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Markelle Fultz's high school coach regrets cutting him from varsity as a sophomore

Markelle Fultz's high school coach regrets cutting him from varsity as a sophomore

If you're a Sixers fan much like myself, you didn't do a whole lot of reading on Markelle Fultz before this weekend. He was expected to go No. 1 overall in the upcoming draft to the Boston Celtics, so Philadelphia fans focused their time and attention on the Josh Jacksons of the world.

But thanks to the handy work of Sam Hinkie and the gumption of Bryan Colangelo, the Sixers appear poised to go up and get Fultz via a deal with the Celtics.

Which means it's time to learn as much as possible about Fultz and quickly.

A fun place to start this morning is a profile in the Washington Post by Kent Babb who spent the evening of the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery with Fultz and his crew. It wasn't as joyous an affair as you may think.

Perhaps you've heard rumblings that Fultz was cut from the varsity basketball team as a sophomore at DeMatha Catholic down in Maryland. And it's true. Fultz was indeed cut from the varsity squad but his coach now says he made a bad decision. 

"In hindsight, I'd say I was wrong," Mike Jones, Fultz's coach at DeMatha, says of the decision.

Babb uses this anecdote in an attempt to give us a better look into the psyche of a kid who was doubted much of his life, even by the people closest to him like his mother, and has used those naysayers as motivation. 

Almost immediately after being cut, Markelle had rededicated himself to on-court skills. At [Fultz's personal coach] Williams’s instruction, he took 700 shots per day, spent hours swimming or boxing, committed to improving his footwork and vision and stretching the limits of his body.

Williams discovered a player motivated not by scholarships or riches but by revenge. So he used that.

Babb also shows how Markelle's mother is something of the anti-LaVar figure in his life. When LaVar Ball is all talk, Markelle's mom has a preference for action over words.

"I was raised to be respectful, cordial, not loud," she told the Post.

It's a solid story that will give you a glimpse into who Markelle Fultz is and what motivates him. And if the motivation-by-revenge angle proves to be true, Fultz will have Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics to use for the rest of his career.

Philly hopes it proves to be true.

Be Ready........ #F2G

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This is a lifestyle #F2G #Hours

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Instant Analysis: Grading the Eagles' preseason win over Bills

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Instant Analysis: Grading the Eagles' preseason win over Bills

The Eagles edged the Bills, 20-16, Thursday night after a see-saw fourth quarter, but everybody knows the final score in a preseason game is irrelevant (see Instant Replay).

August football is all about evaluations, and we have plenty of instant analysis from the second exhibition game.

Quarterbacks
Carson Wentz did not look sharp in his first few series. Two of his first three pass attempts were uncatchable, sailing way over the receiver's head and out of bounds. Wentz was eventually able to get into a rhythm, completing five of his final six passes for 45 yards. Matt McGloin picked up where he left off last week, mixing the occasional nice throw with a bunch that was nowhere near the intended target. An easy interception into double coverage was the cherry on top.

Grade: C

Running backs
Eagles ball carriers once again found little room to run, which would partially explain how LeGarrette Blount managed to carry five times for eight yards. Blount's fumble on one of his two receptions was unforgivable, though. Undrafted rookie Corey Clement outplayed his 30-year-old teammate, carrying it eight times for 34 yards — a solid 4.3 average — and one touchdown. Clement came up with an impressive blitz pickup as well. His performance salvaged the whole operation.

Grade: C

Wide receivers
Alshon Jeffery didn't get a ton of work, catching two passes for 24 yards, but was able to showcase his explosiveness on a 14-yard slant. There's a reason for all the hype. Nelson Agholor added two catches for 43 yards, and Marcus Johnson had the long reception of the game for 38 yards. Late in the game, rookie Shelton Gibson drew a 35-yard pass interference penalty. The unit seemed to make the most of its targets despite a lackluster performance from the rest of the offense.

