Eagles Fans' Incredibly Ambivalent Relationship with DeSean Jackson

Eagles Fans' Incredibly Ambivalent Relationship with DeSean Jackson

The Philadelphia Eagles are almost spoiled with two of the most talented and electrifying offensive weapons in the game in LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. Throw in the speed and cannon of Mike Vick and it makes for the chance of excitement every time the Birds have the ball.

But when they need a big play to get back in a game, the chorus from the armchair QBs at home is always the same: send DeSean deep.

Everybody wants to see that.

He really is remarkable to watch at times. When Djacc turns on the jets it seems like nobody in the game can stick with him. But as yesterday's game showed, even when DeSean beats a guy deep on a regular basis, getting the ball cleanly from Vick's hands to No. 10's is not always as easy as it may look.

DeSean dropped one deep ball that seemingly went right through his hands and found himself out of bounds when he caught another. Both incredibly frustrating to watch.

They later connected for a 61-yard score, which makes up a lot for earlier errors, but never entirely.

Those two screw ups aside though, it was a dumb penalty that really got the anti-Djacc blood flowing. It was on the Birds' final touchdown of the day that Jackson really cost his team.

If you didn't get a good look at the boneheaded penalty Jackson was called for on Vick's touchdown run to put them up 27-23 in the fourth, Ray Diddy gives a good description of it in the below video. Basically, DeSean got into it way away from the ball unnecessarily with a Chargers defender and cost his team 15-yards on the kickoff which basically turned into a net 40-yard swing that lead to the Chargers taking the lead for good.

He's a polarizing player, that's for sure. He leads the league in receiving yards after just two games and put up big numbers on Sunday. He found the endzone once for a huge score but as we stated, had his share of mistakes as well.

By all accounts, DeSean is a new player this year, putting the past contract squabble and lackadaisical play behind him. He's poised for a Pro Bowl type season.

Obviously, the defense earns the bulk of the blame for yesterday's loss. Djacc made some great plays for the Birds on Sunday and they probably wouldn't have been in the game without him. Still, if DeSean doesn't get that flag or maybe makes one of those earlier catches and the game could have very easily gone in his favor.

He shared the below photo on Instagram which points out that no individual stats matter when the Eagles don't get the 'W' ... but hey, look at my individual stats anyway.

There's another Embiid WWE 2K17 entrance and it includes Hinkie

There's another Embiid WWE 2K17 entrance and it includes Hinkie

He’s done it again.
 
Eleven days ago, Sixers social media went wild over a video that showed Joel Embiid walking out to the ring as a WWE character in WWE 2K17. Well, YouTube user Hillman811 is back with an even better version of the video complete with Sam Hinkie and fans chanting.
 
The first video sparked questions to Embiid about his favorite WWE wrestler, and he even did his own Triple H introduction at the Wells Fargo Center after The Game threw him an All-Star vote (see story).
 
Watch the video below and let your mind run wild with what this would look like if it actually happened.
 

Tommy Joseph focused on earning first base job, taking more walks

Tommy Joseph focused on earning first base job, taking more walks

There was no better story of personal triumph on the Phillies' roster than Tommy Joseph in 2016.

Dumped from the 40-man roster and passed over by 29 other teams on the waiver wire and in the Rule 5 draft in 2015, he reported to minor-league camp with his career on the line last spring.

Two months later, thanks to good health and a molten bat, Joseph's career began to spike upward.

But 4½ months in the big leagues and the promise of a starting job in the majors in 2017 hasn't changed Joseph's outlook or the mindset he will take into spring training camp next month.

He's still going to scrap and claw for everything, just like he did a year ago when he was fighting for his baseball life after a series of concussions put his career in jeopardy.

"I'm preparing the same way I did last winter," Joseph said during an offseason stop at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday.

"The job is not given to me. I still have to win it. I'm not going to walk in and have it. Obviously, it's mine to take and I plan on going in and winning the job."

Joseph, 25, earned a significant slice of the starting first base job last year. But with Ryan Howard, the last piece of the 2008 World Series team, gone, Joseph has a chance to stake an even greater claim to the position in 2017 and establish himself as a serious building block in the Phillies' rebuild.

"Tommy came out of nowhere last year," manager Pete Mackanin said. "There's something to be excited about there. He was off the map and he did enough to warrant a real strong look this year. And hopefully, he can improve and take baby steps toward being a final product."

Joseph pushed himself to the majors and cut into Howard's playing time last season by hitting .347 with six homers, 17 RBIs and a .981 OPS in 27 games at Triple A. He came to the majors in mid-May and hit .257 with 21 homers and 47 RBIs in 107 games. In the fall, Joseph briefly played winter ball in the Dominican Republic, but right wrist tendinitis, now fully healed, cut the stint short.

Joseph's good showing at the plate in 2016 was partly the result of his finding good health. As he recovered from a fifth concussion in the summer of 2015, it was discovered that he had a series of ocular problems. They were addressed through therapy and ... well, it's amazing what a hitter can do when he can see the ball.

This year, Joseph will look to improve in the field. The converted catcher is looking to add quickness around the first base bag and that starts with better footwork. At the urging of bench coach/infield instructor Larry Bowa, Joseph has been jumping rope and doing box drills all winter.

Joseph also wants to improve his approach and mindset at the plate. Though he wants to drive the ball like his size — 235 pounds — and position dictate, he wants to improve his on-base percentage and thus his OPS, on-base plus slugging percentage.

Joseph struck out 75 times and walked just 22 times in 347 plate appearances in 2016 and his on-base percentage was just .308. But over the final month of the season, he made an effort to be more selective at the plate and he recorded a .327 batting average and .406 on-base percentage (while slugging .618) over the final 23 games of the season. He struck out 10 times but walked seven over that span.

"My whole career has been a battle when it comes to walking," Joseph said. "I started to listen and read more what veterans around the league were saying about on-base percentage and OPS. Slugging is important on the corners, but there are times you have to take your walks. It's relevant because the best players in the game have a high OPS."

Joseph needs to improve in this area for a couple of reasons. First, the front office is intent on building a long-term lineup around players who control the strike zone, i.e., those who don't chase bad pitches. And second, the Phils have a legitimate run-producing first base prospect in Rhys Hoskins set to take his game to Triple A in 2017.

Joseph knows all of this and takes nothing for granted.

"The only difference this year will be I'm on the big-league side in spring training, but everything still has to be earned," he said.

The Phillies ranked last in the majors — or "last in the world," as Mackanin said — with just 610 runs scored in 2016. The offseason additions of Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders should help run production. So, too, should expected improvements from Maikel Franco and Joseph, two players who have the chance to be long-term building blocks.

"We've got guys at the big-league level that I choose to think are going to get better," Mackanin said. "Tommy Joseph is a perfect example."