight's exhibition game with the Cleveland Browns is not going to make or break their season. You know that as well as anybody, so try to just enjoy the game.

Best of NHL: Trocheck's last-second goal lifts Panthers past Blues

Best of NHL: Trocheck's last-second goal lifts Panthers past Blues

ST. LOUIS -- Vincent Trocheck scored with just under 5 seconds remaining to lift the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Jonathan Marchessault also scored and James Reimer stopped 26 shots to help the Panthers complete a 5-0 road trip -- their first perfect trip of at least that many games in franchise history.

Reimer has won five straight decisions and has not lost in regulation since Jan. 7 against Boston, going 6-0-1 since.

The Panthers moved into a tie with Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division, but have the edge because they have a game in hand on the Bruins.

Kyle Brodziak, playing for the second time after missing 10 games due to a broken foot, scored for the Blues and Jake Allen finished with 31 saves. St. Louis lost its second straight since winning six in a row (see full recap).

Coyotes use three-goal 1st period to beat Ducks
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Radim Vrbata capped Arizona's three-goal first period and the Coyotes held on for 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun also scored for Arizona, and starting goalie Mike Smith had 27 saves before leaving about 4 1/2 minutes into the third period after a collision in the net. Marek Langhamer helped kill a power play after being pressed into action for his NHL debut and stopped six of the seven shots he faced.

The Coyotes have won four of their last six.

Langhamer gave up Ryan Getzlaf's second goal of the night with 26.8 seconds to play, but thwarted two quality shots in the final seconds.

Jonathan Bernier gave up three goals on six shots in the first period for the Ducks. John Gibson came on to start the second and stopped all 14 shots he faced (see full recap).

Joel Embiid admits to reaggravating foot injury after 2014 surgery, almost quitting

Joel Embiid admits to reaggravating foot injury after 2014 surgery, almost quitting

Joel Embiid trusts the Process, more so than anyone — the process of patience.

After sitting out two whole seasons because of foot injuries, Embiid learned the importance of patience the hard way.

Appearing on NBA TV's Open Court, Joel Embiid opened up about how he reaggravated the fracture in his foot that cost him the 2015-16 season.

"I didn't know how to deal with patience," Embiid said on the roundtable discussion. "I just wanted to do stuff, that's why I think I needed a second surgery, because after my first one, I just wanted to play basketball again. I just wanted to be on the court and I pushed through what I wasn't supposed to.

"At one point I thought about quitting. I just wanted to come back home and just forget everything."

Embiid goes on to discuss the Sixers' turnaround this season and his mindset during his recovery. Watch the full clip below. 

Embiid also said he models his game after Hakeem Olajuwon.