Eagles Wake-Up Call: Meeting Of the Minds
A lot of Eagles players have grown weary of the talk. It’s not what is said during the week that counts, it’s the way they perform on game day that proves their mettle. It is a common refrain among the leaders in particular.
“You can only say so much and sometimes I get tired of talking,” said Michael Vick following the loss to Atlanta. “You get tired of talking and it’s more about letting your actions speak louder than your words.”
Ironically, this same group is hopeful that words will help save them.
Vick led a players-only meeting on Wednesday. By the quarterback’s count, nine or ten different Eagles spoke their mind about the state of the team and what needs to change. DeMeco Ryans, Cullen Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jason Avant were a few that apparently voiced their opinions.
“I think that really helped out a lot of players,” said LeSean McCoy. “Get a chance to get it off your chest and talk among each other. So I think the confidence is definitely there. I think we go to New Orleans with a new attitude, hopefully get back on a winning [track].
“It was good to hear different guys who normally don’t talk at all speak up and put their two cents in. I think we’re all on the same page. We have one goal — no individual goals, just straight Super Bowl.”
The message from the meeting?
“I mean,just for everybody to step up and be accountable,” said DeSean Jackson. “That’s what we have to do as professional athletes. If you’re not playing good, if you’re not doing something right, get it corrected and get it corrected fast.”
The second important piece of communication this week came from Andy Reid, who made it clear that Vick is his guy.
“I feel like it’s hard to be comfortable feeling like at any given moment or any mistake my job can be gone,” said McCoy. “I think that was the whole message that Andy put out there for Mike: Just be confident knowing he’s our quarterback no matter what happens or what is said or how bad we’re playing as a team. I think it’s a confidence thing.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Here’s more Reid on Vick being the starter now and moving forward. Vick sounds energized and ready to go back to his old, bold ways.
Sheil turns on the coaches tape to try and figure out why the defensive line is struggling.
Danny Watkins‘ ankle injury is likely to keep him out of Monday night’s game, opening the door for rookie Dennis Kelly.
Jason Babin talks about the “vile” chants he heard at the Linc on Sunday.
Nothing is more vile than my George Costanza wallet. We look at that and so much more in our weekly Twitter Mailbag.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Don Banks makes the point that what is happening in the twilight of the Reid era is inevitable.
Even for the best NFL head coaches, the ones like Reid who have served long and well and defied the odds by surviving in the same market for year after year, the end of their era almost always comes in less than victory-parade formation. Eventually, every coach this side of Vince Lombardi and Bill Walsh seems to wear out his welcome, grow stale in the job, or realize his message no longer resonates with the people he’s paid to motivate. Stay long enough and some of the magic inevitably disappears.
And if it can happen to Hall of Fame legends like Tom Landry in Dallas, Chuck Noll in Pittsburgh and Don Shula in Miami — none of whom went out in anything resembling the glow of their championship years — who could possibly be immune from that coaching dynamic? Certainly not Reid, whose 139-94-1 career record in Philadelphia has set a new standard for Eagles coaches, but includes only a 10-9 mark in the playoffs and, to the great frustration of Philly fans everywhere, no Super Bowl titles.
The NFL experts over at CBS Sports are split 4-4 on the outcome of the Eagles-Saints game. The Saints are three-point favorites.
According to PFT, the Eagles are tied with the Jaguars for most cap space at $20.1 million. It could be pure coincidence, but the four teams with the least amount of space — the Ravens, Falcons, Steelers and 49ers — are a combined 22-7, with three of the four teams leading their respective divisions. The top five in salary cap space are a combined 10-27.
Todd Bowles and Marty Mornhinweg speak with the media today. Practice is at 1:50.
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