Rob's Rants: Eagles Preseason Opener, Chris Long and Odubel Herrera

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.

Crisp Carson
Cue the ESPN 30 for 30 narration. 

Philadelphia Eagles

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What if I told you that in the Eagles' first preseason game, Carson Wentz would go 4 for 4 passing and lead his team to a touchdown on his only drive of the night. He would also convert a fourth down with a man in his face and a 3rd-and-13 while flinging aside a rushing Clay Matthews for a 38-yard touchdown. 

Wentz's physical prowess and football growth were on full display. There aren't many quarterbacks who can fight off a 6-3, 255-pound freight train with bad intentions and still have the wherewithal to keep their eyes down the field and complete a pass. Wentz's combo of size, strength and athleticism is a lethal mix.

The first-team defense would hold the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers to a three-and-out and on the next possession force a fumble. 

I'd say, barring any major injuries, which didn't occur - success. Big picture: Focus on what the Eagles' starters accomplished last Thursday in Green Bay. Everything is typical preseason fodder.

Can we just fast-forward to Sept. 10 already?

Out of his lane
I never understood the "stay in lane, stick to sports if you're an athlete" thing. If Eagles defensive end Chris Long wants to tweet his opinion about what's happening in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, why is he any different than anyone else who has a take, other than he has a platform? Because he plays sports for a living and gets paid handsomely to do so, he isn't afforded the same rights as a "regular guy?"

If you check his timeline or listen to interviews from him in the past, giving opinions outside of sports is something Long has done virtually his entire career. This is not a concert setting where an artist is forcing political opinions down the throat of a captive audience who just wants to hear his or her songs. If you don't want to listen to Long or any other athlete, don't follow them on Twitter and don't listen to their interviews.

El Torito
As hard as it may be for some, I think we just need to accept that Odubel Herrera is a really talented player who also can be a bonehead. He can be both; they are not mutually exclusive. 

Herrera is just 25 years old and in only his third season. But he's been around long enough that these inexplicable brain-dead plays should not be happening.

Pete Mackanin and the organization are in a tough spot. Herrera can hit for average and power. Entering Monday, he was hitting .342 with a .970 OPS since June 1. He already has 15 more doubles (an NL-leading 36) than he had all of last season.

And although he will swing at garbage, bat flip on a fly out and do things on the bases that make you throw your remote, the positives outweigh the negatives. He may take a circuitous route to the ball, but his speed and ability to track a ball in center are special. His lapses in judgment may keep him from being a franchise player, but even with the warts, he is still a damn good, proven big-league player, and one the Phils should think long and hard before moving.

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