Mark Streit Excited About Coming to Philly, ‘a great city’

Mark Streit Excited About Coming to Philly, ‘a great city’

We’ll reserve final judgment until he signs a contract, but the initial reaction here is trading for Mark Streit was a good move for the Flyers, at least in the short-term. The team gave up next to nothing to acquire Streit’s rights, and he immediately becomes the club’s best offensive defenseman the moment he steps through the front door.

Perhaps nobody was more excited by the move than Streit himself. The 35-year-old blueliner spoke to Comcast SportsNet after the news came down. Not only does the former New York Islanders sound confident his agent will be able to get a deal worked out with general manager Paul Holmgren before free agency begins on July 5, he sure makes it sound as if Philadelphia would have been one of his top destinations anyway had he hit the market.

“It's an exciting time for me,” Streit said. “Obviously I'm excited to get traded to Philadelphia. I'm not sure what's going to happen the next few weeks -- or days -- it's part of my agent's job to work that out with Paul, but Philly has an unbelievable team.

“It's a great franchise and a great city and it's a hockey town for sure. The fans there are great and that's why I always liked playing in Philly. The team is really good. It's well-structured. It's young and fast and it would be a great honor to play for the Flyers.”

Streit expressed confidence that a deal would get done with the Flyers.

“I'm pretty confident,” he said. “I think that maybe they need a few days or weeks, but I'm pretty positive. It'd be awesome to play for the Flyers.

“The future is bright. They were in the Cup Finals three years ago and there is so much skill and a great mix between veteran players and young players, so I'm pretty confident and I truly hope it's going to get done soon.”

Due to his age and contract demands – he’ll probably settle for something in the three-years-at-$5.5-million-per range – Streit was not exactly the idea candidate to help fix the Flyers’ defense. However, his ability with the puck brings a dynamic that was often missing from the unit last season, which had a lot to do with the turnovers and inability to get the puck out of their own end at times.

Plus, and this can’t be said enough, the front office did not have to part with either Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn to upgrade the defense. We’ll see what kind of contract the Flyers wind up getting stuck with, but I'm alright with this for now.

>> Flyers acquire D Mark Streit from Islanders [CSN]

Eagles LB Myke Tavarres reportedly changes mind, will stand for national anthem

Eagles LB Myke Tavarres reportedly changes mind, will stand for national anthem

Several hours after telling ESPN that he would join Colin Kaepernick in not standing for the national anthem in the Eagles' preseason finale, rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres has apparently changed his mind. 

Tavarres' agent told FOX29's Chris O'Connell that the linebacker will stand for the national anthem against the Jets.

All right then. 

For what it's worth, Crossing Broad found this picture from Tavarres a few weeks ago, when he certainly seemed to be pro-America.

Happy Independence Day!! 🇺🇸

A photo posted by Myke Tavarres (@myket14) on

Carson Wentz back at practice, frustrated he’s out for Eagles Thursday night

Carson Wentz back at practice, frustrated he’s out for Eagles Thursday night

Carson Wentz was on the fields at the NovaCare Complex wearing a helmet and ready to practice on Monday for the first time since fracturing his ribs on Aug. 11 against the Bucs.

He’s getting better. Just not quickly enough.

Despite being back at practice Monday afternoon, Wentz will not play in the Eagles’ preseason finale against the Jets on Thursday night. The original hope was that the No. 2 overall pick would be ready for the fourth preseason game.

“That’s a no-go for this week, but I’ll be ready for Week 1,” Wentz said.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said a CT scan on Wentz’s ribs showed one was completely healed, while the other was just 60 percent healed (see story).

Wentz said he expects to be fully healed by Sept. 11, when the Eagles open the season against the Cleveland Browns. But by then, he will have missed three of his four opportunities to play in the preseason. And, as the third-stringer, he won’t even be active on game days.

“It’s tough,” Wentz said. “With all injuries, it’s tough not being on the field, especially as a competitor coming in here, these preseason games were going to be big for me. It’s tough, it’s frustrating, but it just kind of is what it is.”

In his only game this preseason, Wentz went 12 for 24 for 89 yards and an interception. He also ran three times for 15 yards. During that game, he showed flashes of why the Eagles were so high on him, but it was just a taste.

After Thursday night, he will have spent the rest of the preseason as a spectator during games, taking mental reps instead of real ones.

Mental reps help, certainly. Wentz stands on the sideline and mentally inserts himself into the play. What would he do here? What would his read be there? What would he do with a certain protection?

“You’re really just trying to be locked in like you were the guy in the game,” he said.

Mental reps are great. But they don’t replace the real ones. Nothing does.

So while Wentz has been working to get better since going down with the ribs injury earlier this month, he’s lost valuable practice and game reps that he won’t get back. Pederson said once the season starts, the team can’t help him make them up because it will be too focused on getting the starters ready to play.

“You have to make the most of every opportunity you have in practice,” Wentz said. “I feel confident with where I am. Obviously, I missed the couple preseason games. I know when my number gets called, I’ll be ready.”

Pederson on Monday said he was less concerned about Wentz because Wentz is the third-string quarterback behind Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel. That was the plan before Wentz’s injury. Then the injury cemented that plan.

Does Wentz have any hope that he’ll play during his rookie season?

“I’ll be ready to go,” he said. “It’s not up for me to decide. We’ve been talking about this forever now. I know I’ll be ready to go and I’m excited for when I’m back out there. Practicing today, I’m excited for that too.”

Tonight's lineup: Has the Ryan Howard showcase come to an end?

Tonight's lineup: Has the Ryan Howard showcase come to an end?

Showcase time for Ryan Howard has apparently come to an end.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin will go with Tommy Joseph rather than Howard at first base for Monday's series opener against Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark. It's an interesting decision because it likely means Howard will sit until at least the weekend. On Tuesday, the Phils face Max Scherzer, against whom Howard is 1 for 18 with 11 strikeouts. On Wednesday, they draw lefty Gio Gonzalez.

Howard is 1 for 10 with four strikeouts in his last three games. He was hot after the All-Star break but the Phillies were still unlikely to be able to find a suitor for him because of the scarcity of American League teams in need of a DH. With just three days before Sept. 1, it seems extremely unlikely Howard will be moved. A player is not postseason eligible unless he's on a team's roster by Aug. 31. Thus, Joseph should get more playing time in September.

Jimmy Paredes gets another start in left field after striking the ball well three times on Sunday. Paredes has been productive lately, going 10 for 27 (.370) with two doubles and two homers in his last 14 games. He could be designated for assignment by the Phils soon if they need to clear a spot to add a prospect to the 40-man roster for a September call-up.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B (.895 OPS in last 230 PA)
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Aaron Altherr, RF
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Jimmy Paredes, LF
8. Freddy Galvis, LF
9. Jake Thompson