Eagles Must Now Deal With Character Issues

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek.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.

That is not to say that it’s all rotten apples. There are definitely some prideful individuals on this team that agonize over what is happening.

“I’m so pissed off right now I can’t even explain. By the end of the game I was just ready to fight,” said Cullen Jenkins. “It’s weighing on you over and over again. We have to give ourselves something — the coaches, the fans, we have to put on a performance, do something. Seven straight now? It’s hard to comprehend that.

“I’m so mad right now. Out of all the losses, it feels like I’m more angry right now than any of them. With all the bad stuff that has happened to still have a chance, even if it’s a far chance, to still have chances, you have to look for any kind of positive or motivation you can get. And to keep blowing them away or whatever, it’s frustrating.”

It is telling that guys like Jenkins held out hope up until this point, and that this Carolina loss stung the worst because it crushed the last strand of that hope for a winning season.

“I can’t stand it. This is what I do. This is my livelihood. I could be doing other things but this is what I do and I want to succeed at it. I want to be the best in the league at it, I want to help my team win games,” said Brent Celek. “It’s all about winning a Super Bowl. I grew up at a young age dreaming of winning a Super Bowl, and when you are in a situation like this, it pisses you off. I doubt we have a chance now, and that’s annoying.

“There’s not many of us that can get to this level, and when you get to this level you’ve got to give everything you’ve got on every single play to win football games.”

Is everybody on this team giving it that kind of effort?

“There are some guys on the team that I’m not really close  with so I don’t know them too well and can’t talk about that,” said Celek. “But that’s up to them. I hope they do. I really do. And if they don’t, they better start caring because it’s embarrassing for them, too.”

Vincent was asked about the 3-13 season that he went through in 1998, and what it was like to look around the locker room knowing your teammates may not be there next year.

“Well, in some cases, I wanted some of the guys out of the locker room,” Vincent replied. “You know. As a player, you know who’s there. You know who you can line up and fight with and the coaches know. It’s not a secret and, the fans, you identify them every week that you play. You want those guys removed; it’s just not your responsibility, your role to do so.”

That falls in the hands of management.

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