Report: Rick Minter to join Eagles' staff

986395.jpg

Report: Rick Minter to join Eagles' staff

Rick Minter is the latest veteran college coach apparently joining Chip Kellys Eagles coaching staff.

Minter, who has coached at 12 colleges but never in the NFL, is believed to be joining as the Eagles linebackers coach.

The Eagles have not been commenting on any moves regarding assistant coaches interviews, hirings, firings, etc., and they had no comment on a report Monday from the Big Ten Network that Minter was joining the Eagles.

Minter spent the last two years on Joker Phillips' staff at Kentucky. Phillips was fired in November after three years, with his staff getting the axe as well. Kentucky was 2-10 this past season overall and 13-24 in three years under Phillips.

Minter has also coached at Henderson State, Arkansas, Louisiana Tech, North Carolina State, New Mexico State, Ball State, Notre Dame twice, Cincinnati, South Carolina, Marshall and Indiana State.

Minter has not coached more than three years in one place since he was at Cincinnati. This job will be his seventh in the last 11 years.

From 1994 through 2003, Minter was head coach at Cincinnati, compiling a 54-63-1 record, although he did have three future NFL head coaches on his staff at various times John Harbaugh, Mike Tomlin and Rex Ryan.

The Eagles had five different linebacker coaches over the last 10 years -- Ron Rivera, Steve Spagnuolo, Sean McDermott, Bill Shuey and Mike Caldwell.

Six Eagles linebackers coaches have gone on to become NFL head coaches -- Walt Michaels, Rod Rust, Wade Phillips, Joe Vitt, Rivera and Spagnuolo.

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

2016 Flyers free-agent fit: Blues RW Troy Brouwer

2016 Flyers free-agent fit: Blues RW Troy Brouwer

Each day from now until July 1, the day NHL free agency begins, CSNPhilly.com producers Tom Dougherty, Jordan Hall and Greg Paone will profile some of the league’s top impending free agents and project their likelihood of signing with the Flyers.

Troy Brouwer, right wing

Age: Will turn 31 in August
Height: 6-3
Weight: 210
Last team: St. Louis Blues
2015-16 cap hit: $3.67 million

Scouting report
Veteran Troy Brouwer is proof that late-round draft gems do exist. A seventh-round selection of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2004, Brouwer has carved out an effective career in the NHL. In his eight years in the league with Chicago, Washington and St. Louis, the soon-to-be 31-year old has scored 150 goals and added 144 assists for 294 points.

Brouwer, who won a Stanley Cup with the 2010 Blackhawks, is a very reliable two-way player with the ability to play against the opposition’s best players every night. Case in point, he played the third-most minutes among forwards on a Blues penalty kill that finished the regular season third in the league with an 85.1 percent success rate. He also brings a physical element to the ice as he was second on the Blues last season with 206 hits. He isn’t the fastest guy in the world, though.

As far as offense is concerned, Brouwer’s skill set isn’t going to wow anyone. He scores his fair share of dirty goals and can be a menace in front of the net. That type of player can be a valuable asset to a team, but he’s not a player who should be counted on to pick up the offensive load. Think of him more as complementary piece who can play a top-six role.

He’s about to strike in free agency while the iron is hot as he’s coming off a productive playoff run during which he scored eight goals (fifth-most in the league during the postseason) and added five assists as the Blues made the Western Conference Final for the first time in 15 years before ultimately falling to the San Jose Sharks in six games.

Projection
Brouwer has the gritty, two-way game that the Flyers typically find attractive. But, as mentioned above, Brouwer is more of a complementary piece than anything else.

And, let’s face it, the Flyers already have too many complementary types as it is right now. The Flyers need more scoring from the wing than Brouwer has been known to provide, and they’ll want it from someone younger. He’s not a fit in Philadelphia.

Where is he a fit? Good question. Contenders will have interest in a versatile guy such as Brouwer and he’ll probably get somewhere around the same money he made last year. Maybe slightly higher.

He’s a great fit, if he stays, for a contender like St. Louis, but the Blues have to make a decision on team captain David Backes before they can adhere to any other business. How about a team like the Dallas Stars, who are a legitimate threat but also had their issues last season? Just a suggestion that could make sense.

But Brouwer in Philadelphia at this point in time just doesn’t make much sense.

Red Bulls coach takes his balls and goes home after Union eliminate New York from Open Cup

usat-curtin-jesse-march.jpg

Red Bulls coach takes his balls and goes home after Union eliminate New York from Open Cup

CHESTER, Pa. -- One of these days, a U.S. Open Cup game that the Philadelphia Union play in will pass by uneventfully.

Wednesday was not of those days.

Two weeks after the Union continued their three-year trend of winning Open Cup games in dramatic or bizarre fashion, their Round of 16 matchup with the New York Red Bulls ended with some more fireworks.

