There are some veteran leaders on the Eagles that are about at their wits’ end. The identity that used to come with an Andy Reid-led team has been compromised, and hubris may have something to do with it.
“I just get so tired of the ‘talented’ talk. I don’t want what the outside world views as talent to infect our team,” said Jason Avant. “Talent and potential is dangerous because you’ll get complacent. We have to go out and show it. Right now we’re a 3-3 team. That’s who we are. It’s not that we’re a talented 3-3 team. It’s that we’re 3-3 and they have players on their team, whatever team we’re facing, that are just as good as we are. If we take that mindset that anybody can beat you, you’ll focus and concentrate harder and you’ll play better.”
Are players on this team reading their own press clippings?
“I don’t know,” Avant said. “I believe that we’re not playing up to our standard. That’s the thing: I think we ought to get to the place where we’re not playing to the other team’s talent, but we’re playing against the standard of the Philadelphia Eagles, all the great teams that are in the past, going to an NFC Championship and making it to the Super Bowl. We want to play up to a higher standard than our opponents.”
Avant addressed a small gathering of media outside the NovaCare complex Monday, the dark clouds overhead and a light rain fitting the mood perfectly. The roster does not have a single representative from the 2004 Super Bowl team remaining. The receiver has been with the Eagles since 2006, close enough to the good years to know how those clubs went about their business.
“Just some of the things that were done on the field yesterday with the penalties, with not taking the right steps, the right reads, different things like that,” said Avant. “We had one player get kicked out. Just stuff like that I haven’t seen since I’ve been here and it just got under my skin a little bit.”
He is not alone. The devastating loss to the Lions has set off a new wave of rage within the Eagles’ fan base. Brent Celek, in his sixth season with the team, doesn’t blame them one bit.
“If I’m this organization and I’m the fans, I’d be pissed off. What we’re doing is uncalled for,” said Celek.
“We all just need to get back to the basics, doing what we know how to do, fundamentals, and do it. Stop talking about it and do it.”