Roseman: Lack of chemistry decimated Eagles

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Roseman: Lack of chemistry decimated Eagles

Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman heard their players speak. They heard every word.

They heard them talk about a lack of chemistry. They heard them talk about their teammates quitting. They heard them talk about not fighting back when things started to go bad.

They heard LeSean McCoy say, A lack of heart.

They heard Michael Vick say, Guys have to understand, you cant do it your way.

They heard it all, and they promise they wont let it happen again.

We know youre going to go through adversity during a football season, and the character of your team is determined during that period of adversity, Roseman said Monday. And when you come out of it 1-11, you have to really figure out who the leaders on this team are and who you are.

The Eagles finished one of the worst seasons in franchise history 4-12 after a 3-1 start.

This is the first time since 1963 the Eagles won only one game after Week 4, and Roseman said the lack of chemistry and leadership in the locker room was a big reason the team was unable to fight back when faced with adversity.

If we had that kind of positive chemistry and that kind of leadership all around, I dont think theres any way we would have been 1-11 the last 12 games, he said.

Lurie said the lack of chemistry in the locker room was the result of the Eagles starting to do things differently, building through free agency instead of the draft.

Part of the reason for that was simply because of years of poor drafting following the 2004 Super Bowl run. But Lurie said it was also a conscious decision to build more around free agents to try to take that final step to a Super Bowl after five NFC Championship game appearances in an eight-year span.

I think that in the last couple years weve done things that have not been as consistent, said Roseman, who became GM in 2010 and had his duties expanded last year. Theyve been more scattered in terms of decision making. You notice it with any organization that has had a lot of success that you will start to reach, thinking, Thats the thing thats going to get us over the top, thats the player, thats the method, thats the mechanism, thats the coach, thats the thing that is going to put us over the top.

So I think we lost some of the exact nature of the method that weve all shared that created the success, which was discipline, strategic thinking, and dont do necessarily what is popular but do whats right. Its kind of a human thing and I take some responsibility for that because I was right out in the forefront of, Lets do anything we can to try to win a Super Bowl for the city and our fans.

At times you probably had to be a little more self disciplined and say, Doing that and injecting that into the locker room, affecting the chemistry of the team maybe in some way, thats not the best thing to do.

Roseman said big-money free agents generally arent as invested in being Philadelphia Eagles as players whove grown up here and developed a kinship with the franchise, the fans and the city.

I use the analogy of people who are born and bred with us and drafted by us as opposed to people who come from different cultures and are trying to fit in, Roseman said.

Weve got to get back to having a core group of guys that are Eagles. That bleed green, that are passionate about this city, that are passionate about playing here and really genuinely care.

When you bring in players from other places, you think that maybe theyre good fits, but you dont know until theyre here, and it affects the chemistry.

The Eagles have certainly found tremendous leaders through free agency or via trades Troy Vincent, Jon Runyan and Hugh Douglas come to mind. But the heart of the great Eagles teams were draft picks like Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Jeremiah Trotter, Brian Westbrook, Tra Thomas and Duce Staley.

Guys who were Eagles for life. Most of them seemed to hurt more this year long after they retired than the guys in the locker room.

Somewhere along the way, this franchise lost its way building a roster and thats why theyre 33-31 over the past four seasons, and thats why Andy Reid is no longer here.

I think the motives were right, because there was this hunger, this ache, with people who had been here a long time, to win a world championship and to win it now and not deal with another championship game loss or another season where we didnt bring home that trophy, Roseman said.

But when you get in those moments and feel like youre one player away or you just have to go pick this one position or fill this one need, youre getting away from the essence of what the personnel process is, the scouting process is, and we got away from that.

I think we got back to it this year. We acquired one veteran in DeMeco Ryans, who we think is a good player and a good leader for our football team moving forward. The draft we took the best available players, I think we got some good players in this draft, and were going to continue to do it this way.

Youve got to do it the right way. Theres no short cut for doing things the right way, and you learn these lessons. Weve learned some very hard and true lessons.

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

Report: Isaiah Canaan becomes free agent as Sixers don't extend qualifying offer

Report: Isaiah Canaan becomes free agent as Sixers don't extend qualifying offer

It appears the Sixers are letting guard Isaiah Canaan walk.

Canaan, who was set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, is now unrestricted as the Sixers did not extend him a qualifying offer, according to a report Wednesday night by Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The qualifying offer would have been worth $1,215,696. Canaan made $947,276 last season.

Canaan, 25, has played parts of two seasons with the Sixers after coming over from the Rockets in 2014-15 as part of the K.J. McDaniels trade.

The 6-foot, 201-pound guard averaged 11 points per game in 77 contests (39 starts) last season, while shooting 36.3 percent from three-point range.

Canaan has not fit with the Sixers as a shoot-first point guard, averaging just 1.8 assists per game in 2015-16, a season in which he essentially turned into an undersized, volume-shooting two-guard.

The backcourt — specifically point guard — remains the biggest priority for the Sixers this offseason.

On Wednesday, the Sixers decided to retain Hollis Thompson for next season by exercising his team option.

Best of MLB: Daniel Murphy homers twice to help Nationals sweep Mets

Best of MLB: Daniel Murphy homers twice to help Nationals sweep Mets

WASHINGTON -- Daniel Murphy homered twice, tormenting his former team yet again, and the Washington Nationals completed a three-game sweep of the New York Mets with 4-2 victory Wednesday night.

Max Scherzer (9-5) cruised against New York's sputtering offense, allowing two hits with 10 strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. He retired 18 in a row before Brandon Nimmo's single in the eighth and finished with at least 10 strikeouts for the fourth straight game.

