Rob's Rants: Keep running, Doug; Embiid's status; OBJ's celebration

Rob's Rants: Keep running, Doug; Embiid's status; OBJ's celebration

Here's the latest edition of Rob's Rants in which CSNPhilly's Rob Ellis does just that about the hottest topics in Philly sports.

Run Doug, run
The Eagles' running backs carried the ball 33 times for 171 yards against the Giants. They averaged more than five yards per carry. That’s the balance many of us have been seeking. The ability to establish and stay with the run served them very well on a day when Carson Wentz was just OK. He did not commit a turnover, a huge step in his development. He also delivered a clutch throw to Alshon Jeffery with one second left in regulation that put the Eagles in position for Jake Elliott’s improbable 61-yard cannon shot of a game winner. Wentz averaged just 5.7 yards per completion. He also missed some big plays down the field. It was not one of his better games. It’s going to happen. The other guys get paid too, and he’s played only 19 NFL games. 

What’s incumbent upon Doug Pederson is to stay committed to the run and take some of the heat off of his young quarterback. He cannot lose himself in the moment or whatever seems to happen when he falls into these wildly imbalanced games like the 56-to-13, no-carries-for-LeGarrette-Blount Chiefs mess. His mentor, Andy Reid, despite a lot of success here, would do the same thing. He would have one or a stretch of those games where the Birds would lose, he’d ignore the run, and Donovan McNabb’s arm would be hanging off. Then he’d remember he had a guy like Duce Staley or Brian Westbrook in the backfield and he’d proceed to hand them the ball and get back on the winning track.      

Learn from your Yoda’s ways, Doug. By the way, the Chargers, the Eagles' next opponent, are the second worst team in the NFL against the run, allowing 146.7 yards per game on the ground. 

JoJo a no go?
So six months after having meniscus surgery, Joel Embiid is still not ready for 5-on-5 action?  The Sixers' big man has a long and varied injury history. But this a meniscus here we’re talking about. Here was Embiid at Sixers media day Monday on his status:

“I think the timetable, we’ve been focusing on the first game of the season. We’ve got a couple preseason games, might play in those. But if I’m not 100 percent, they’re not going to put me out there. It’s not just about rehabbing. It’s also about being in the best shape possible, which I’m not yet at that level.” 

I get everyone’s healing process is different. I understand he needs to get into basketball shape. And as long as he’s ready to go on Oct. 18 in Washington when it counts as he said, that’s ultimately all that matters. But it is troubling he can’t go full bore now. 

This is what Sixers special advisor, Jerry Colangelo told SiriusXM Radio, via Liberty Ballers, in April after Embiid’s surgery:

"It was much more minor than it could've been. And so, you know, the anticipation is that he will go through the normal healing process and we're hopeful that he will be at full bore going into next year's training camp."

Is this just the Sixers organization following the tradition of being incredibly overcautious? Or is there something more? Stay tuned … 

Not buying it, dog
A.J. Willingham, a CNN Trend and Franchise Editor, put this tweet out Monday regarding Odell Beckham, Jr’s dog/relief act he performed after scoring his first touchdown Sunday against the Eagles. 

Here was Beckham’s response.

To put things into context, if that’s possible, Beckham’s action could have been in response to President Trump's calling NFL players who protest the national anthem a “son of a bitch.” But I’m not buying it. If that was his intent or reasoning for the canine/shower, he would have copped to it when asked after the game. Rather than just saying this (via New York Post):

“I was in the end zone, I scored a touchdown — I’m a dog, so I acted like a dog.”

I’m pro celebrating and allowing these guys to have fun and I was thrilled when the league came to their senses and lightened up on penalizing their players for expressing themselves. But Beckham’s actions, statement or not, were classless. Period. 

Warrant issued for Michael Bennett's arrest

Warrant issued for Michael Bennett's arrest

Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett has been indicted for a felony charge in Harris County, Texas, the Harris County district attorney's office announced on Friday afternoon.

Because of the indictment, a warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest. According to the release, prosecutors are working with Bennett's lawyers to coordinate a surrender.

Bennett is being charged with "injury to the elderly, included intentionally and knowingly, causing bodily injury to a person 65 years or older." The penalty for the charge is up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The felony charge is for injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic woman who was working at NRG Stadium last year during Super Bowl LI, when Bennett was there to watch his brother Martellus play in the game. The Patriots played the Falcons in Super Bowl LI in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017.  

Bennett, 32, allegedly "shoved his way on to the field" during the postgame celebration, when the elderly worker told him to use a different way for field access. Instead, the district attorney's office said, Bennett pushed through workers, including the elderly disabled woman.

Neither the Eagles nor the Seahawks knew about the incident, a league source told NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn. Bennett has been an Eagle officially for just over a week.

