Donovan McNabb Is Too Cool for School

Donovan McNabb Is Too Cool for School

Ordinarily, I don't weigh in too heavy on our old friend Donovan anymore. As some readers have astutely pointed out, he's gone, out of our lives forever. However, this story from last week was a little too juicy to simply ignore, and just maybe serves as a glimpse into what's gone wrong for the former Eagles quarterback.

Per PFT, a talk radio show in D.C. citing unnamed sources claimed last Thursday that McNabb refused to wear a wristband with the plays on it, allegedly because he was afraid it would hurt his image. As incredibly ridiculous as that may sound (or not I guess), Donovan has yet to deny the story, and Rex Grossman has since all but confirmed it.

“Obviously Donovan didn’t like it.  He didn’t want to do it,” Grossman said.  “I’m not sure that was a major issue.  I’m not sure that was a big problem between him and the coaching staff.”
Wristbands are a fairly common device for quarterbacks. Through a little independent research, I noticed Mike Vick wearing one last season. So did Kevin Kolb. Hell, Tom Brady wears one. And while Donovan has not worn one for much of, or any of his NFL career, he certainly had them at Syracuse before the Eagles made him the second overall pick in the draft.

Whatever the reason is for not wearing one now, it's stupid. The wristband is only there to help, so there really is no excuse for making a big deal over it. If it's a way to show displeasure with the coaching staff, there are other ways he could demonstrate that. If it's about his image, well, I'm pretty sure his play this past year did enough damage in that department.

And Donovan better get with the program soon, that is if he intends to play again in 2011. The idea has been floated that we may have seen the last of McNabb. He'll likely demand a contract that far exceeds his value at this stage of his career, which is one of a temporary solution under center. Forget image, he'll have to swallow his pride the next time he puts his name on the dotted line.

Even then, the fact of the matter is once he gets to Minnesota, or wherever the coaches want to bring their franchise QB along slowly, the expectation would likely be--get ready for it--he wear a friggin wristband. McNabb is not the offensive wizard he seems to think he is, and with a shortened off-season to get up to speed in another new offense, the wristband may become a necessity.

Honestly, I never thought I'd feel this way, but thankfully he's not our problem anymore. McNabb was a very good quarterback here for a long time, and he helped carry this fanbase to some awesome highs. Nobody is dismissing his accomplishments.

What's sadly become apparent though, and more than ever since his departure, is this attitude as if he feels he's better than he really is. But Donovan McNabb is not above being traded, not above ending his career as a journeyman, and he's not above wearing a damn wrist band. At least he shouldn't be if he wants to still be taken seriously.

>> Report: McNabb refused to wear a wristband with plays [PFT]
>> Grossman says, what else, he should be starter [Washington Examiner]
>> Mosher: All signs pointing to end of McNabb's career [News Journal]

Illness can't keep Joel Embiid away from first Sixers practice

Illness can't keep Joel Embiid away from first Sixers practice

STOCKTON, N.J. — Joel Embiid awoke Tuesday morning and was still feeling ill from a cold and virus he has been battling since last Friday. He had been coughing, experiencing a bloody nose and even vomiting, but all those symptoms could not stop him from a day he has been eyeing for over two years: his first NBA practice.

Embiid had stayed back in Philadelphia on Monday night while the Sixers traveled to training camp at Stockton University in South Jersey. On Tuesday, he decided to leave the city and join the team on campus.

“I woke up this morning and I was like, ‘I waited too long for this time, so I’ve got to go and try to do some work in there,’” Embiid said.

Embiid had been sidelined by foot injuries since the Sixers drafted him third overall in 2014. Tuesday marked his first NBA practice, and he is eyeing his first preseason game next Tuesday against the Celtics.

Embiid was not expected to be part of training camp Tuesday because of his illness. He surprised the team when he arrived while practice was underway. The Sixers' medical staff cleared him before he took the court.

“He forced himself into practice today,” head coach Brett Brown said. “He said, ‘I feel good, I want to go.’ With the time that he has put in the last few years, he meant it. You respected that instruction.”

