Obligatory Check-in: James van Riemsdyk Goes Cold

Obligatory Check-in: James van Riemsdyk Goes Cold

We’ve been checking in on James van Riemsdyk throughout the
season, tracking his inevitable development into an All Star now that the
Flyers have given up on him. This time however it appears JVR has stumbled across
a road block.

When we last took a peek, van Riemsdyk was among the top
goal scorers in the NHL – at one point cracking the top five – but he’s fallen
off quite a bit since then. JVR has just three tallies since the Toronto Maple
Leafs last played Philly on February 25, and the 23-year-old winger is currently
mired in a 10-game drought. He also has just four assists over the span, and
the sharp decrease in production has led to his posting a -8 over the last 16

A big reason why the scoring has stopped coming in bunches
for JVR was his demotion from the top line. Various reports have described him
as being in head coach Randy Carlyle’s dog house.

“That’s what we’ve asked van Riemsdyk, get back into those
dirty areas, hang around in front of the net, use your size, your speed,” said

JVR was recently elevated back to the top line, but the lamp
must need a new light bulb I guess. He hasn’t been able snap out of the funk after two games so far.

Meanwhile, the other half of the story is Luke Schenn, who
continues to be a reliable presence on the Flyers’ blue line. Brother Luke is
fifth in the NHL in hits, and he’s really picked up his shot blocking as of
late in Nicklas Grossmann’s absence, knocking away four or more in three of the
last six tilts.

Like we keep saying, the real winner (if there is one) of this offseason trade
between Philly and Toronto likely won’t be determined for years to come. For now though,
it turns out JVR is still very similar to the player he was while wearing
Orange & Black – capable of brilliance in doses, but madly inconsistent – and Schenn
has become a solid defender for the Flyers, which remains an area of
great need.

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Report: Eagles expected to hire Mike Groh as receivers coach

Report: Eagles expected to hire Mike Groh as receivers coach

It look like the Eagles have found their replacement for Greg Lewis.

According to ESPN's Adam Caplan, the Eagles are expected to hire Rams receivers/passing game coordinator Mike Groh.

The news that the Eagles fired Lewis came out on Jan. 9 and the team has been looking for a replacement. They reportedly interviewed Groh and Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

Groh, 45, spent the 2016 season with the Rams after three years as the Bears' receivers coach. Groh is available because the Rams switched head coaches, bringing in Sean McVay.

Before coming to the NFL, Groh was a longtime coach at the college level. He is the son of former Virginia head coach Al Groh and eventually became an offensive coordinator under his father before bouncing from Alabama to Louisville and then back to Alabama before heading to the NFL. 

Groh was actually the quarterback at Virginia in the 90s before his father ever coached there. Groh's first coaching job was under his father as assistant coach with the Jets in 2000, when Al Groh was named their head coach for the season. 

If the Eagles are looking to sign a big-name free agent at wide receiver, there could be a reunion of sorts in Philly. During his four seasons as an NFL receivers coach, Groh has worked with Alshon Jeffery and Kenny Britt, who are two of the top receivers who will be available.

The Eagles started their season with a first-round pick, two second-round picks and a third-round pick at wide receiver, but their unit was one of the worst in the NFL. Jordan Matthews was consistent, but tight end Zach Ertz was the team's leading receiver.

It's unlikely Groh will have the same unit to work with as Lewis did in 2016, but it is likely Groh will be expected to get more out of his group in 2017.