During a news conference on Friday afternoon, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo asked Bennett to turn himself in as quickly as possible, calling Bennett "morally bankrupt" and entitled. Acevedo said there is no video of the incident, but there is a police officer eye-witness.

Acevedo said Bennett forcibly opened locked doors to get onto the field and then pushed his way past three workers. One was a male, one was a 28-year-old female and one was a 66-year-old female, who sustained a sprained shoulder. The 66-year-old female is a paraplegic and the force of being pushed back in her motorized wheelchair is what injured her. Acevedo said the woman needed medication prescribed to her because of the alleged assault.

According to Acevedo, Bennett said, "Ya'll must know who I am, and I could own this motherf-----. I'm going on the field whether you like it or not," as he pushed past the women.

A police officer, called "Officer Morgan" by Acevedo, the same one who saw the alleged incident, then tried to stop Bennett, but Bennett disregarded him, saying "f--- you." The officer then decided to tend to the woman instead of pursuing the suspect, as he thought Bennett no longer posed a threat.

The extended time between the incident and the indictment was explained by Acevedo as a lack of resources. He said the department decided to handle cases that put citizens in danger. This was pushed to the back burner. He also said it was exceedingly difficult to get in touch with Bennett.

"Mr. Bennett may think because he's an NFL player and because some time passed he may have thought rules don't apply to him," Acevedo said. "No. 2 he doesn't have to respect the dignity of a paraplegic woman trying to earn a living. He may believe he doesn't have to answer to a police officer trying to detain him, but I'm here to say I'm very proud of the fact our department took this case as seriously as we should have."

The Eagles released the following statement on Friday afternoon:

"We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time."

The Eagles officially traded for Bennett on March 14. They sent receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick to Seattle for Bennett and a seventh-rounder.

10 random Mike Wallace stats

10 random Mike Wallace stats

In Mike Wallace, the Eagles are getting a veteran wide receiver who’s now playing for his fifth team in the last seven years.
Wallace has put up fairly consistent numbers since the Steelers drafted him out of Mississippi in the third round in 2009.
And we all know what a veteran wide receiver means. Lots of stats!
So let’s get to know Mike Wallace with 10 Random Mike Wallace Stats That You Didn’t Know (And I Didn’t Either Until I Looked them Up!):
• Since entering the NFL in 2009, Wallace ranks ninth in the NFL with 8,072 receiving yards, behind only former teammate Antonio Brown (9,910), Larry Fitzgerald (9,570), Calvin Johnson (9,532), Brandon Marshall (9,316), Julio Jones (9,054), Demaryius Thomas (8,653), DeSean Jackson (8,575) and A.J. Green (8,213).
• Wallace’s 57 touchdown catches since 2009 are seventh-most in the NFL during that span by a wide receiver.

• With a 95-yard touchdown catch from Ben Roethlisberger against the Cardinals in 2011 and a 95-yarder from Joe Flacco against the Steelers in 2016, Wallace is one of just three players in NFL history with two career TD receptions of 95 or more yards.

The others are Gaynell Tinsley of the Chicago Cardinals, who caught a 97-yarder from Pat Coffee in 1937 and a 98-yarder from Doug Russell in 1938, and Pennsauken’s John Taylor, who caught a 95-yarder from Joe Montana in 1989 and a 97-yarder from Steve Young in 1991.
• Similarly, Wallace’s four career TDs of 80 yards or more — the two listed above plus catches of 81 and 82 from Roethlisberger in 2011 and 2012 — are fifth-most in NFL history behind Derrick Alexander, Lance Alworth, Bobby Hayes and Jerry Rice, who all have five.
• Wallace has had at least 725 receiving yards in eight of his nine seasons in the NFL. Since 2009, only Fitzgerald has had 725 or more yards more often than Wallace.
• Wallace’s career rushing average of 7.1 yards per carry is fifth-highest among active players (with 32 or more attempts), behind Cordarrelle Patterson (10.3), Tyreek Hill (8.0), Deshaun Watson (7.5) and Ted Ginn (7.1).
• Wallace had nine catches for the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV against the Packers after the 2010 season. That’s tied with several players (including Nelson Agholor) for eighth-most in Super Bowl history by a wide receiver.
• Since he entered the league in 2009, Wallace has 43 receptions of 40 yards or more, second-most in the NFL during that span behind only former Eagle DeSean Jackson, who has 56. Those 43 passes were thrown by five quarterbacks (Roethlisberger 23, Flacco 9, Ryan Tannehill 7, Charlie Batch 3 and former Eagle Dennis Dixon 1).
• During the same span, Wallace has 19 TD catches of 40 yards or more, again second-most in the league during that span to Jackson’s 26.
• In 2010, Wallace caught 60 passes for 1,257 yards, and his 20.95 average was sixth-highest in NFL history and highest in the last 33 years by a player with 60 or more receptions. Since 1965, only Hall of Famer and one-time Eagle James Lofton has had a higher average (21.95 in 1984).