How Will Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman Collaborate on Forming the Eagles' Roster?

How Will Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman Collaborate on Forming the Eagles' Roster?

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In an excellent piece of reporting from Philly Mag’s Sheil
Kapadia on Monday, we were able to gain a bit of insight into how exactly a “streamlined”
front office led by general manager Howie Roseman will work hand-in-hand with
new head coach Chip Kelly to assemble the Eagles’ roster – right down to the
types of players the team might be searching for.

Kapadia caught up with Roseman at the Senior Bowl last week,
where most of the pro-football world was feverishly at work scouting college
players. There he provided a bit of insight into how his relationship with
Kelly will work.

“He’s going to be very defined on
the things that he’s looking for in players by positions,” Roseman said last
week at the Senior Bowl. “Which is great for us as a personnel staff, to make
sure that we know specifics for each position, dictated by the coaching staff.
Obviously, it’s easier on the offensive side of the ball than the defensive
side right now, but for us, we know we’re going to have clear direction.”

Easier on offense, we imagine, because the Eagles have yet
to hire a defensive coordinator, who will presumably have some defined input of
his own. But wait, there’s more:

“There are deal-breakers,” Roseman
said. “Maybe it’s at a particular position that size is a particular function
that you need there, or a certain speed. I think there are limiting factors at
certain positions that for some staffs are more important than others.”

I suppose one way of looking at this would be Chip is the
man with the recipe, and it’s Howie’s job to go out and get him the
ingredients. One example Kapadia uses is something Kelly said while at Oregon,
where he acknowledges hand size is one of the most important factors for a
quarterback. He also points to an article on the National Football Post that
suggests Kelly prefers “longer,” or taller players.

Who qualifies or doesn’t as a Chip Kelly guy remains to be
seen. It appears however while he does not have final control over personnel
decisions, his blueprint will be very much at work here.

>> Kelly’s Roster Preferences: ‘There Are Deal-Breakers’
[Birds 24/7]

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Pete Mackanin on Odubel Herrera's slump: 'He needs to battle his way out'

Pete Mackanin on Odubel Herrera's slump: 'He needs to battle his way out'

After an 0-for-5 day at the plate, Odubel Herrera isn't heading to the bench a day later.

He's leading off. 

Pete Mackanin chose to move the slumping centerfielder atop the lineup card for Friday's series opener against the Reds despite Herrera's striking out in all five plate appearances Thursday.

"I think he's a .290-plus hitter as a leadoff man and I'm not going to sit him," Mackanin said pregame. "He needs to battle his way out. You figure you're the leadoff hitter once a game. After that, it's wide open."

While he hasn't batted leadoff this season, Herrera spent the majority of his time in that spot last season. In 76 games there, he batted .285 with a .359 OBP and .417 slugging percentage. 

The leadoff hitter this season has been Cesar Hernandez, who has a day off with a groin pull he's dealt with the last 10 days. Herrera primarily has been the No. 3 hitter this season and his average is down to .226 with 49 strikeouts to just 11 walks. 

Mackanin hopes the leadoff role can help change Herrera's approach at the plate.

"He was drawing a lot of walks at leadoff, so whether he has that mindset or not, I'm not sure," the manager said. "I just want to get him as many at-bats as possible. We need to get him going. We need him and [Maikel] Franco to get going."

May specifically has been tough on Herrera. He has four hits in his last 36 at-bats and has seven strikeouts in his last two games. He has just seven hits in 22 games this month. 

"I think he's at the point where he's grinding and sometimes when you grind, sometimes there's that feeling where you get lost," Mackanin said. "I've been in situations as a hitter where I've gone up to the plate saying, 'I don't care where it is. I'm going up there and just hacking.' Because you start thinking and that's not working.

"And you look for a pitch and then all of a sudden you say I'm going to take a pitch to get a look at and it's strike one. Then he throws you a nasty slider and that's strike two and your plan is out the window. So I've gone up to the plate myself saying, 'I'm just looking down the middle and swinging. I'm not thinking.'"

When asked, Mackanin said the team had not discussed demoting Herrera or Franco to the minors to take pressure off the duo.

While Herrera tries to hit his way back into a groove, Howie Kendrick is in the midst of working his way back to the majors. He was hit by pitch twice in a rehab appearance Thursday but is back in the lineup Friday in left field. 

Mackanin said Kendrick needed four days minimum in his rehab assignment and will therefore play Friday and Saturday before the team sees how he feels.

The manager also said the team would give more playing time to backup catcher Andrew Knapp. He started consecutive games for the first time on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

"I'm going to try and see him as much as possible and keep him as sharp as possible instead of once a week," Mackanin said. "That's tough to hit, once a week. It's tough to hit twice a week if you don't hit back-to-back. There's no ulterior motive."

Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

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Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

Sixers head coach Brett Brown is in Australia this week, where he has accused longtime friend and former Australian men's national team assistant coach Shane Heal of defrauding him of $750,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Brown invested $250,000 into each of three companies for which Heal was the sole director. Brown wasn't given a legal title regarding the companies and didn't know the specifics of how the money would be used.

"I assumed that the money was going to be used for what Shane told me it was going to be used for," Brown said. "Because it was a friend that I had for 25 years."

Heal was charged last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission following an investigation relating to alleged misconduct in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the AAP.

The sides return to court in Brisbane on July 20.

Heal played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996-97 and was with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.