Happy New Year, Happy New Era

Happy New Year, Happy New Era

While we’re always a little sad to come to the realization
that football season is nearing its conclusion, this year is different. It
pales in comparison to the disappointment felt after a crushing playoff loss,
that’s for sure. In fact, when the Eagles are 4-12, there’s actually quite a
bit of relief involved.

Andy Reid is the only head coach The700Level.com has ever
known, but tonight we turn the calendar over to a new year, and tomorrow the Eagles awaken with a fresh start.

In case you’re just joining us, Reid along with five other
head coaches from around the league received their walking papers on Black
Monday.
Philadelphia’s head coaching search begins immediately.

We’ve probably been kinder toward or even defensive of Reid
than some of the other outlets that cover the Eagles, at least I admit I have.
It hasn’t always been like that – few seem to remember moments like the time we
“found” Andy’s infamous play chart back in 2008. In general though, the belief
here is we were fortunate to have a pretty good football coach.

The business of Reid’s legacy is for another conversation.
What I’m trying to get at – quickly, so I can enjoy my holiday – is change can
be exciting, and change can be necessary. Reid will get another job, he may
even win the Super Bowl somewhere down the road. Good luck to him.

I think I speak for 99% of Eagles fans when I say that I’m
ready for change. Sure, that sounds like
a no-brainer. However, any way you slice it the next head coach almost
certainly will not duplicate the success Reid had, even less likely for the
duration Reid enjoyed. Yet it’s the chance we’re all willing to take, because clearly
it was time, arguably past due even.

In closing, we’re looking forward to the Eagles starting
over, looking forward to what change will bring, and hoping for the best. And
that truly is fitting, because that’s sort of in the spirit of starting a New Year
– turning over a new leaf and trying something different.

Have a safe and happy New Year, folks.

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Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid was back in the gym on Wednesday afternoon after enjoying his All-Star break down in New Orleans and appears like he's ready to get back out on the court this weekend.

“I hope that they’re going let me play,” Embiid said after practice on Wednesday. “I feel great. I want to play. If it was my decision, I’d be playing.”

The team doctor's aren't so sure. Joel is currently listed as doubtful for both of the Sixers games this weekend.

But that didn't stop JoJo from talking some smack with one of his favorite teammates, Dario Saric, while battling in a little one-on-one after practice.

Embiid was seen by reporters using some colorful language directed in Saric's direction, screaming "you can't ****-ing guard me!" while the two went at it.

The chatter didn't stop there. Embiid was later asked about the one-on-one and unleashed a little more on Dario.

"He don't like playing me," Embiid said. "He never wins and he doesn't handle me talking trash to him. I would love to play against him all the time because that gives me a lot of confidence beating him every day."

"It's fun playing against him. We both like to compete."

"That's my guy," he added.

And Sixers fans love them both. Let's just hope to see more of them teaming up in actual games soon.

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

CAMDEN, N.J. — Thursday is significant for the Sixers beyond the trade deadline. It is also the day of Ben Simmons' CT scan to evaluate how his right foot is healing.

"I feel like tomorrow at some point we're all going to be able to lay out a more genuine plan for him," Brett Brown said Wednesday. "I feel like we're going to be good to go with some greater news and a more advanced detail of his plans after this scan."

Once all parties involved assess the results, the team will provide an update, which may not be Thursday. Simmons has been sidelined all season after suffering a Jones fracture during the final scrimmage of training camp. 

On Wednesday, he went through his individual workout plan, which included five-on-none scripting with teammates.

"He's still getting a feel for all of us," Nerlens Noel said. "He's learning to throw it up to me, bounce pass to whoever. It's learning certain tendencies that'll make you start to feel more a part of the team."

The Sixers have not placed a timetable on Simmons' return. The first overall pick has not been cleared for full contact five-on-five practice, the next step in his recovery. Prior to the All-Star break, Brown said he expects Simmons will play at some point this season. He stands by that projection with 26 games remaining. 

"I personally would like to see him play this season. I don't backpedal from that," Brown said. "I think my comments are really very much influenced by his reciprocal desire to play this year, which we all respect. Everybody's got clandestine conspiracy theories on why he might not want to play. I know in my heart and speaking to him, he wants to get on a court and play basketball again.

"I hope he can do that, too. If for some reason he can't, we'll deal with it. But I think it would help him to play NBA basketball and get his competitive juices going again if the doctors point us in that direction."

Simmons' teammates are ready to welcome him into the mix when he is given the green light. Their limited glimpses into his talent have them eager for his debut.

"Unlimited potential," Noel said. "I think with Ben, the thing that makes him so special is his IQ for the game, a sixth sense on the court. Him being able to find little things that not very many 6-10 guys can find. I think that's going to propel his game and make him a special player in this league." 

Added Joel Embiid: "I'm excited ... I thought he was our best player in training camp."