Taste of Things to Come? Eagles Rolled the Browns With Their Backups

Taste of Things to Come? Eagles Rolled the Browns With Their Backups

As is often the case during the preseason, it's hard to say what the Eagles dismantling Cleveland by a final of 27-10 means for their Week 1 encounter, if anything at all. That said, it's reassuring in any situation when you make short work of a future opponent, and do so largely on the strength of backups.

Andy Reid had already pulled his starters on defense less than 10 minutes into the game with the score still 0-0, and led by a rookie quarterback, his first-team offense played just three snaps longer, eight total -- enough to pick up seven. Still the route was on. After an impressive opening series ended in a turnover, the Browns couldn't get anything going with their ones, lending the appearance they could be in for a long Sunday in two weeks.

Then again, when we say preseason doesn't matter, it's a two-way street. Just as we shouldn't make too much of the Eagles' struggles against New England's backups this past Monday, the takeaways from the Browns having essentially the same issue should not be overblown either. Special teams also influenced the outcome heavily, often providing the Birds with excellent field position.

On the other hand, it was hard not to sense there is a big gap between where these two teams stand at the moment. The best example that came to mind when reviewing last night's events was when the Eagles put a backup defense on the field, it still features linemen who would start almost anywhere else. Coming off a 4-12 season, the Browns certainly looked the part of a team that doesn't share such luxuries.

Anyway, not a lot to analyze here. Neither team wanted to show anything, so tempting as it is to say the Browns seem overmatched here, we'll save any declarations until the real thing is upon us.

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid was back in the gym on Wednesday afternoon after enjoying his All-Star break down in New Orleans and appears like he's ready to get back out on the court this weekend.

“I hope that they’re going let me play,” Embiid said after practice on Wednesday. “I feel great. I want to play. If it was my decision, I’d be playing.”

The team doctor's aren't so sure. Joel is currently listed as doubtful for both of the Sixers games this weekend.

But that didn't stop JoJo from talking some smack with one of his favorite teammates, Dario Saric, while battling in a little one-on-one after practice.

Embiid was seen by reporters using some colorful language directed in Saric's direction, screaming "you can't ****-ing guard me!" while the two went at it.

The chatter didn't stop there. Embiid was later asked about the one-on-one and unleashed a little more on Dario.

"He don't like playing me," Embiid said. "He never wins and he doesn't handle me talking trash to him. I would love to play against him all the time because that gives me a lot of confidence beating him every day."

"It's fun playing against him. We both like to compete."

"That's my guy," he added.

And Sixers fans love them both. Let's just hope to see more of them teaming up in actual games soon.

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

CAMDEN, N.J. — Thursday is significant for the Sixers beyond the trade deadline. It is also the day of Ben Simmons' CT scan to evaluate how his right foot is healing.

"I feel like tomorrow at some point we're all going to be able to lay out a more genuine plan for him," Brett Brown said Wednesday. "I feel like we're going to be good to go with some greater news and a more advanced detail of his plans after this scan."

Once all parties involved assess the results, the team will provide an update, which may not be Thursday. Simmons has been sidelined all season after suffering a Jones fracture during the final scrimmage of training camp. 

On Wednesday, he went through his individual workout plan, which included five-on-none scripting with teammates.

"He's still getting a feel for all of us," Nerlens Noel said. "He's learning to throw it up to me, bounce pass to whoever. It's learning certain tendencies that'll make you start to feel more a part of the team."

The Sixers have not placed a timetable on Simmons' return. The first overall pick has not been cleared for full contact five-on-five practice, the next step in his recovery. Prior to the All-Star break, Brown said he expects Simmons will play at some point this season. He stands by that projection with 26 games remaining. 

"I personally would like to see him play this season. I don't backpedal from that," Brown said. "I think my comments are really very much influenced by his reciprocal desire to play this year, which we all respect. Everybody's got clandestine conspiracy theories on why he might not want to play. I know in my heart and speaking to him, he wants to get on a court and play basketball again.

"I hope he can do that, too. If for some reason he can't, we'll deal with it. But I think it would help him to play NBA basketball and get his competitive juices going again if the doctors point us in that direction."

Simmons' teammates are ready to welcome him into the mix when he is given the green light. Their limited glimpses into his talent have them eager for his debut.

"Unlimited potential," Noel said. "I think with Ben, the thing that makes him so special is his IQ for the game, a sixth sense on the court. Him being able to find little things that not very many 6-10 guys can find. I think that's going to propel his game and make him a special player in this league." 

Added Joel Embiid: "I'm excited ... I thought he was our best player in training camp."