Remember These Guys?

Remember These Guys?

The Eagles return to action on Sunday, and they'll go to battle with two familiar faces.  Donovan will be wearing extra protection around his ribs, while Westbrook is expected to be completely uninhibited.  It might be fair to say McCoy will start sharing more of the load though.

As for their opponent, the winless Tampa Bay Bucs, Ray Diddy has the word on them after the break.

The Buccaneer team that comes into the Linc on Sunday will look a lot
like the Kansas City team that just left. It is a team that doesn’t do
anything well. The offense is lousy, the defense can’t get off the
field and the special teams aren’t very special. Like the Chiefs, the
Bucs fired their offensive coordinator (Jeff Jagodzinski) the week
before the league opener, a sure sign that things were in disarray.

That just about says it all.  If you need a number to break down how awful the Bucs really are, consider this: through four games, they've scored 54 points (12.5 ppg) to their opponents' 107.  Unless they slip some Ambien into the Eagles Gatorade supply, Sunday's result figures to be more of the same.

Meanwhile... Kevin Kolb returns to the bench after winning NFC Player of the Week honors for his 327 yard performance against the Chiefs.  We consulted the McNabb-O-Meter for some drama, and the answer was surprising:

No change.  Kolb was impressive, but against a bad team with no playmakers.  We didn't really learn anything that wasn't already revealed the week before, except this time he picked up the W.  The meter expects to swing – one way or the other – based on Donovan's play against the Bucs and as the season progresses.  Those rib injuries can linger, and we've seen McNabb battle through injuries with some less than stellar outings in the past.

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

With Roman Quinn's season over with an oblique strain, Freddy Galvis moves up to second in the Phillies' lineup Wednesday night against the Braves.

Quinn's showing in the majors this month was a microcosm of his pro career to this point — he showed his speed with four steals and several infield hits, posted a .373 OBP in 69 plate appearances, but suffered another injury. Health has always been his roadblock.

With Quinn out, Cody Asche gets a start in left field against Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who he's homered off of. The presence of Quinn and Aaron Altherr has limited Asche's playing time — he's started only three games since coming back from Triple A on Sept. 10.

Asche bats seventh, a spot ahead of Aaron Altherr, who is 7 for 52 (.135) in his last 18 games and has four extra-base hits in his last 133 plate appearances.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Cody Asche, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Adam Morgan, P

Matt Kemp, who sat last night, returns to the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Dansby Swanson, SS
7. Mallex Smith, RF
8. Daniel Castro, 2B
9. Mike Foltynewicz, P