LeSean McCoy weighs in on Eagles offensive coordinator vacancy; Astros pitcher Lance McCullers rips ESPN

LeSean McCoy has played in Buffalo now for three seasons. but despite lacing up his cleats 360 miles away, the Eagles remain near and dear to his heart.

Responding to reports that Eagles coach Doug Pederson had interviewed running backs coach Duce Staley and wide receivers coach Mike Groh for the team’s vacant offensive coordinator position, McCoy has a clear preference who should replace Frank Reich.

“Duce Duce deserves it,” McCoy wrote Monday night on Twitter. “Hire Duce.”

Staley, a former Eagles running back who became a coaching intern with the team during the 2010 offseason, has been the Birds’ running backs coach since he was promoted in 2013 by then-head coach Chip Kelly. After having spent time with the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams, Groh was hired by Pederson in 2017 to replaced Greg Lewis, who was fired after just one season.

Unfortunately, McCoy won’t be getting his wish. Citing a league source, my colleague Zach Berman reports that the Eagles will promote Mike Groh to offensive coordinator.

McCoy’s renewed affection for the Eagles has coincided with the departure of Kelly, whom the Eagles fired late in the 2015 season. McCoy leveled claims of racism against Kelly after he was traded to Buffalo in 2013, and renewed his feud with the former Eagles coach in January, hours before the Birds faced the Vikings in the NFC championship game.

“I got a lot of love for Philadelphia now that the little short coach is with the kids where he belongs,” McCoy said in January on the NFL Network.

Back in 2013, Staley defended Kelly against the claims of bias, telling reporters, “Chip is not a racist at all. … I know from my relationship with Chip that’s definitely far-fetched.” But asked if he remained close to Kelly, Staley conceded to my colleague Les Bowen earlier this month that he hadn’t talked to his former boss in a while (which Bowen described as NFL coach-speak for “no.”)

“We’ve both been busy,” Staley said.

Astros pitcher rips ESPN

Lance McCullers, a starting pitcher for the Houston Astros who played a big role in securing last year’s World Series title, isn’t happy about how ESPN is framing the discussion about mound visits during MLB games.

On Monday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced new rules aimed at limiting the length of games, which took an average of 3 hours and 8 minutes to play last season. The new rules limit mound visits to six per team over a nine-inning game and keep in place a countdown clock between innings, which ESPN illustrated on SportsCenter by showing a clip of McCullers’ discussion with catcher Brian McCann during the final game of the World Series.

This didn’t sit well with McCullers, who blasted the sports network on Twitter early Tuesday.

“ESPN displaying mound visits today of GAME 7 in the WORLD SERIES like that’s a standard game,” McCullers complained. “That game decides everything and WE, as pitcher/catcher, have to combat sign stealing (cheating). Y’all never talk baseball, show baseball or care.”

“This dude has an open invite to guest write a column,” Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch wrote on Twitter after McCullers’ rant.

DirecTV increasing prices

Remember when DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket used to cost $99 for the entire season? Those days are long gone.

On Monday, DirecTV confirmed that it would raise prices on its popular NFL package, which remains the only legal way for fans to watch out-of-market games. The new cost will increase to $293.94 for the 2018 regular season for DirecTV’s basic package. If you want the package that includes the popular Red Zone Channel, you’ll have to pony up $395.95 to subscribe to Sunday Ticket Max.

As Awful Announcing’s Ken Fang points out, DirecTV holds the rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket into the next decade, so despite losing subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2017, the company has no real incentive or competition to keep its prices down.

Quote of the Day

“There’s no way you can’t do that together and not date. They done kissed each other at least once.”

—Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones, commenting on NBC on Monday night about the gold-medal-winning free dance performance by Canadian skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Jones was joined by American bronze medalist Adam Rippon, who added, “When I watch [Virtue], sometimes I feel like I can feel my hair growing.”