This time, though, there wasn’t a shootout, a stoppage-time or extra-time winner, or a weather delay. This time, coaches from both teams were ejected in the waning minutes of Philly’s 2-1 victory

The first came late in the second half when Union assistant Mike Sorber was tossed for time wasting for kicking a ball back onto the field of play (perhaps accidentally, according to head coach Jim Curtin) -- and then high-fiving Sons of Bens members on his way to the tunnel.

But that only set the stage for Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch getting ejected for arguing a particularly bad foul call on New York striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, before picking up two balls on his way out and throwing them both in frustration.

Sadly, the video is not great (stupid ref getting in the way) but there truly is an epic picture of Union head coach Jim Curtin giving Marsch the touchdown signal during one of his tosses.

Curtin actually told reporters after his postgame press conference that’s what he did. And the Union coach also teased Marsch a little during the presser, saying of his good friend and former Chicago Fire teammate: “I’ve seen that face before in training sessions. When you’re on the other side, it still does make me smile.”

Marsch wasn’t smiling too much after the game, saying only that he “had to try to induce change with the referee somehow because he was basically calling every foul for the Union.” But the Red Bulls coach was also disappointed by his own team’s second-half performance as the Union overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to advance to the quarterfinals, thanks to this sensational game-winning play by Tranquillo Barnetta, Ilsinho and Chris Pontius.

Wednesday’s game also gave us an all-timer of a quote from Jim Curtin, who said Philly’s far improved second-half performance had nothing to do with him, philosophizing: “Players win games, coaches lose them and referees ruin them.”

Here’s one more truth: the U.S. Open Cup never gets old.

Sixers free-agent fits: Frontcourt — Horford, Anderson, Ezeli, more

Sixers free-agent fits: Frontcourt — Horford, Anderson, Ezeli, more

Over the course of this week, we will look at the Sixers' free-agent possibilites at each position. We've already analyzed point guardsshooting guards and small forwards. Today, we'll break down frontcourt players.

Sixers frontcourt players for 2016-17
Joel Embiid (guaranteed, $4,826,160)

Richaun Holmes (guaranteed, $1,025,831)

Carl Landry (guaranteed, $6,500,000)

Nerlens Noel (guaranteed, $4,384,490)

Jahlil Okafor (guaranteed, $4,788,840)

Dario Saric (yet to sign)

Ben Simmons (yet to sign rookie deal)

Current frontcourt situation
In case you haven't heard, the Sixers have a few big men. By my list, that's five under contract, one that will sign his rookie contract shortly, and another that claims he'll be under contract soon enough.

Of course, there have been rumors of Okafor and/or Noel being shipped off for backcourt pieces, but as of now, they are Sixers. If the team were to move one or both of them, they'd be moving their most proven NBA frontcourt pieces, even if the experiment of playing them together was a disaster.

Simmons has infinite potential, but has yet to play an NBA minute. Same goes for Embiid and Saric. Landry and Holmes are solid bench big men. They'll be valuable depth if Bryan Colangelo pulls off a move or two. Stay tuned.

Reach free agent

Al Horford, unrestricted
Horford, a four-time All-Star, has been a focal point for the Hawks' offense for almost a decade. More of a finesse big man than a banger down low, Horford has an excellent midrange game and possesses great touch around the basket. He's also a decent passer from the post, averaging 2.7 assists per game for his career. He's averaged 14.3 points per game on a robust 54 percent from the field. With all that said, Horford is not the guy for this team. Even if Noel and Okafor are traded, Horford is 30. Also, Simmons would be better playing with a center that offers better rim protection.

Possible fits

It's hard to look into any of these guys seriously with the Sixers' current logjam. We'll dissect them as if a shakeup in the frontcourt has occurred and the team needs to fill a gap or two.

Ryan Anderson, unrestricted
If you were to Google the term "stretch four" a picture of Anderson would appear (not even kidding, it actually does). Anderson has shot 38 percent for his career from downtown. Back in 2011-12, he led the NBA in threes made and attempted while playing for the Magic. Last season he averaged 17 points per game, the second-highest number of his career. Assuming Simmons expands his game beyond the power forward position, a guy like Anderson would make a ton of sense playing alongside him.

Marvin Williams, unrestricted
Williams is an interesting case. He's never lived up to the billing of being the No. 2 overall pick back in 2005, but he's had a solid NBA career as a role player. The element he's added to his game that should intrigue the Sixers is his three-point shooting. Williams hit a career-high 40 percent from distance on 378 attempts, also a career mark. Williams also offers defensive versatility with his ability to play on the wing at times.

Festus Ezeli, restricted
Ezeli has made himself into a solid rotational big in Golden State. With the Warriors' success, guys like Ezeli are bound to be poached from their roster. Ezeli is nothing special but would come in handy if the Sixers find a suitor for Noel. They'd need someone like Ezeli (2.5 blocks per 36 minutes last season) to help fill the void Noel would leave as a strong rim protector.