Grade: B+

Tight ends
Brent Celek, Trey Burton and Billy Brown combined to make seven receptions for 59 yards. Perhaps more impressive still, the trio combined to clear the away the left side of the field on the Eagles' longest run of the game, a 24-yard scamper. Brown had 4 for 34 all by himself. Nothing spectacular, but much improved from the previous week.

Grade: B

Offensive line
Lane Johnson did not instill confidence in place of Jason Peters at left tackle, struggling mightily. Johnson surrendered one sack and was forced to commit a holding penalty to prevent another. The O-line as a whole was less than stellar, opening few holes on the ground and providing shaky protection. The second unit and third units were a bit better, paving the way for a still subpar 3.2 yards per carry, but limiting the Bills defense to one sack.

Grade: C-

Defensive line
The front four didn't post eye-popping numbers but harassed Bills signal callers throughout the contest. Fletcher Cox drove an offensive lineman right into the quarterback's lap on one play, forcing an incompletion, and Brandon Graham had a tackle for loss. On Derek Barnett watch, the rookie was quiet against Buffalo's first-team offense but finished with two quarterback hits and one sack. Second-year defensive end Alex McCalister has a strip sack as well. Steven Means was a man among boys down the stretch, getting tot he passer twice.

Grade: B+

Linebackers
Remember Mychal Kendricks? The sixth-year veteran was everywhere in this one. Kendricks sacked the quarterback, had a second tackle for a loss, and also came up with an interception. He looks motivated. Jordan Hicks also got to the quarterback once. Then the reserves cleaned up during extended garbage time. Joe Walker had five solo tackles, while Don Cherry had three and a forced fumble.

Grade: A

Defensive backs
The Ronald Darby trade is already paying dividends (see 10 observations). Darby recorded one interception and should've had another. The 48-yard return on the pick was fun, too. Rodney McLeod's pass deflection at the line of scrimmage led to another INT as well. Corey Graham was the third safety when Malcolm Jenkins moved into the slot and made five tackles, including one in the backfield. Jalen Mills was solid in coverage as well and finished with two tackles, while Rasul Douglas had a nice pass breakup. An encouraging showing all around, as Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was held to eight completions for 43 yards on 18 attempts (44.4 percent). Terrence Brooks finished with a team-high eight tackles.

Grade: A+

Special teams
Caleb Sturgis missed a field goal from 45 yards, but connected from distances of 24 and 48 and was perfect on extra points. Donnie Jones pinned two of three punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line. Rasul Douglas and Kamu Grugier-Hill each made a nice tackle. Penalties were an issue for the unit as a whole, and Donnel Pumphrey still hasn't shown much explosiveness in the return game, taking three punts a grand total of 11 yards.

Grade: C

Coaching
The decision to send Wentz back on the field for a fourth series after the offense failed to get a first down in its first three opportunities. Wentz's final drive didn't produce points, but the unit was able to move the ball and build some confidence before a turnover ended the night. As always, the Eagles aren't scheming or game-planning for specific opponents, so the usage of starters is the only aspect of coaching that's worth evaluating.

Grade: NA

Breaking down potential tips for LeSean McCoy's 200 cheesesteaks for his Bills teammates

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Breaking down potential tips for LeSean McCoy's 200 cheesesteaks for his Bills teammates

Welcome home, Shady.
 
Former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy returned to Philadelphia with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night and it’s clear what he misses most about the city.

The food.
 
Before the game, reports surfaced McCoy ordered 200 cheesesteaks and crab fries from Chickie and Pete’s for his teammates to enjoy after the game.

So that got us thinking.
 
Back in 2014, Shady left a 20-cent tip on a $61.56 tab at PYT, a burger and milkshake spot in Northern Liberties, citing poor service for the size of the tip.

If McCoy pays the full price of $14.90 for his 200 orders Thursday, the bill will come out to $2,980. If he tips the same percentage he did back in 2014, he will leave an extra $9.66.

If he tips a more respectable 20 percent, it would come out to about $600.

Here is to hoping the good folks at Chickie and Pete’s deliver some good service so they get a bigger tip than the folks at PYT.