Nick Sirianni has already proven that a kinder, gentler training camp is the right move – Trentonian
Their regular season will have less of an offensive streak, and if the Eagles don’t lead the Detroit Lions, the predictable howls will erupt.
Based on nostalgia for something that wasn’t as enjoyable as we remember, the lines will be recited as well-timed: Nick Sirianni didn’t work his players enough during pre-season; training camp was glorified fantasy league; the Eagles did not take exhibition games seriously enough; bring back Dick Vermeil.
Will the moans all be fake? It will be up to the scoreboard technician to provide the verdict. But Sirianni prefers to minimize the risk to his players’ soft tissues and stabilize them for a 17-game regular season and beyond. It’s his choice. And that’s why, when the results come out, he’ll either be hip-horrified or called a goof. There will be no in-between.
If there’s any mystery to the situation, it’s why so many fans seem distressed that something they never liked in the first place – extended periods of nonsensical exhibition football – is disappearing. . So Sirianni doesn’t care about pre-season. Which does? Nor should it be taken as an affront to football’s sensibility that it finds better value in controlled scrums against NFL teams with similar preferences.
While practicing more regular tackling wouldn’t seem out of place in a sport where that particular skill can come in handy, Sirianni basically ordered a training camp last season. Among the results were a 26-point win on Opening Day at Atlanta, followed by six triumphs in the final eight games of the regular season, good for a playoff berth.
Ready to depart.
Strong at the end.
So there’s no reason to verbally insult the Eagles coach for understanding the No. 1 rule of his profession: there’s more than one way to make it work. So far Sirianni’s method has worked. If at any point his final regular season proves that isn’t the case, bring back Dick Vermeil.
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Reading a book on a portable electronic device? Stop that.
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Praise, criticize or ignore Josh Harris, the man knows when to write a check.
The other day, after calculating the risk-reward of it all, Harris had the good business sense to pay Ben Simmons to get him out of his face.
At a figure that appealed to panels of dueling squires, Simmons received a settlement on his 2021 obligation to the Sixers, which apparently did not include the downside of playing basketball. It was either that or a protracted court case that would have given Simmons what he craves most: attention without having to work at his trade.
For all the money Harris had to hand over, refusing the most selfish athlete to strut around in Philadelphia, the fun was worth it.
• The NBA has decided not to schedule any games on Election Day this year. Big of Adam Silver visited on a Tuesday night in November to spread some hot and fuzzy.
But as for Christmas, when the season has started to get more serious, well no, the NBA won’t give up on that. And it won’t give up on Martin Luther King Day, when so many people are off work and can watch games. Or Easter, which takes place on a Sunday in the spring and, therefore, during the precious hours of television viewing in the playoffs.
But a Tuesday night in November, with whistleblowing hours around the close of the polls anyway, will do. Now everyone can participate in Election Day without being distracted by the second quarter of a Cavaliers-Hornets game. In other words, everyone but TV cameramen who will be encouraged to enter empty buildings and film dark, silent playing surfaces just to spread propaganda about such a great sacrifice by the NBA.
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Not for nothing, but I don’t buy the whole hierarchy of martial arts white belt, green belt, black belt, brown belt, cashmere belt.
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Just as the Union struggled in a rare spell of MLS dominance, they lost two of their last three games. In defeats, he averages half a goal.
Never really willing to spend on talent, Union relied on superior training, the best goalkeeper in the league and a thrifty commitment to midfield and defence. With the stats to back it up, Jim Curtin compared his defense to some of the greatest in modern Philadelphia sports history, even invoking the name Reggie White.
Just as there’s no one way to run a football season, there’s nothing wrong with taking a defence-focused approach to football. In both cases, however, there are risks. And for the Union, that risk is a 1-0 loss in a knockout playoff format, ending what will likely be their best ever chance to win the MLS Cup.
That’s because offense also wins championships.
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Alright, I’ll say it: poets laugh at all of us.
Contact Jack McCaffery at [email protected]