Embiid is following a minutes restriction during training camp, which currently is 25 minutes for the morning session and 20 minutes for the evening session. His previous physical restrictions have been lifted and the team is monitoring him for workload and time on the court.

“I step back and figure out how do I want to spend my money?” Brown said. “If we’ve got X amount of time, where do I feel like he can make the most improvement? Where do I feel like he’s going to have the best chance to get on the court and play minutes, as we expect against the Celtics?”

Tuesday morning’s session focused on the defensive end. While Embiid had trouble breathing at points and tired quickly, he made an effort to give 100 percent on the court. The only lags in Embiid’s game Brown noticed were attributed to his illness, not because of his foot.

“I don’t think he’s missed a beat from a great month of September,” Brown said.

The Sixers sensed the enthusiasm from Embiid. Regardless of his restrictions, his energy was felt among the team.

“When he did get in, he played well,” Ben Simmons said. “He’s a big inside presence. He got a lot of boards and crashed the offensive glass.”

Added Jahlil Okafor: "He’s excited to be here. Obviously, he’s had a couple tough years with his injuries that he couldn’t control. But he’s finally here and he’s taking advantage of that."

The Sixers will hold training camp through Friday at Stockton University. Embiid is looking to push past any symptoms to be on the court as much as he can.

Nerlens Noel's complaints only damage Sixers' trade leverage

Nerlens Noel's complaints only damage Sixers' trade leverage

Silence is golden.

It's a phrase uttered often by parents and teachers. It can also be an effective phrase when dealing with negotiations.

I'm not revealing a big secret by saying the Sixers have a logjam in their frontcourt. At some point, something has to give.

Nerlens Noel, a key component of the aforementioned logjam, doubled down on his quotes from over the weekend about the Sixers' "silly" frontcourt situation.

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

Uh-oh.

Bryan Colangelo acknowledged that teams have been trying to "poach" a big man off him. He's been adamant in saying that he's not shopping any of his bigs. For leverage purposes, that's wise.

Any leverage Colangelo may have accrued through his media tour this summer took a hit. With the health of Joel Embiid still a question mark, it's important that the Sixers take a wait-and-see approach to their situation. Noel may have just put a damper on that plan.

I'm not advocating for the trade of Noel and keeping Jahlil Okafor. In fact, I've said that if Embiid proves he's healthy, I'd move both Noel and Okafor if the value was appropriate.

There can be arguments made for keeping Noel over the other two centers. His athleticism and rim protection skills fit Brett Brown's system and the way the NBA is trending. And it's important to note that Noel isn't wrong. It won't benefit him to take a cut in minutes. It won't help Okafor either. It's not the most pleasant situation to be sure. He has every right to be unhappy, but getting the media involved doesn't benefit Noel or the Sixers.

Anyone in any job should have the right to speak out if they feel they're being slighted, but sometimes you have to "play the game." If Noel were a poker player, he just revealed his hand. He should've shown up, said the right things and allowed Colangelo to negotiate a deal.

The best parallel is what the Eagles and Sam Bradford went through this offseason. Bradford was unhappy the Eagles traded valuable draft picks to acquire Carson Wentz. Understandable, but when he threw his rattle down and sat out part of camp, it helped nobody. The Broncos tried to lowball Howie Roseman, figuring Roseman had no leverage with Bradford's intent to get traded out of town. Roseman stood his ground and the Eagles were able to hold the Vikings hostage when Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending knee injury.

It's not something you hope for by any means, but these things happen. Players get hurt and teams are left scrambling to find a replacement. Take a look at the Chris Bosh situation with the Miami Heat. Bosh, who's had a tremendous career, will likely never play again because of issues with blood clots. The Heat are likely not a match for the Sixers given defensive-minded center Hassan Whiteside's new contract, but the point is that you never know what will happen between now and opening night.

For Bradford, it was resolved just a week before the season started. If Noel follows suit with Bradford, perhaps there will be a similar solution.

"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."

Well, Nerlens, you said too much already.