New Eagles WR Jordan Matthews may have a little Doug Collins in him

New Eagles WR Jordan Matthews may have a little Doug Collins in him

The Eagles rookies had the pleasure of meeting with the Philadelphia media on Friday over at the NovaCare Complex and one of the more interesting stories to come out of the sessions was the way in which Chip Kelly and the Birds handled the pre-draft meetings with potential draftees.

Kelly is known to do pretty much everything a little bit differently than other head coaches around the league and the players the Eagles ended up drafting pointed out that their visits with the Birds were more formal and maybe a little more stressful, but in a good way. They even had agendas!

Tim McManus writing for Birds 24/7 tells of how the coaching staff would show the players a scheme on the board, then erase it, and try to get the player to rattle it back without any notes. The point being to test the player's mental ability, something Kelly values very much.

"Dumb people do dumb things and smart people rarely do dumb things," is apparently one of Kelly's sayings.

The Jordan Matthews example was my favorite:

After selecting Jordan Matthews in the second round, Kelly noted that the receiver demonstrated amazing recall during his visit to Philly, and was able to rattle off the exact situation in the game and even the route he ran the moment it came up on film. Safe to say he performed well in that meeting room. [Beau] Allen did, too. The same likely applies to the rest of the eventual Eagles' draft picks that visited the facility.

Love it. Reminds me a bit of Doug Collins. Probably not as extreme as the Sixers' old coach. But it's great to have some smarts in the locker room.

I still don't get the lede part of the story about Chip playing with a remote control car. Someone needs to investigate that further.

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."