Do You Prefer an Offensive- or Defensive-Minded Head Coach? Does It Even Matter?

Do You Prefer an Offensive- or Defensive-Minded Head Coach? Does It Even Matter?

One of the statements we keep reading and hearing as the
Eagles’ head-coaching search drags on is a seemingly large portion of the fan
base wants a “defensive-minded head coach.” Recently, some of my brethren were
having this discussion on Twitter, going so far as to break down how many of
each won Super Bowls in the past decade.

It’s an interesting topic, in that obviously it can be
debated and almost quantified to a certain extent. But then ultimately, does it
really make a difference either way?

This is an aspect of the Eagles’ hunt that does not
preoccupy me in the least, because think about it. An offensive-minded head
coach is going to hire a defensive coordinator to run his defense, and a
defensive-minded head coach is going to hire an offensive coordinator to run
his offense.

What you’re essentially doing is applying overriding
philosophies to candidates based on a position they currently hold.

Bringing in a defensive coordinator to become the Eagles’ next
head coach does not automatically mean Jeff Lurie would be hiring somebody who
believes in a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust run-oriented attack. For all we
know, that particular defensive coach is going to want a strong-minded offensive
coordinator who will throw the ball all over the field on first, second, and third
downs because of some league trend. What is being done on the other side of the ball may even boil down to
something so simple as who was willing to take the job.

It has a tendency not to work out how you think it will
at all.

Perhaps the prime example is Brian Billick, who won a
championship as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. Because that team
had one of the worst offenses in Super Bowl history, but also one of the strongest defenses ever, people tend to forget
Billick actually got the job based on his work as the offensive coordinator for the
Minnesota Vikings.

Or look at last year’s Super Bowl. Bill Belichick was once a
defensive coach, but the Patriots have developed into an offensive powerhouse through
the years, while Tom Coughlin was an offensive coach, and the Giants’ pass rush
especially is often billed first for their success.

The Eagles shouldn’t be looking for somebody based on
whether he coaches offense or defense, because somebody winds up coaching
offense, and somebody else winds up coaching defense, and vice versa. It simply
isn’t something to get hung up about.

What they’re looking for is a coach who can lead a team, a
coach with a plan. Do you really care whether it’s an offensive or defensive
coordinator?

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Sixers merchandise sales on the rise along with win total

Sixers merchandise sales on the rise along with win total

Between recent wins and Joel Embiid’s All-Star push, fans are buying their Sixers gear.

According to Fanatics.com, a sports apparel website partnered with the four major sports, the Sixers rank fourth among all NBA teams in total merchandise sales over the past seven days. The Warriors, Cavaliers and Bulls are ahead of them.

Joel Embiid was the fifth-best selling player over that period. His popularity has risen during his enthusiastic All-Star campaign, which included celebrity shoutouts and an outpour of social media activity. Embiid is now up to 553,000 Twitter followers.

The Sixers have ranked in the league’s top 10 of merchandise sales since the beginning of the 2016-17 season. They hold the largest year-over-year increase during that time frame in the NBA this season.

In September, Ben Simmons ranked in the top 10 of NBA players in merchandise sales since draft night.

Sales from the Sixers' and NBA's official online stores are included in these statistics.

Sixers clicking just in time to face surging Raptors on Wednesday

Sixers clicking just in time to face surging Raptors on Wednesday

The Sixers are clicking just in time to face their toughest competition in over a month. The Raptors (28-13) come to Philadelphia as the Sixers have won six of their last eight games by holding one another accountable and taking each outing step-by-step.

“You feel like the group is coming together,” Brett Brown said. “You feel like all the work that we have put in is starting to pay dividends in relation to a solid foundation.”

The Raptors sit second in the Eastern Conference, just one and a half games behind the Cavaliers. The last time they met, the Raptors beat the Sixers 123-114 on Dec. 14 at the Wells Fargo Center.

A lot has changed since then, especially the rotations. Brown started Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor together against the Raptors, an experiment that waned out after six games. The Sixers have found a formula to winning with an established starting lineup and a consistent second unit, with the added experience of Gerald Henderson and Nerlens Noel. They will be tested Wednesday as both Joel Embiid (illness) and T.J. McConnell (wrist) are questionable.

“When you look at this team, it’s a lot of talent but we didn’t play as a team,” Ilyasova said of the start of the season. “Now we come together. I think it’s all about the chemistry, we trust each other.”

The Sixers are looking to carry over the momentum of a 113-104 victory over the Bucks in Milwaukee on Monday. They got a test of All-Star caliber talent against Giannis Antetokounmpo, whom they held to two points in the second half. The Sixers will have their hands full with the backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry (22.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists) and DeMar DeRozan (28.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists).

One key to countering talent like that placing an importance on accountability. The players are not letting each other off the hook for mistakes on the court, regardless of who the opponent is.

“I could see it over the past couple weeks, guys coming out here and being more vocal on both ends of the court,” Noel said. “If one guy messes up, you’ve got to let him know so it won’t be a recurring thing. With that, guys are taking steps in the right direction, both leadership roles because everybody on this team can be a leader in their own way.”

The Raptors come in on a four-game winning streak.