Who Is the Worst Athlete in Philadelphia?

Who Is the Worst Athlete in Philadelphia?

The sports scene in Philadelphia hasn’t been a whole lot of
fun lately, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and revel in
the terribleness. 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi gave his list of the six worst
athletes in town on Thursday’s morning show, and while we don’t necessarily
agree with his list in its entirety, it’s certainly more fun than looking at
the big picture right now.

Coming in at number one on Angelo’s list is Ilya Bryzgalov,
which I thought was sort of an odd choice. Bryz does have that massive
nine-year, $51 million contract, and has made his share of waves since arriving
in Philly. That said, the Flyers’ goalie rebounded after a slow start in his
first year in Orange and Black, wound up posting a respectable 33-16 record in
regular season, and set the franchise record for longest shutout streak along
the way. His personality is way out there, and his contract could become a
burden, but worst athlete?

I suspect Angelo’s second choice would be way up there on anybody’s
list though. Since signing a five-year deal worth $60 mil in 2011, Nnamdi
Asomugha has been the definition of a free agent bust. He’s not been nearly as
bad as you might think given the outcry, but the Oakland Raiders refugee has
been far from one of the most dominant corners in football, not to mention has
surrendered a bunch of memorable big plays. Plus, with his constant questioning
of Juan Castillo in the media, you get the sense he’s just not very good for
the locker room, either.

If I had to propose a player who was not on the list
already, it almost certainly has to be another member of the Eagles, even
though they took up half the spots. After some internal debate, reluctantly I
nominate Michael Vick. Somehow he fooled Andy Reid and legions of Birds fans
into thinking he could still be a franchise quarterback in the NFL. Vick is now
18-16 as the team’s starter (playoffs included), 10-14 since Week 16 in 2010,
and has committed 32 turnovers in his last 22 games alone.

You can check out Angelo’s full list here, where there is
another somewhat surprising name in my opinion – think Phillies – but who do
you believe deserves to be declared the worst of the worst?

>> Angelo Cataldi's Six Worst Athletes [CBS Philly]

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Doug Pederson not afraid to get agressive with play-calling

Doug Pederson not afraid to get agressive with play-calling

Talk to Doug Pederson and he comes across … what’s a nice way to put it … dry?

Very nice guy. Very friendly. Very down to Earth. But not the most dynamic personality in public.

Which is why his personality on gameday has been so surprising.

Pederson is a risk taker as a playcaller. Aggressive and fearless.

Whether it’s going for it on fourth down with the lead, going for two after a successful PAT or throwing deep in a situation that doesn’t necessarily call for it, Pederson has proven to be the proverbial riverboat gambler that Chip Kelly was expected to be but never became.

“My personality is probably a little more conservative by nature, I think,” Pederson said Monday. “You'd probably agree with that.”

Pederson got a laugh with that comment because his public persona is exactly the opposite of his gameday demeanor.

It only took one day before we all got a taste of Pederson’s fearlessness.

In the season opener against the Browns, with the Eagles clinging to a 15-10 lead and a rookie quarterback making his first NFL appearance and a 4th-and-4 at the Browns’ 40--yard-line, he kept the offense on the field.

Carson Wentz responded by connecting with Zach Ertz on a five-yard gain to move the chains, and one play later, the Eagles took command on Wentz’s 35-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor.

Six weeks in, the Eagles are 5 for 5 on fourth down. Only the Falcons have converted more fourth downs in the NFL this year, and they’re 6 for 10.

In the win over the Bears, the Eagles were 3 for 3 on fourth down, their best fourth-down conversion day in nine years.

This is the first time in 14 years the Eagles have converted five or more fourth downs through six games.

According to Pro Football Reference, the Eagles are one of only seven teams in NFL history to attempt five or more fourth down plays through six games and still be at 100 percent. The Lions are also 5 for 5 this year.

Pederson said analytics are a big part of his decision-making process, but he also trusts his instincts.

“I think it's both,” Pederson said. “But I trust our guys and I trust our offensive line and I think it sends a great message to the rest of the team, to the defense and special teams, that, ‘Hey, if we can convert this and stay on the field,’ it sends a good message.

“And on the other side of that, if you do convert, (it’s about) the message you send to the other team and the fact that you're going to stay aggressive.”

The Eagles are 29th-best in the NFL on third down at just 34 percent. But they’re one of only three teams that’s at 100 percent on fourth down.

“It's kind of a crazy deal when you're not great on third down, but you can be 5 for 5 on fourth down and convert them,” Pederson said. “It's a weird deal. But credit to the guys for the execution.

“I'm going to continue to look at it. I don't ever want to be in a position that I'm going to jeopardize the team at the time (by being too aggressive). Looking at the five fourth-down decisions this year, I don’t think they put us in any harm at that time.”

Wentz is 3 for 3 for 21 yards on fourth down, with the four-yard completion to Ertz, a seven-yard first down to Jordan Matthews in the Bears game and a nine-yard to Dorial Green-Beckham, also in the win in Chicago.

He also rushed six yards for a first down on a 4th-and-2 Sunday in the win over the Vikings. The Eagles’ other fourth-down conversion this year was Ryan Mathews’ one-yard TD on a 4th-and-goal against Chicago.

Pederson said as an assistant coach under Andy Reid, he always found himself asking himself whether he would be conservative or aggressive in crucial situations.

We’re all learning the answer now.

“Yeah, you definitely put yourself in those situations, as a coordinator and a position coach,” he said. “Putting yourself in those spots, it's a lot easier when you're not making the decision obviously to go, ‘Oh, yeah, I would have not gone for it there or not gone for it there.’

“Now, being in this position, it's my tail on the line if we don't convert.”

6 months later, Cubs' Kyle Schwarber returns for World Series Game 1

6 months later, Cubs' Kyle Schwarber returns for World Series Game 1

CLEVELAND — Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber's rehab finished just in time for the World Series.

Schwarber will bat fifth and be the designated hitter for the National League champions in Game 1 on Tuesday night against Cleveland's Corey Kluber. Schwarber hasn't played in the majors since tearing ligaments in his left knee on April 7 in a collision with teammate Dexter Fowler.

Dallas Cowboys orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Cooper operated 12 days later to repair torn anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments. He was expected to miss the rest of the season but was cleared to return on Oct. 17.

Schwarber played a pair of games in the Arizona Fall League, going 1 for 6 with a double and two walks, and flew to Cleveland on Monday.