THE TRADE of @pick_six22 returned a seventh-rounder.
It's the most significant return Asante Samuel has made in years.
So begins Daily News columnist Marcus Hayes, who blasted the former Eagles cornerback in today's edition of the tabloid. Hayes takes Samuel to task in every way imagineable, suggesting his production was fraudulent (For every pick he turned into six, he gave up 10 touchdowns), criticizing his brand of football (The two Eagles cornerbacks who remain ... can now play real NFL defense), and labeling him a malcontent (Always, the mouth; always, running).
He even pokes fun at the man's name. That's a little over the top.
The tirade is a major departure from the other writers who cover the team, many of whom wished Samuel well at his next stop, while reflecting on what a fun personality he was to cover. Fans were singing a different tune as well, primarily upset over the meager return of a seventh-round pick, but some lamenting the loss of the defense's best corner for the last four years.
Yet Hayes may have struck a chord with a certain segment of readers as well, because there is some truth in what he's preaching. Samuel's "Charmin-soft" style of play was certainly frustrating at times. He is as unwilling a tackler as you'll ever see, while his freelancing tended to make the players around him look worse. And some folks will never come to accept the brash confidence professional athletes like Samuel are prone to exhibit.
These parting shots are a reminder that Samuel was never universally accepted here. As loud as the outcry is for essentially giving away a four-time Pro Bowler, there is also a reason the Eagles couldn't make it work with Asante, despite their trying last season.
>> In Samuel trade, Birds toss a no-hitter [DN]
How’s this for an awesome deed?
Eagles offensive guard Brandon Brooks took to Twitter to show a heartfelt message, that included a photo of a new car he purchased for his father.
In the tweet, Brooks revealed the mindset his father has instilled in him growing up, not wanting to be average and more.
Nice gesture, Brandon.
PITTSBURGH -- The ice on Friday afternoon at Heinz Field was watery and slushy.
That’s because the city set a historic record at 78 degrees for Feb. 24.
So what were the ice conditions?
“They were pretty good,” said Sidney Crosby. “It was pretty bright there. Started off the practice and the sun was beating down pretty good.
“I’ve played in a few of these and the ice was pretty good considering how warm it was. It’s supposed to cool down and I’m sure it will get better.”
The Penguins will host the Flyers on Saturday night in a Stadium Series outdoor game.
Pittsburgh took the ice Friday at 4 p.m. The Flyers got on the ice a little more than an hour later and things started to cool down.
“We had a pretty good practice given the circumstances,” Jakub Voracek said. “This is a little better setup than Philly. The fans are closer.”
It was much hotter when Pittsburgh took the ice, but the temperature was still warm after the sun went down.
Shayne Gostisbehere said, “It was hot for sure. … It was fun, but it was pretty hot.”
Defenseman Radko Gudas said the ice surface was, “playable, but a little rough.”
On Saturday, rain is expected, with temperatures falling to 42 degrees by 5 p.m.
During the game, which begins at 8 p.m., the temperature is projected to continue to drop and there will be wind gusts up to 31 mph. By the end of the night, the forecast says temps will be in the 20s.
Players are more concerned about the wind than the ice at this point. Crosby, who has played in three previous NHL outdoor games, said wind is a huge factor. It happened to the Penguins at the 2014 Stadium Series game in Chicago.
“It can definitely be a factor,” Crosby said. “I want to say in Chicago that was something we kind of had to look at. We felt it a little more there compared to the other two [outdoor games]. If it going to get windy like that, it’s something to be aware of.”
It remains to be seen how the NHL will handle which team goes into the wind first.
“Yeah, the wind,” Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet of what element will be a big factor. “I hope you don’t have to backcheck. Who gets the advantage? They change in the third period. But who picks what end? There is a wind factor.”
Tocchet rated the ice Friday as “a little slushy.”
“It was good early and then it got tough because it was hot outside,” Tocchet said. “But we got a half-decent practice out of it.
“The one thing, the puck didn’t bounce, which was good. Players can adapt a lot better when the puck doesn’t bounce. When things bounce, it’s a tough night.”