Back in Action: Eagles Sign Free Agents CB Cary Williams, S Kenny Phillips

Back in Action: Eagles Sign Free Agents CB Cary Williams, S Kenny Phillips

The Eagles had gone quiet since signing a slew of free
agents within hours of free agency opening on Tuesday, but by no means were
they finished. The front office was active again on Thursday, agreeing to terms
with two more pieces for their rebuilding secondary: cornerback Cary Williams
and safety Kenny Phillips.


Williams’ contract is for three years, and it will be
expected that he be one of the players who fills the void left on the outside
by the departures of Nnamdi Asomugha (released) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
(signed w/ Broncos). A seventh-round pick by the Titans in ’08, the 28 year old
spent the last four years with the Baltimore Ravens, who he just helped to a
Super Bowl title.

Williams became a starting corner in 2011, playing in every
game for the Ravens over the past two seasons. He finished with four
interceptions and 17 passes defended in ’12, and was considered one of the more
attractive options on the market.

It sounds like a nice addition for the Birds. Williams has good
size and is physical. While he’s not a shutdown guy, at three years the
organization wasn’t forced to over-commit. At the very least, he fills a major
need, giving the organization one reliable cornerback for sure heading into
2013.

Phillips you may be familiar with from his time on the New
York Giants. He was the team’s first-round selection out of Miami back in ’08,
starting 42 games in five seasons there. The 26 year old has tremendous talent,
but the problem has always been staying healthy. While he managed to play in 31
of 32 possible games between ’10 and ’11, he only appeared in seven last year,
and missed all but two in ’09.

It’s a one-year deal, so there is essentially no risk for
the Eagles. If he is recovered from the sprain MCL that gave him trouble last
season, and he can stay on the field, he has a chance to make a major impact.
Phillips has eight interceptions and one forced fumble in his career.

Another strong acquisition for a secondary desperately in
need of help. Phillips is an instant and significant improvement over the
current crop of safeties, but without the huge contract. The downside is if he
has a great season, they could lose him next Spring already, but then they may
be looking to the draft for safety help as well.

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Nerlens Noel is standing his ground.

After saying that the Sixers' entering the season with three starting-caliber centers (himself, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid) "doesn't make sense," Noel didn't back down from his stance during the team's annual media day.  

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night." 

The Sixers attempted to play with two bigs in Noel and Okafor last season but had little success. Now that Embiid is finally healthy, the fit to the puzzle doesn't figure to get any better.

Reports swirled during the offseason that the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor to add backcourt help to the woeful franchise, but nothing came to fruition.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner.

"I've gone through a whole lot. Probably the most, arguably, that any player has gone through in the NBA in losing. It's a tough situation to still be in. Year by year, to see things get more difficult to show your value. Year by year, it's always been something. It's really at a point where it's just a lot."

Bryan Colangelo said he understands Noel's viewpoint. However, the Sixers' president said he is in no rush to trade any of the centers and will wait the situation out.

"It’s not disappointing. It’s understandable," Colangelo said. "I think Nerlens actually did a pretty good job sizing up what we have, which is a lot of depth and a lot of talent at that position."

Despite each of the three centers being early in their career, Noel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't want to hold off to see if the trio can actually mesh on the floor.

"I can't say I do really understand that (wait-and-see approach)," Noel said. "If you have a group of players, I just don't think it makes too much sense to just still come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don't know what there is to wait and see."

Noel made sure to express that he has no issues with Okafor and Embiid and said they are some of his closest friends on the team. But when asked whether he was happy to be a Sixer, Noel deflected.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm all right, I'm in a good place right now."

Sure sounds like it.

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

sproles-sonic.jpg

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

You may fondly remember the time Darren Sproles took a punt return to the house last season and a wonderful Twitter user set the video to the Super Mario Bros.' star music, yes?

It was great.

Now that Sproles' put on the jets again yesterday in the Eagles win over the Steelers, the same @pacdude on Twitter has done it again.

This time it's the theme music from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Please enjoy.