The Eagles had overcome a 3rd-and-17 courtesy of a 21-yard pitch-and-catch between Nick Foles and Damaris Johnson. They were down 11 and desperately fighting for momentum. But the drive fizzled out when Brent Celek dropped his second pass of the game on a 3rd-and-5.
DeSean Jackson, who watched that play from the sideline along with Jeremy Maclin, grew animated.
“It was very frustrating, just once again continuing the same mistakes, penalties and turnovers,” said Jackson. “After a while you’re almost like tired of it. You have to figure out a way to get it going. I just tried to spark something, being very angry and letting people know it’s not OK to continue to keep making these mistakes.”
(Just to be clear, Jackson never said he was responding to the drop or not being on the field. It seemed to be more about the offense’s ineptitude overall. They had already turned the ball over twice by that point.)
Jackson and Riley Cooper had some words for one another and were gently separated by coach Duce Staley. All was apparently forgiven by halftime, as the two hugged it out in the locker room and moved on.
“This is a family,” said Cooper. “In any family there is going to be bickering.”
The reason behind the bickering?
“We just want to score,” Cooper said.
As the spiral continues, questions about this group’s character rage all the louder. While the players licked their wounds at their respective locker stalls in Washington Sunday, each was asked about the perception that the team has lost its fight. Every one insisted that is not the case. Cullen Jenkins said the emotion is there, it’s just not being utilized properly.
“I know there is plenty of toughness on the team. I don’t know if we’re channeling all the toughness in the right areas,” said Jenkins.
“Sometimes when people get frustrated, you’ve got to bottle it up and make sure it stays a positive. You keep positive with it and don’t get frustrated, don’t get down too much and let it keep affecting you. We have to make sure that we’re always channeling the frustration and everything in positive ways.”
That will be an increasingly difficult task from this point forward.
“This is our job, this is what we’re supposed to do,” said Brent Celek, ”and we’re failing at it.”
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