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Eagles rally around embattled coach Andy Reid

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Eagles rally around embattled coach Andy Reid

PHILADELPHIA (AP) From rookies to veterans, the Philadelphia Eagles fully support Andy Reid.

While many fans wanted him fired a long time ago and the media expects he'll be gone next week, Reid's players are firmly behind their embattled coach.

``I feel like Coach Reid will be here,'' LeSean McCoy said Thursday. ``That's my mindset until I'm told otherwise. He's a great coach. I support him. I think he should stay here.''

Almost to a man, other players expressed similar thoughts. That's a rarity these days in the NFL. Players are known to grumble about their coach, especially when a team isn't having much success and he's on the hot seat.

It's a different story in Philadelphia. In all corners of the locker room, the Eagles have Reid's back. You won't even find players complaining about him off the record, and no one has said he should go.

``If you look at Coach Reid's track record, the things he's been able to accomplish is going to be hard to top,'' Michael Vick said. ``It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of commitment, and the one thing I can say is he committed himself to being the best coach that he could be and having his players in the best possible position week in and week out to try to win the games.

``You don't win them all and every good thing comes to an end. If that is the case, we don't know and the same thing for me, throughout it all I can say we stay confident, we had fun and we're going to try to go out and win this last one.''

The Eagles (4-11) close out a dismal season at the New York Giants (8-7) on Sunday. For the second straight year, they began with high expectations only to fail miserably. It's a widespread assumption it will cost Reid his job.

Owner Jeffrey Lurie said before the season that another 8-8 finish would be ``unacceptable.'' He also said ``we need substantial improvement'' for him to give Reid a contract extension. Reid, though, has one more year left on his deal for about $6 million.

``We really hope he's back next year,'' Jason Avant said.

Reid has won more games in 14 seasons than any coach in franchise history. With 140 victories, including playoffs, he's 22nd on the NFL career list. He's led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl loss.

But his failure to win the franchise's first NFL title since 1960 is how he's measured in this football-crazed city.

``Andy had a hand in bringing everybody here in. Obviously, he put faith in us and had a lot of trust in us,'' said Cullen Jenkins, who had a heated exchange with Reid on the sideline during a preseason game. ``We haven't been able to live up to the expectations of the coaches or the fans. We still have to try and give whatever else we can give right now. The only thing we can do is to try and get a win in the last game.''

The Giants still have slim playoff hopes, so a victory send-off for Reid also would knock a division rival out of contention. Playing spoiler doesn't mean as much to the Eagles as winning one for their coach.

This already was a difficult year for Reid before the Eagles even played their first regular-season game. His oldest son, Garrett Reid, died during training camp after a long battle with drug addiction.

``Coach has given us so much,'' safety Kurt Coleman said. ``To go through what he's gone through and to continue to fight for us, we're not going to stop fighting for him. That's not what's going to happen. We're going to prepare. We want to get this one bad. We really do. I don't want to say this is going to be his last game. I hope it's not so I just want to finish this season strong and hope for the best.''

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7 stats that define John Wall's history-making career (so far)

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7 stats that define John Wall's history-making career (so far)

This week is Wall Week at NBC Sports Washington. We are rolling out content each day centering around the Wizards' five-time All-Star point guard. Today, we take a deep dive into the numbers to illustrate Wall's career in Washington so far...

**Wall's career averages of 19.0 points and 9.2 assists put him in elite company. Only three other players in league history have averaged at least 19 and nine with at least 500 games played; Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas. Only Johnson and Robertson have also averaged at least four rebounds in addition, like Wall has.

**Wall is already well-represented on the Wizards/Bullets franchise's all-time leaderboards. He is first in career assists (5,282) and steals (976), second in free throws (2,456), third in points (10,879) and minutes played (20,545) and fourth in threes made (539). He is already third all-time in VORP (value over replacement player), a cumulative stat similar to WAR (wins above replacement) in baseball. Only Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes accrued more while in Washington.

**Wall has also put up some of the best individual seasons in franchise history. He has the No. 1, 3, 4 and 7 highest assist totals with his best year the 2016-17 season when he dished out 831. 

**Wall's 2016-17 campaign was also the only season in franchise history where a player averaged 20-plus points and 10-plus assists. He has 111 20-point, 10-assist games in his career which is by far the most in franchise history. Second on the list is Rod Strickland with 43. Gilbert Arenas is third with 24.

**Wall has 396 career blocks. Only six guards in NBA history have recorded more. Those six are Dwayne Wade (885), Clyde Drexler (719), Dennis Johnson (675), Jason Kidd (450), Kendall Gill (432) and Latrell Sprewell (399). Only Johnson and Kidd played most of their time at point guard, so Wall is third all-time at his position.

**Wall's 5,282 career assists are fifth among active players. Only Chris Paul (9,181), LeBron James (8,662), Rajon Rondo (6,975) and Russell Westbrook (5,701) have more.

**Unfortunately, injuries have significantly affected Wall's last two seasons. He has played a combined 73 regular season games the past two years. For context, he has played the same amount of games as Gordon Hayward, who appeared in just one game in 2017-18. And DeMarcus Cousins, despite going through a full rehab from a torn Achilles during that time, played in more games (78) than Wall.

NBA.com and Basketball Reference were used in this research

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Joe Ross exits game with leg injury

Washington Nationals Roundup: Joe Ross exits game with leg injury

A massive hot streak has the Nationals trending in the right direction with a month left in the regular season. They scored another 13 runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday in an all-around impressive offensive showing for the Nats. 

Player Notes:

SP Joe Ross exited Monday's game early in the fourth after being struck by a grounder on his right leg. Before the injury, he continued his incredible stretch of starts as he was through 3.1 innings with three hits and no runs. His last four starts have resulted in four wins for the Nationals and in the process, he's only yielded one run. His performance was so strong that he was making the case to be the team's fifth starter when Max Scherzer comes back later this week.

OF Juan Soto had a perfect night at the plate against the Pirates. Finishing 4-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and four runs scored he's continued his incredible sophomore campaign. In this outing, his OBP went up a whole six points to .404.

3B Asdrubal Cabrera had himself a career day with the Nationals in their 13-0 win over Pittsburgh. A two-run home run, a double and a sac fly supplied five of the Nats 13 runs. Those five RBIs were a new personal best for Cabrera, according to MASN. He's been a great add for the Nationals with an 11-for-29 plate performance in his nine games. 

INF Adrian Sanchez was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg to give some infield depth with the temporary absence of Brian Dozier. In 24 MLB games this year he is 6-for-27.

2B Brian Dozier placed on the paternity list and is expected to miss part of the Nats' series in Pittsburgh. He and his wife are expecting their first child.

Injuries:

2B Brian Dozier: Healthy, Paternity leave, day-to-day

SP Max Scherzer: Back, 10-Day IL, maybe back August 22

RP Roenis Elias: Hamstring, 10-Day IL, maybe back in mid-August

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, 10-Day IL, maybe back in late-August

SP Austin Voth: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, maybe back in late-August

RP Sean Doolittle: Knee, 10-Day-IL, out indefinitely 

RP Jonny Venters: Shoulder, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, out indefinitely

Coming Up:

Tuesday 8/20: Nationals @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park
Wednesday 8/21: Nationals @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park 
Thursday 8/22: Nationals @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park

via Rotoworld

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