Birds' Allen and Page sharing time at strong safety

518014.jpg

Birds' Allen and Page sharing time at strong safety

Nate Allen admitted Monday what we all saw Thursday.

Hes just not all the way back yet.

Allen, who underwent surgery in December to repair a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee, struggled Thursday night in the Eagles preseason loss to the Steelers and said after practice Monday that hes not as close to 100 percent as he thought.

I maybe thought I was farther along than I am, Allen said. But Ive been going like Im 100 percent. Im maybe 90, 95 percent.

Allen said he and veteran Jarrad Page split practice time at strong safety with the starting defense Monday.

The Eagles face the Browns Thursday night at the Linc in the third preseason game of the summer, and Allen said he anticipates that Page will get some work with the starting defense.

Well be exchanging reps, Im sure, he said. Well take it for what it is. Ill play in the chances I get.

Page, a full-time starter with the Chiefs in 2007 and 2008, signed with the Eagles on Aug. 2. Hes the only safety on the roster whos older than 23 and has started more than one NFL game.

The coaches just gave me an opportunity to get out there and show what I can do, Page said after practice. Its tough when you join a team late and youre a little behind the 8-ball, (but) I felt like i did a good job picking up the concepts.

I feel like Ive picked up a majority it. Theres still some things I need to learn, but were all still picking things up.

Theres no question that Allen, the Eagles second-round pick last year, will start when hes back to 100 percent, but Pages work with the first defense Monday raises questions about when exactly that will be.

It was pretty sore today, but Im not going to make any excuses, Allen said. There are good days and bad days. It gets sore on me, but, hey, it is what it is. Youve got to work through it every day and get it back to where it needs to be.

The Steelers went after Allen Thursday night, picking on him repeatedly on the two long touchdown drives that gave Pittsburgh an early 14-0 lead on their way to a 24-14 win.

Allen said he doesnt have his explosion back.

I feel like my motion gets a little tight, and its hard to explode off of it, he said. I just have to get my quad back. My quad isnt totally developed to where it needs to be.

Allen enjoyed a terrific rookie year, becoming the first Eagle with at least two sacks and two interceptions in his first NFL season since Jerome Brown in 1987.

But he got hurt in the second Giants game the wild 38-31 comeback win and underwent surgery on Dec. 21.

That was only eight months ago. And Allen said the lockout didnt help, because his rehab wasnt overseen by the Eagles trainers and strength and conditioning guys.

There was probably a setback, a little bit, he said. But who knows?

Opening day against the Rams is only 20 days away. Not a lot of time for Allen to get back where he wants to be.

Ill be there, man, he said. Just got to keep working, and I feel like I will be.

If not, Page is a smart, physical, experienced veteran.

Im very thankful for the opportunity, said Page, who has 40 NFL starts in six seasons but is only 26. Im glad the Eagles wanted me to come here. There were a bunch of free agents out there, guys who werent drafted, three classes worth of guys who were already in the league and became unrestricted, so it was a grind.

I have plenty of friends who are still looking at jobs, so youve got to be thankful for the opportunity, and youve got to understand that and work hard because some people dont have it.

CSNPhilly.coms Dave Zangaro contributed to this story.E-mail Reuben Frank rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com.

P.J. Carlesimo turns down Sixers' associate head coach job for 'family reasons'

052716-simmons-slide.jpg

P.J. Carlesimo turns down Sixers' associate head coach job for 'family reasons'

Thirty-five years is more than enough time to get a sense of who a person is and how they do their job. That is how long Brett Brown has known P.J. Carlesimo, which made it easy for the Sixers' head coach to have interest in adding him to the staff. 

With Mike D’Antoni leaving to coach the Rockets, the Sixers had a vacancy at the associate head coach position. On Sunday, though, Carlesimo decided not to join the Sixers’ staff and remain a television analyst.

“He was a natural fit for me,” Brown said Monday following a pre-draft workout. “For family reasons, he just couldn’t do it. We talked a lot and it was an emotional thing from P.J.’s perspective. 

“P.J. is a very close friend of mine and he made that decision for family reasons and I understand it. The phone call really didn’t surprise me knowing what I know of him and how he views his family, having to travel across the country the whole time.”

