The700Level

Maybe just shut down Dario Saric for the season while we're at it

Maybe just shut down Dario Saric for the season while we're at it

As we've reiterated repeatedly here at The700Level, Dario Saric has given Sixers fans more than we ever could've reasonably asked for in his rookie season. Just coming over in the first place was miracle enough, but the fact that he broke through his rookie adjustment period to put this team on his back when Joel Embiid got injured, and actually kept this team competitive and watchable for months afterwards, was just more of a blessing than we could hope to repay him for. But there's one way the Sixers could certainly begin to pay him back: By shutting him down for the remainder of the season. 

Not that he necessarily needs it, and certainly not that he wants it. Dario undoubtedly yearns to stay out there, to be the only 76er to play all 82 games this season, to help this team get to 30 wins for the first time since Eisenhower was in the White House. But the evidence seems to suggest that The Homie rapidly running out of gas as the season nears its close. He's hit just six of his last 28 three-point attempts, looking like his legs are largely gone. After his 5-18 shooting night against Atlanta last Wednesday, he openly admitted his late-season exhaustion. ("I was tired.... so many games.") And yesterday, he was held to a 24-minute "guideline" due to heel soreness. 

How many more warning signs do we need before Dario is officially put behind protective glass for the rest of the season? I want to see the Sixers get that 30th win as much as anybody, and I certainly don't want to see any late-season slump or benching end up tipping the Rookie of the Year vote in favor of Malcolm friggin' Brogdon. But considering Dario's body is seeming pretty vulnerable these days and that this team passes around meniscus tears like a bag of Doritos, I'd say the priority at this point should just be getting Saric out of this season alive. He probably already has four undiagnosed maladies that should be season-ending, why risk adding more at this point? 

Let's shut him down and park him on the bench next to Joel, Jahlil, Ben, RoCo and (until demonstrated otherwise) Sergio for the season's remainder. Call it tanking if you must, though understand that the Lakers and Suns have basically been pulling vets since the All-Star Break, and we couldn't out-tank them if we sent the Sevens roster to the rest of the Sixers' games for our final five games of the season. Whatever: Let's just let Alex Poythress, Shawn Long and Tiago Splitter play 40 minutes a night for the rest of the year at this point, then give 'em each a gold watch and send 'em to Process Retirement. Bet we still find a way to win two more games with them, anyway.

Eagles fans need to lighten up

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Eagles fans need to lighten up

In the words of Aaron Rodgers, here are five letters for Eagles nation: R-E-L-A-X.

Relax. The Eagles are going to be OK.

You might not think so listening to all the pouting and hand-wringing and hating and full-on panic.

Waah, the Eagles aren’t getting the receiver I want! Tsk-tsk, Carson Wentz needs to be more careful! Boo, Jim Schwartz’s defense is a disgrace! OMG, they lost to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the friggin’ Bucs!

Yes, the Eagles lost to the Buccaneers, one of the hottest teams in the NFL, in Tampa, one of the hottest places on earth, with half their offense out with injuries. That gives them a 1-1 record in 2018, the same exact mark as this time last season – when, as you may recall, they went on to win the Super Bowl.

Circumstances obviously have changed, but the mindset in Philadelphia apparently has not.

The Eagles still need every Dez Bryant, Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown who can play wide receiver. Fans still have no problem going at a guy like Jalen Mills on social media less than eight months after he did his part to bring a championship to the city. Everybody and their mother will still weigh in on what Wentz should and shouldn’t do on a football field even after a team of doctors say he’s 100 percent.

Take a chill pill, folks. The offense needs a receiver, but a veteran like Jordan Matthews who knows the offense will do for a week or two until Alshon Jeffery returns. The defense could be better, but Schwartz’s unit has been almost solely responsible for wins in the past. Wentz has the green light of medical professionals, which is all that matters.

There’s scrutiny, and then there’s straight-up whining. The first few months of the Eagles’ title defense hasn’t gone precisely to plan, so some people have chosen the latter.

Signing Dez or trading for Gordon may have moved the Eagles closer to another Super Bowl – may – but signing Jordan Matthews — and maybe Jeremy Maclin — instead doesn’t put them any further away.

Schwartz and Mills were good enough that both were able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy eight months prior to the beginning of the season, so it wouldn’t be wise to count either out just yet.

As for Wentz’s health, football is a contact sport and he’s an athlete – the type who makes everybody better around him. Something tells me once he’s out there converting third downs and scoring touchdowns, a lot of the other questions are going to disappear.

Wentz won’t say it, but I will. Relax. The Eagles’ quarterback, Doug Pederson and the rest of the coaching staff and the front office led by Howie Roseman are going to be okay.

That doesn’t mean they’re going to repeat. That doesn't mean they won't. Either way, Week 3 is simply much too early to jump off the bandwagon.

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This is how bad things are going for Chip Kelly

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This is how bad things are going for Chip Kelly

Things are not going well for Chip Kelly. We feel terrible about it.

After unsuccessfully trying to destroy the Eagles and 49ers, Kelly took some time off from coaching to try his hand as a football analyst with ESPN. Well, he’s back coaching and at least one person is very upset about it.

Kelly joined a struggling UCLA program, coming off back-to-back losing seasons under Jim Mora, with the hope of turning things around. They’re off to a terrible start.

Kelly was 46-7 as the head coach at Oregon and his offense was second to none over those four seasons. The Ducks finished in the top five in each of his last three years, too, so I’m sure there was a tremendous amount of excitement in L.A. upon Kelly’s arrival. Things have turned pretty quickly after a horrendous 0-3 start, with two losses coming at home.

So bad, in fact, that Michael Robinson, the father of UCLA freshman QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, took to Twitter to express his frustrations under the very appropriate handle of @DoriansDAD. 

I know people probably came here for the Kelly hate, since his run in Philadelphia was so weird. But I think people need to consider that Kelly is rebuilding a program that has been barely relevant in the past 20 years and has tremendous competition with recruiting powerhouse USC right in its backyard.

Kelly is off to a terrible start, for sure, and it’s kinda funny that the QB's dad took to Twitter to rip him, but there could be a different story in a few years if Kelly can work his Oregon magic again.

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