Murphy homered off Logan Verrett (3-5) in the second for a 1-0 lead and golfed a two-run drive in the eighth. He matched his career high with 14 homers and helped Washington win its fourth in a row.

The Mets went 23 innings without scoring before James Loney's two-run homer in the ninth off Shawn Kelley (see full recap).

Yankees score 6 runs in 9th inning to stun Rangers
NEW YORK -- Brian McCann hit a tying, three-run homer off Sam Dyson, Didi Gregorius capped a six-run ninth inning with his two-run shot and the New York Yankees woke up late to beat the Texas Rangers 9-7 Wednesday night.

Down 7-2 and in danger of falling 10 games behind AL East-leading Baltimore, the Yankees began their comeback when McCann homered off Cesar Ramos in the eighth.

Rob Refsnyder singled off Matt Bush leading off the ninth, Jacoby Ellsbury singled and Dyson (1-2) relieved.

Brett Gardner singled and Refsnyder came home when center fielder Ian Desmond bobbled the ball for an error. After Alex Rodriguez lined out, McCann homered into the right-field bleachers, Starlin Castro walked and Gregorius lined the ball into the right-field seats for his first career game-ending homer.

Luis Cessa (1-0) allowed one run in three innings for his first big league win (see full recap).

Indians blank Braves to extend winning streak to 12
ATLANTA -- Danny Salazar threw seven innings, Lonnie Chisenhall hit his second homer of the series and the Cleveland Indians stretched their winning streak to 12 games by beating the Atlanta Braves 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Cleveland swept its fourth straight series to extend the majors' longest winning streak this season. The Indians began the day leading second-place Kansas City by six games in the AL Central.

The Indians need one more win to match the longest winning streaks in franchise history. They won 13 straight in 1942 and 1951. They had another 12-game streak in 1922.

Jason Kipnis broke a scoreless tie with a two-run single in the fifth.

Salazar (10-3) was dominant, allowing five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. He lowered the AL's second-best ERA to 2.22 while winning his sixth straight start (see full recap).

Phillies finish off road trip with win in 10 innings to sweep Diamondbacks

Phillies finish off road trip with win in 10 innings to sweep Diamondbacks

BOX SCORE

PHOENIX – One element of a successful team is finding different ways to win.

That appears to be an important dimension the Phillies captured this week in the desert. After taking the opening two games of a series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phillies found another way to claim victory.

The come-from-behind method appears to be working just fine these days, and that element of their game surfaced again Wednesday afternoon. Down 4-2 early, the Phillies rallied for single runs in the fifth and seventh. Then they put up a crooked number in the eighth inning (four runs) before tacking on one more at the finish. The end result was a satisfying 9-8 win in 10 innings over the Diamondbacks before 18,603 in Chase Field (see Instant Replay).

The win completed a three-game sweep in the desert, and that came after the Arizona swept the Phillies June 17-20 at Citizens Bank Park. The three consecutive victories are the Phils' most since they won three straight from May 12-14 as they finished their nine-game road trip with a 5-4 mark.

While the sweep itself was not terribly significant, offered manager Pete Mackanin, the way the Phillies completed the road trip is important. Through the three-city trip of Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Francisco and Phoenix, the bats game alive and Vince Velesquez, came of the disabled list with a stellar effort Monday.

Now, the goal is the keep the momentum gained from the sweep and build on recent achievements.

“The key over the past week is guys having good at-bats,” said Peter Bourjos, who is hitting .471 in his last 17 games. “At this point, we’re not changing anything, and if we continue to do what we accomplished over the past week, we’ll be fine.”

If Velasquez’s effort electrified the pitching staff, then Bourjos' tear has rejuvenated the offense. That .471 average (24 for 51) over the last 17 games leads the majors. Bourjos also has a nine-game hitting streak over that span after going 2 for 5 with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored on Wednesday.

If the Phillies proved anything during the sweep of the Diamondbacks, it's that this is a resilient group. Hitting, like good pitching, is contagious and after banging out a season-high 16 hits Tuesday night, the Phillies increased that production by one on Wednesday.

Though not around for nearly half this game, starter Zach Eflin gave the Phillies a strong effort. After giving up a three-run, first-inning homer to Jake Lamb and another run in the second, Eflin settled down and pitched effectively. From the time Arizona scored on a Jean Segura sacrifice fly in the second, Eflin retired 14 of the next 16 hitters he faced.

“I started to pitch inside and wanted to keep them guessing,” Eflin said. “It was important for me to keep them off-balance and not get set. It’s about being aggressive and keeping them off-balance.”

Similar to Jerad Eickhoff, Eflin has been a victim of little run support. When he left after six innings, the Phillies were behind 4-2. Through his initial three starts in the majors, Eflin received only two total runs of support in 14 1/3 innings. That equates to 1.26 runs per nine innings.

However, the Phillies eventually found their offense in the win. With single runs in the fifth and seventh, and that four-spot in the eight, they managed to forge an 8-7 lead. 

The Phillies appeared to have this one locked down before Andres Blanco thought about going home on a roller to third base with two outs in the eighth inning before ultimately making an errant throw to first for the team's second error of the day.

The Phillies were able to go back on top in the 10th when Bourjos singled with one out and moved to second on single from Cody Asche. Hitting for winning pitcher Jeanmar Gomez, Tyler Goeddel lifted a fly to right and that brought in Bourjos with the game-winning run. 

Lefty Brett Oberholtzer retired the Diamondbacks in the 10th and recorded his first major-league save.