Like D’Antoni, Carlesimo has a lengthy résumé on the NBA sidelines. He was a head coach for parts of nine seasons and worked five as an assistant coach. Brown called working with D’Antoni “a real learning experience,” and an ideal candidate would have similar experience to help both the staff and the young roster.

“That role will be filled with maybe that type of flavor,” Brown said. “I know this, we are still in a complete development mode. We still have a bunch of 20 year olds, guys that could be with us for a long time, but they’re not old, that we have to make sure that the city and me, we remember that. We still need people and teachers that can teach and coach and establish relationships. 

“So you tick boxes on relationships, teaching, development, those still rule the day. If you can do that with some veteran wisdom and some type of experiences like Mike’s, say, or P.J. had, well then you’re really knocking it out of the park.”

Coaching vacancies are coveted at this level. With the No. 1 pick in the draft, a revamped front office, and a 125,000-square foot training facility under construction, the Sixers have enhanced the appeal of the role. 

"My phone is very active, as you can imagine," Brown said. "I think it’s a highly attractive position. … Like our draft picks, I too spend a lot of time studying who will be the best fit for me and our program."

Tonight's Lineup: Ryan Howard (surprisingly) starts at 1B

ap_841901862648.jpg

Tonight's Lineup: Ryan Howard (surprisingly) starts at 1B

So much for trimming Ryan Howard's playing time.

One day after Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he plans on giving 24-year-old Tommy Joseph more starts against right-handed pitchers, Mackanin flipped the switch Monday.

Howard is penciled in as the starting first baseman for the Phils' series-opener against the Nationals on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park against Tanner Roark (3-4, 2.71).

After the Phillies were clobbered by the MLB-best Chicago Cubs on Sunday — and the weekend, really — Mackanin said the Phils have to get a longer look at Joseph.

"We brought up Joseph up here for a reason, to get a look at him," the manager said after the Phillies' 7-2 on Sunday afternoon (see story). "I can't let him stagnate on the bench like (Darin) Ruf ended up doing, so he's going to face some right-handed pitchers to keep his timing."

Joseph will have to wait another day to get in the lineup. To be fair, Joseph did face five righties last week, but three of those came with the designated hitter in play.

For Howard, however, the club icon is in a major rut that has had many outsiders calling for him to retire or for the team to release him. He's hitting .154 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in 136 at-bats and is 6 for 62 (.097) with 25 strikeouts in May.

Here's the silver lining, however. Howard is a career .333 hitter in 12 at-bats against Roark, who he's taken deep once and has six RBIs against.

The Phillies turn to Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.97) to snap their three-game skid. He's faced the Nationals twice this season, allowing six — five earned — runs over 10⅓ innings.

Here is the Phillies' full lineup:

Phillies
1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Carlos Ruiz, C
6. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
7. Tyler Goeddel, LF
8. Jeremy Hellickson, P
9. Peter Bourjos, RF

For more on tonight's game, check out Steven Tyding's game notes.

MLB Notes: Mets' manager Terry Collins worried David Wright might be headed for DL

ap_841901862648.jpg

MLB Notes: Mets' manager Terry Collins worried David Wright might be headed for DL

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins is worried David Wright may wind up on the disabled list because of a neck injury.

New York's captain and third baseman was out of the starting lineup for the third straight day Monday because of his neck. He was given anti-inflammatory medicine over the weekend.

Now 33, Wright was on the disabled list from April 15 to Aug. 24 last year when he strained his right hamstring and then developed spinal stenosis. He has a lengthy physical therapy routine he must go through before each game.

Wright homered in three straight games last week before getting hurt. He is batting .226 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and 55 strikeouts in 137 at-bats.

White Sox: Shuck called up with Jackson injured
NEW YORK -- With Austin Jackson bothered by turf toe, the Chicago White Sox recalled outfielder J.B. Shuck from Charlotte and optioned right-hander Tommy Kahnle to the Triple-A farm team.

Jackson left Sunday's game in the eighth inning because of his left foot.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said before Monday's series opener against the New York Mets that he doesn't think Jackson's injury at this point merits a move to the disabled list. He adds that the team does not "necessarily want to lose him for two weeks right away."

Shuck was batting fifth and playing center field Monday. He was 0 for 9 with the White Sox before he was sent down April 18 when Chicago needed to add a pitcher. He is hitting .299 at Charlotte with two homers and 17 RBIs.

Kahnle is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four games over three stints with Chicago this season.