Doug Collins Would Destroy You In a Game of Memory

Doug Collins Would Destroy You In a Game of Memory

Doug Collins has done a masterful job as head coach of the 76ers. He's taken essentially the same roster Eddie Jordan had last season and turned a hopeless and rudderless 27-55 team into 41 win (and counting) team with a bright future.

How has he done it? Well, Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg has an outstanding feature on Collins which provides some unique insight into how Collins has righted the 76ers wayward ship. The most amazing part of his amazing story is the revelation that Collins has an unbelievable memory.

Rosenberg writes:

"There are benefits to being a human DVR. The 59-year-old Collins has  not asked his video coordinator, Monte Shubik, for a copy of a 76ers  game all season. At a recent staff meeting one assistant coach mentioned  a loss to the Hawks in which Philly guard Lou Williams missed a dunk,  triggering an Atlanta rally. "There was 5:14 on the clock," Collins said  matter-of-factly, then recited every play that occurred the rest of the  game.

"I don't know why I'm still skeptical," Shubik says, but he was.  And so, in the middle of the meeting, Shubik started watching that  Hawks-Sixers game on his laptop.

Sure enough, there was 5:14 left when Philadelphia's defensive  possession started. The rest happened exactly the way Collins said. The  game had been played almost four months earlier."

The guy has a videographic memory. He can recall almost any play from the thousands of games he's played in, watched, coached, or announced. He still remembers sequences from his high school playing days.

The story touches on how Collins has evolved from his early coaching days with the Bulls and Pistons into the player hugging man of patience we see pacing the sideline here in Philly. It's a fantastic read and makes you appreciate the stability Collins has brought to the Sixers franchise.

Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp, both struggling mightily through the first month of the season, will get Saturday night off when the Phillies take on the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Joseph is hitting .190 with one homer and 18 strikeouts in 18 games, while Rupp is batting .180 with one homer and 20 strikeouts through 15 games. Last season, Joseph had 21 home runs and Rupp 16.

Brock Stassi will spell Joseph at first base and bat seventh. Andrew Knapp takes over for Rupp behind the plate and will bat eighth.

Daniel Nava also receives a start, playing left field. The first-year Phillie is hitting .346 with a pair of homers and as many walks as strikeouts (seven).

Zach Eflin takes the mound in a meaningful start for the right-hander (see story). He opposes resurgent Dodgers righty Brandon McCarthy (see game notes).

Here are tonight's lineups:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Daniel Nava, LF
7. Brock Stassi, 1B
8. Andrew Knapp, C
9. Zach Eflin, P

Dodgers
1. Andrew Toles, CF
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Yasmani Grandal, C
5. Yasiel Puig, RF
6. Cody Bellinger, LF
7. Chase Utley, 2B
8. Chris Taylor, 3B
9. Brandon McCarthy, P

Eagles draft Washington DT Elijah Qualls with final pick

Eagles draft Washington DT Elijah Qualls with final pick

With their final pick of the 2017 draft, the Eagles selected 6-foot-1, 313-pound Washington defensive tackle Elijah Qualls in the sixth round on Saturday.

He's the second Washington player the Eagles took in this year's draft. They selected injured cornerback Sidney Jones in the second round (see story).

Qualls had 77 tackles, 11½ tackles for loss and 7½ sacks in 30 career games (see bio).

"I for sure stop the run well," Qualls said at the NFL Draft Scouting Combine. "And I'm actually a lot better pass rusher than a lot of people think. Typically a lot of our game plan as far as pass rushing was to keep the quarterback contained, so I really couldn't get after him like I'm capable of.

"I'm not going to say I'm one of the best pass rushers ever or anything like that — I've only been playing defensive line since I got to college. I'm still learning, but I'm a lot better than people do think."

Qualls was actually a running back in high school, but he said he got bored scoring touchdowns.

"I was 260 playing running back in high school," he said. "I had 1,300 rushing yards, though. It honestly became too easy, that's why I switched to defensive line. Scoring touchdowns wasn't exciting to me anymore, it was just something I expected.

"Then my last year, my coach came to me and said, 'Hey, would you be willing to play some defense?' My mindset was that if I played defense, I could get the ball back. So I played some defensive line, middle linebacker. I was recruited at both of those positions.

"I kind of just did a little research project trying to see what the long term was like for both running backs and defensive linemen, and defensive linemen tend to last longer, have less severe injuries, and honestly on average probably make more money, so I decided to be a defensive lineman. Plus I like the challenge."

With Bennie Logan leaving as a free agent, the Eagles have Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Beau Allen and now Qualls in the mix on the interior of the defensive line.

"I feel like I can fit into any scheme," Qualls said. "I can do anything you ask me to, I played everything from zero to outside linebacker, so there's not much I can't do. It's just whether or not someone can accept me being a couple inches shorter than the person they prefer playing there.

"But I'm stronger than a lot of people, and my football intelligence is top notch."