“When the defense is out there to hold them out, we’re able to do it. We’ve proven that,” said Coleman. “We love getting on the field because we want to become the best defense in Philadelphia history, and in the league.”
In Philadelphia history?
“Absolutely. I say it with a straight face,” he said. “I believe it. I believe in the team that we have, the guys that I play next to. We can do it. We need to continue to build on this, and make our legacy.”
A day after those comments were made, a reporter circled back to make sure the safety wasn’t just caught up in the moment. Coleman didn’t budge.
“It is our clear goal,” said Coleman. “Even [Friday] when we broke as a defense, our mission is to be great. When you’re great you get put among the greatest. It’s not something that you do in one day, one game. It’s an everyday process. This has been a collective mission. We really felt like we had the pieces in place to take this team to the next level. We want to win a championship, and every team that has won a championship has had a top 5 defense. And we don’t want to be top 5 — we want to be the best.”
Through four games, the Eagles are ranked seventh overall on defense, which is judged by yards allowed. They are seventh in pass yards per game, 12th in rushing yards per game and are tied for 11th in points per game (20.8). Their seven takeaways is about middle of the pack. In other words, there’s some work to do before this unit can be considered elite.
“It’s definitely an attitude that we should have, to be the number one defense in the league. If you don’t have that attitude you’re already in trouble because you’re not thinking like a winner,” said Cullen Jenkins. “It would be something we strive for. Every team comes into the season with the goal to win the Super Bowl. There should be no difference in your individual goals.”
But the best in Eagles history? You are primarily competing with the ’91 defense, which ranked No. 1 in overall yards, rushing yards and passing yards allowed; and was tops in sacks, fumble recoveries and takeaways. With Reggie White, Clyde Simmons, Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner, Eric Allen, et al, it is considered one of the all-time greats in NFL history. And that is just the starting point.
“Those are great players. You’re talking great defenses,” said Coleman.
And yet the goal remains that high?
“Absolutely,” he said. “Hey, it’s how we feel.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Here is a look at the Eagles-Steelers injury report. Pittsburgh seems to be in good shape, while the Eagles may be getting back one of their receivers.
We went to the coaches tape to see what got LeSean McCoy going last week.Turns out, Stanley Havili was a big factor.
Ron Jaworski released his updated quarterback ratings. Michael Vick finds himself below Tony Romo.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Peter King predicts a 27-17 Steelers win.
Eight years ago next month, Ben Roethlisberger led his first NFL rout — 27-3 over Philadelphia in Pittsburgh. Steelers haven’t beaten Eagles since, though they’ve played only once. Roethlisberger will get beat up some in this one, because his line won’t be able to hold out Jason Babin and Trent Cole, but he’ll man-up and get the Steelers to .500.
Mike Florio sees a 20-10 Steelers win over the Eagles.
I’ve lived within 100 miles of Pittsburgh long enough to know that the Steelers, with a 1-2 record and two weeks to prepare, don’t lose this game. Not at home.
Five of the eight experts at CBS Sports are rolling with Pittsburgh as well.
The Eagles depart for Pittsburgh in the afternoon. We’ll have live coverage from the Steel City.