Still in his No. 75 game-worn jersey and pads, Vinny Curry stood in the middle of the Eagles’ locker room with a crowd of reporters surrounding him.
In previous weeks, the questions were always the same. Why haven’t you played yet? When will you get a chance? Are you getting antsy?
But on Monday night, they were different. Curry, a second-round pick, dressed on gameday for the first time all season, seeing snaps at right defensive end behind Trent Cole. He finished the game with five tackles – the most of any of the team’s linemen.
“It’s go-time,” Curry said, when asked what was going through his head before the game. “This is what everybody’s been waiting for. This is what I’ve been waiting for, my family. It’s my Mom’s birthday tomorrow, actually. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
But Curry was lying. He knew something could have made the night better. Not an Eagles win, but having his mother in attendance. Unfortunately, though, she died of cancer last October. This would have been her 52nd birthday.
“She would have been proud because I played my butt off,” Curry said. “I just tried to really hustle-hustle.”
That showed particularly on one third-quarter play. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton spun out of one sack. Then another. Just as he was crossing the line of scrimmage, Curry came flying in to tackle him after a 1-yard gain.
Asked if it had sunk in that he was finally on the field playing for the team he grew up rooting for, Curry had the right response.
“The only thing that’s sunk in is this loss,” he said. “It hurts.”
Still, on a night where the Eagles lost their seventh straight, and most of the players talked about their frustration and disappointment, Curry could be forgiven for speaking with pride.
WHAT YOU MISSED
With loss No. 8, Andy Reid has reached the point of no return.
As always, instant observations with what I saw during the loss.
The Eagles and Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer Tim McDermott parted ways on Monday.
Excellent piece by Tim on Bryce Brown, who says the reason he plays football is to provide for his family for generations.
SI.com’s Peter King put out a list of 15 head-coaching candidates we should be familiar with.
In the latest Coaching Buzz post, we talk Chip Kelly, Bill O’Brien and the next John Harbaugh.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano offers his instant take on Nick Foles:
Still not much to go on with rookie Nick Foles, who made his second straight start at quarterback due to Michael Vick’s concussion. He threw a nice deep ball that drew a key 51-yard pass interference call in the third quarter to set up Brown’s second touchdown run, but for the most part he was handing the ball off and throwing screen passes. There were at least three passes he threw in the first half that looked like poor downfield decisions that were nearly intercepted, and it seems clear that the Eagles are not yet asking Foles to do very much.
SI.com’s Chris Burke offers his take:
Hearing boos at home is nothing new for the Eagles. It’s part and parcel of playing in front of the rabid and notoriously cranky Philadelphia fans, especially during this disappointing season.
The sound that hovered over Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night, during a 30-22 Carolina win that dropped the Eagles to 3-8, was entirely new — and, for the Philadelphia players, had to be much, much more painful.
We’ll hear from Andy Reid at noon and assess how some of the younger players performed. Plus, Birds 24/7 Radio on 97.5 The Fanatic from 6 to 7. We’re excited to be broadcasting from Smith’s at 19th and Chestnut the rest of the season. Stop by and say hello if you’re in the area.