Today in Philly Sports History: Jim Johnson Hired as Eagles Defensive Coordinator, 1999

Today in Philly Sports History: Jim Johnson Hired as Eagles Defensive Coordinator, 1999

The two people who would come to define Philly football over the next decade in the NFL, Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, both debuted with the Eagles in the 1999 season. But a third and arguably almost as influential figure also introduced himself to the City of Brotherly Love that season--57-year-old Jim Johnson, brought in to be the architect of Reid's defense. Johnson would go on to captain the Birds' blitz and pressure-heavy defense for the whole next decade, transforming it into one of the league's more fearsome units.

Johnson had made his bones earlier in the decade as a defensive line coach for the Cardinals and then later the linebackers coach for the Colts and Seahawks. His impressive resume on D made him an ideal choice to be Andy Reid's right hand man, with Reid more focused on the offensive side of the ball. "I've said many times, Jim Johnson is the best in the business at what he does," Reid has said. "His defensive units continue to produce at a very high level as he puts a lot of pressure on opposing offenses." The list of Eagles who broke out under Johnson's guiding hand includes Troy Vincent, Jeremiah Trotter, Lito Sheppard and Trent Cole, and all in all, 26 Pro Bowl nods were racked up by Eagles defenders during his tenure.

That tenure, of course, was tragically cut short in July of last year, when Jim Johnson passed away after a half-year struggle with cancer. Johnson was able to properly hand the defense's reins over to Sean McDermott before his passing, but the team couldn't possibly be quite the same without him. It's a question that I'm sure more than a few of us have pondered: would Jim Johnson have let his unit allow the Cowboys to put points on the board like that these last two weeks?

Flyers reveal 2017 Stadium Series jerseys

Flyers reveal 2017 Stadium Series jerseys

Back in black.

The Flyers on Saturday morning revealed their 2017 Stadium Series jerseys for their Feb. 25 outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field.

With their 50th anniversary sweaters resembling their current away jerseys with gold outlining throughout, the Flyers have gone back to black and orange for the outdoor game.

The jersey is almost all black, with an orange name plate and an orange elbow stripe. Orange is sprinkled throughout the jersey.

In addition to the outdoor game, the Flyers will also wear the jersey against the Penguins on March 15 at the Wells Fargo Center, a Wednesday Night Rivalry game.

Pittsburgh unveiled its Stadium Series jersey back on Nov. 25, an all gold uniform in celebration of its 50th season.

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story).