Eagles are NFC East Champs

Eagles are NFC East Champs

A.J. Feeley delivers to Matt Schobel for the touchdown!

And that's the kind of game this will likely be.  We may do a mini live blog here until we leave to go get drunk and bring in the new year.  So enjoy.  And Congrats to the Eagles clinching the NFC East.

-The Eagles are up 10-7 and there are only 3 starters in on defense.  I'm going to start drinking now.

-Buckhalter's got a "knee strain."  Buck has been playing well with the Eagles surging run game.  This could be bad for the Birds in the post season.

-The backfield of Thomas Tapeh and Ryan Moats is a dangerous duo.  Man, Feeley and Schobel have some nice chemistry going on.  Maybe the Eagles can use this game to showcase Feeley's talent and trade him for a second round draft pick, likely to the Dolphins.

-Start of 2nd Qtr, Eagles 10 Falcons 7: Not much game action, but I just saw this tidbit about how Jon Gruden wants Jeff Garcia to be the starting QB in Tampa Bay next season.

-Sean Considine is turning into a player.  He's made a nice open field tackle on Vick, one of the toughest guys to bring down one-on-one, and defended a number of passes nicely, just missing a pick.  If he continues to get better, he could turn into a Pro Bowl caliber player.  Eek!  Just as a type that last sentence, Considine gets called for a personal foul.  It would have been a nice sack, his hand just happened to smack Vick in the face.

- Joselio Hanson, who the ladies love, makes two great plays in a row.  Also, Morton Anderson is old. Eagles 10 Falcons 10.

-Hey everybody, The Birdman is with us.  He's one of those sorry souls who has to work on New Year's Eve.  But at least he's drinking of course!

-Reno Mahe gets a carry!  Alright Reno.  Man, John Abraham has a club on his arm.  I don't know how anybody plays with one of those things.  That'd be like me trying to type this live blog while wearing mittens.  Maybe I'll try that.

-I actually think Troy Aikman is one of the better Fox guys.  He actually speaks pretty highly of the Eagles on most occasions.  And on 3rd and 34, the Eagles hold the Falcons to no gain.  Falcons punt to Reno Mahe.  I think the only thing that could make this game worth watching is a Reno Mahe touchdown.

-Greg Lewis!  Amazing catch by GLew.  I don't know how he came down with that ball.  And Thomas Tapeh drops his one chance at a touchdown.

-A.J. Feeley to Jason Avant for a score!  That marks the first touchdown for Jason Avant in the NFL.  Eagles 17 Falcons 10.

-The Eagles finally get to Vick and Juqua Thomas gets the sack.  Where has Juqua been in recent games?  Also, I just looked it up and I guessed the spelling of Juqua correctly.

-Looks like the first half will end with the Philadelphia leading Eagles 17 Falcons 10.  If I'm back for the second half it will be after the jump.

Second Half:

Reno Mahe fumbled.  And I'm done.

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

CAMDEN, N.J. — If all goes as planned, a time will come when the Sixers can roll out a dominating frontcourt duo with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor sharing the court in lengthy stretches.

That moment has to wait, though, as both Embiid and Okafor are on minute restrictions. As he returns from a knee injury, Okafor currently is coming off the bench and backing up Embiid.

“This conversation with Jahlil and Joel is more intelligent and applicable at a later date,” Brett Brown said at practice Friday. “When Jahlil’s minutes start going up and Joel can, then it’s a real conversation. I do think you may see them sooner than even I thought together. But as far as making it a real constant part of a strategy or rotation, it’s beyond too early days.”

In an ideal world, Brown could pair the two bigs now and use all of their allotted minutes (Embiid 20, Okafor 14) at once. That would leave an extensive workload on second-year bench player Richaun Holmes.

“This is a hot topic,” Brown said. “I will say it one more time: If I play Jahlil and Jo together, I hope Richaun can play 35 minutes.”

It’s an unrealistic expectation for Holmes, who averaged 13.8 minutes in 51 games last season. Brown caps the majority of the Sixers at six-minute segments to keep them competing at a high energy level.

“Right now, he’s a backup,” Brown said of Holmes. “I think he’s going to be an NBA player for a very long time. I just feel like in the role, he’s a second-year player that didn’t really have much of a role last year. He’s shown everybody that he’s for real. He really can play a role. At this early stage, that is the key word.”

Embiid and Okafor have been envisioning competing together since Okafor was drafted two years ago. They became friends long before they were NBA players and have an easy chemistry on the court as a result.

“I think it’s going to be exciting,” Embiid said. “We played a little bit together today in practice. We’re figuring out how to play with each other. It’s a process and we’ve got trust it.”

Yes, the players know they have to wait, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to resist an opportunity to play with one another.  

“I think once we figure it out, we can really dominate together,” Okafor said. “We were able to flirt with it again today. We accidentally keep ending up on the same team even though Coach keeps telling us to make sure we alternate. But we’re having fun. We’re trying to put some pressure on it because we want to play together.”

Is that accidentally with air quotes?

“Yeah, exactly,” Okafor said with a laugh.

'Trust the process' has a different, more personal meaning to Joel Embiid

'Trust the process' has a different, more personal meaning to Joel Embiid

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid is all about trusting the process.

He manages to insert the well-known phrase into just about every interview, hashtags it on social media and soaks in the chants during games. 

While “trust the process” is commonly associated with former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie’s patience-required approach to building the team — which resulted in three years of dismal losing and suffering setback after setback — Embiid has his personal take on the mantra.

“I think I have my own process,” Embiid said Friday at practice.

Embiid is playing for the first time this season after waiting two years to recover from foot injuries. His long-anticipated debut was a focal point of “the process,” and his return to the court marked a new chapter in the organization.

“I went through two surgeries, lost my brother, thought about some stuff I shouldn’t have thought about, so that’s my own process,” he said. “And then the process of going through the rehab and finally getting back on the court and getting the chance to finally play in the league, that’s my process.”

Embiid is now synonymous with the word. He credits Sixers fans for the moniker, which he added to his Instagram profile. 

“I don’t think it came from me,” he said. “Fans just started and then I just went along with it.”

Wednesday marked the next step in the process, both for the Sixers and Embiid. His regular-season debut (20 points, seven rebounds, two blocks) was a long time coming and garnered buzz all over the NBA world.

“I was the third pick and then I missed two years,” Embiid said. “The excitement in the city, everybody’s happy to finally see me play. Even though it was weird because a lot of people kind of wrote me off a long time ago saying that I’d never play as a Sixer, I’d never play in the league. So it’s all fun. Everybody’s going to have an opinion.”

He’s just got to trust in his own.