Ronald Darby's Twitter blocking spree was lame

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Ronald Darby's Twitter blocking spree was lame

Sixers' frustrations, thin-skinned players, and a hate-the-face are the focus of the latest Rob's Rants. Enjoy. 

Block party
Full disclosure, I've done my fair share of blocking on Twitter. Inappropriate language, appropriating something false, trolling, overall jackassery is grounds in my eyes for a block. What I don't block for is a disagreement on a sports take of mine. That's what I do for a living, and it would be quite boring if we all agreed on everything. Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby, as you can see below, took to Twitter to announce he's going to block fans and media members alike who criticize him.

Darby has since deleted two of those three tweets.

And while I'm sure many that crossed the line were worthy of getting "Mutombo-ed," I'm not really sure announcing it is the best course of action, especially after getting toasted for most of the Giants game. The appearance he is concerned or devoting his time to anything other than getting better on the field is not a great look. All the troll or "halfway fan" wants is a rise from him and he gave it to them. Athletes are human, and negative comments hurt us all, but Darby needs to avoid going public with this kind of nonsense.

What the Fultz is going on here?
The Sixers have lost seven of eight. That includes home defeats at the hands of the Suns and Kings — two of the NBA's worst teams. They are a turnover waiting to happen. Did I mention they're not getting nearly enough from their high-priced free agents? 

Also, despite being very willing, they have not been able to consistently knock down a three-point shot. Ben Simmons is allergic to any shot beyond the paint. And not to bury the lede, Joel Embiid could miss up to four total games now after his 49-minute, triple-overtime, Herculean effort in a gut-wrenching loss Friday to the Thunder. So things are not so rosy in Sixer-land right now. Help is needed. 

Which leads us to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Remember him? Markelle Fultz. The same guy who hasn't played since the fourth game of the season. The same dude who the hyper-cautious Sixers thought was healthy enough to play through his shoulder issue? The same cat who shot the ball better than 41 percent from three in his lone year in college while also being able to finish at the basket and has a great handle. The guy the Sixers traded the third overall pick and either the Lakers 2018 or Kings 2019 first-round pick for. In other words, they gave up a lot.

Fultz apparently injured the shoulder at some point prior to the regular season. Then to compensate, he developed an ugly shooting form which led to bad results. The organization said nothing was wrong structurally, he can play through it. Fultz's camp thought otherwise and eventually, he was shut down. That was Oct. 23. We sit here nearing Christmas and the New Year and all we've gotten are these vague updates about how the soreness has subsided but no real idea when he'll get back on the floor. Even by Sixers standards, this one has been bizarre and frustrating. But the bottom line is, this team desperately needs what Fultz brings to the table. He can create his own shot, he can knock down a three, and most importantly, he can provide another scoring option when Embiid is not on the floor. It's time he starts playing and delivering for a team that needs a life preserver right now.

Hate the face
Is there anyone in sports that combines arrogance, smugness, entitlement, and a face that makes you want to go through the TV more than Lane Kiffin? Few come to mind that encompasses all of those wonderful traits but the Laner has them all in spades. To his credit, he turned around the Florida Atlantic program in his first year there, winning Conference USA and a bowl game. And he's had success as an offensive coordinator, but listening to him for an extended period of time and knowing some of the stuff he's pulled in his various coaching stops, it's no wonder he's not just burned bridges but also taken a flame-torch to them. FAU's next. 

On that note, happy holidays to one and all.

More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

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More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

The Eagles have given veteran defensive end Chris Long a raise, but according to one report, Long is concerned enough about his playing time with the Eagles that he's mulling his options regarding his future.

What is certain is that at some point before March 15, Long signed a new contract with the Eagles that increases his 2018 base salary from $1 million non-guaranteed to $2½ million fully guaranteed.

However, NFL Network's Michael Silver reported Monday that Long may decide he doesn't want to accept the new contract — which he already signed.

According to Silver, Long is concerned about how many snaps he would get as a third-down rusher following the addition of Pro Bowl pass rusher Michael Bennett.

The Eagles officially acquired Bennett on March 14, although the deal was reported a week earlier. Long's new contract was filed with the NFLPA on March 15, but there is a good chance he agreed to it and signed it before the Bennett acquisition.

Whether or not Long knew Bennett was coming to the Eagles when he signed the restructured deal is unknown. But at some point Long knew about their interest in Bennett and even gave Bennett a "glowing recommendation" when the Eagles asked, according to an interview Long gave to SBNation.  

Long wouldn't appear to have many options. He could retire, in which case he would have to return the $500,000 bonus he received from the Eagles last week.

He could request a trade, which would be bizarre for someone who signed a contract extension just a few days earlier.

Or he could simply play under the terms of the contract restructure and pay increase, which was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia with a source familiar with the renegotiation.

As for the contract itself, including that $500,000 roster bonus — which was also in the previous version of the contract — Long would receive $3 million guaranteed this year instead of $1.5 million non-guaranteed plus $750,000 in easily achieved roster bonuses.

Long had five sacks and forced four fumbles last year as a rotational defensive end. He wound up playing 496 snaps, 10th-most on the defense and only about 10 per game fewer than starter and Pro Bowler Brandon Graham and five per game fewer than starter Vinny Curry, who the Eagles released.

Long, who turns 33 next week, has 63½ career sacks. His 5.0 sacks last year were his most since 2013. He's won back-to-back Super Bowls the last two years with the Eagles and Patriots.

What happens next?

Long has demonstrated that the money is secondary to him. He donated his entire 2017 base salary to charity.

At some point very soon, the Eagles will need him to decide whether he's even going to have a 2018 base salary.

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

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Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

A day after we found out that Brian Dawkins picked Troy Vincent to introduce him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer, Terrell Owens has picked his presenter. 

No surprise: It's not Donovan McNabb.

After alienating many people in the league throughout his tremendous career, Owens picked a name from his early days. Longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart, who was Owens' receivers coach in San Francisco, will introduce T.O. at the 2018 induction. 

In a video released by the Hall of Fame, Owens said Stewart "knew what to get out of me."

Now special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers, Stewart has been an NFL coach for three decades. He began his time in San Francisco in 1996 (Owens' rookie season) as a special teams coach but was their wide receivers coach from 2000-02.

"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am," Owens said. "... To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."

The first season Stewart became the 49ers' receivers coach, Owens went to his first of six Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first of five times in his career. Owens was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in all three of the seasons that Stewart held the position in San Francisco. 

Of course, Owens' growth under Stewart led to his becoming one of the biggest stars in the NFL.

Eventually, Owens forced his way out of San Francisco and got to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Owens had a short and tumultuous two seasons, but was also dynamic on the field and nearly helped them pull off a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. 

Owens averaged 93.5 receiving yards per game during his time in Philadelphia, the highest average in franchise history. It wasn't his play that led to his downfall in Philly. It was his beef with McNabb, along with his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles into a new contract. 

Owens was a divisive personality for his entire career. It's likely the reason it took him three tries to make it into the Hall of Fame. Because his numbers don't lie: He's one of the best receivers of all time.