At this stage of the season, you are just looking for that flicker. Signs of anger and pain and resistance to the losing culture that has seeped through the walls.
The front office will be evaluating more than talent as they sift through the wreckage of this season. They will be evaluating effort, and resolve, and want-to. And that’s just sad.
“At the end of the day it’s about locker room accountability,” said a fired-up Troy Vincent after his Eagles Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony. “The talent is here. When you hear someone talking about play-calling, just play the call that has been made. I was asked a question about someone hustling; why are we talking about a professional hustling to the football?
“And people know, the third eye in the sky doesn’t lie.”
History will not look favorably on this 2012 team. They will be labeled underachievers and their character will come into question. It already has.
Jeffrey Lurie was banking on a rebound season. He looked at the players on this roster and envisioned a rise in production across the board that would take this team out of mediocrity and back to elite status.
Instead, the output has dipped. Very few on the roster are even flirting with the possibility of having a career year. Some have fallen off dramatically.
To illustrate, we compared individual performances from last season with the projected totals for 2012.
Here’s our weekly look at the Eagles’ defensive line production.
The Eagles had quite a few “close but no sack” moments against Robert Griffin III. In fairness to Jim Washburn’s unit, Griffin makes defensive linemen look silly on a weekly basis.
Here are the numbers. Sacks, hurries (a stat kept by the coaches) and pressure percentage (frequency with with each player notches a sack or hurry, given the opportunities).
Cullen Jenkins always has a light tremble in his voice following a loss, making it so the pain is audible. Reporters gravitate to him because he gives emotional, unfiltered responses and can strike into the core of the issue.
On this night, he spoke of his own personal failings.
“I was brought in here, especially coming from a championship team, to try and help instill [a certain mindset]. Not maybe, I’m not doing a good enough job of it,” said Jenkins.
Cultivating a winning culture has not been a problem for the majority of Andy Reid’s tenure. When you stepped into the Eagles locker room you stepped into a winning locker room. Newcomers adapted and learned and passed it down, and on it went.
Suddenly, the Eagles are faced with a crisis.
Evidence of this team’s growing frustration surfaced towards the end of the first half Sunday.
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.
Amid a season of disappointment, Eagles rookie Fletcher Cox is providing a bright spot.
Here are some plays that stood out after having looked at the All-22 tape of the Eagles’ defense against the Cowboys.
Tagged with: Brandon Boykin
, Brandon Graham
, Cullen Jenkins
, Darryl Tapp
, DeMeco Ryans
, Fletcher Cox
, Mychal Kendricks
, Nate Allen
, Nnamdi Asomugha
, Todd Bowles
, Trent Cole
Posted in All-22
Rookie Fletcher Cox has been really good against the run, but he’s in a pass-rushing rut. Here’s the weekly breakdown of the defensive line.
Here is the injury report for Monday night’s game between the Eagles and Saints:
Nate Allen did not practice again on Saturday because of a hamstring strain and is officially listed as questionable for Monday night’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Andy Reid said Allen will travel with the team and be a game-time decision.
If he can’t go, David Sims will get the start. The Eagles acquired Sims from the Browns before the season. He’s never played a defensive snap in the NFL and could be faced with trying to deal with Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense in his first action.