Barwin Denies Character Standards Have Diminished
Before the Eagles begin training camp tomorrow with all of their players practicing, veterans reported to the NovaCare Complex today for meetings. On their way in, several guys stopped to address the media about their teammates’ off-the-field incidents this offseason, including the rape accusation against Nelson Agholor — although he wasn’t charged — and Nigel Bradham’s arrest this week for allegedly assaulting an employee in a Miami hotel.
Malcolm Jenkins noted that he doesn’t think the team needs to talk about off-the-field expectations, and that the coaches can handle it.
“I don’t think we need to talk. Guys get in trouble all around the league. Stuff happens,” Jenkins said. “I’m sure the coaches have a plan to deal with that. Hopefully, it doesn’t become a distraction.”
Jason Kelce expressed a similar sentiment.
“As a player in the league, you try and be professional and you try to stay out of situations like that. We’re not alone in guys that have off-field issues, and this isn’t the first year the Eagles have had stuff like this,” Kelce said. “Unfortunately, this is something that happens from time to time, and I’m not excusing either of those [situations].”
Connor Barwin, who said he’s “very happy” for Agholor that his situation is over, denied the notion that character expectations for players have diminished under Doug Pederson since Chip Kelly was fired.
“No, no. It’s very much the same,” Barwin said. “Jim Schwartz talked to us about that [and] Doug talked to us about it, just the way Chip and other assistant coaches talked to us about that. We are always representing not only ourselves and this organization, but this city and our families. That’s what Doug has always said, and that’s what Chip said, too.”
Before discussing Agholor and declining comment on Bradham until the situation is resolved, Barwin agreed with his teammates about the team having better chemistry than they did last season. He pointed to the roster moves as the biggest reason why.
“I think there’s an excitement in the building you can feel,” Barwin said. “There was kind of some of those moves where a lot of big (players) from other teams that came and joined the team. I think a lot of the leadership that is here now has been here for a while and understands this building, this city, and then you see the development of the younger guys coming up within the organization. And you saw how we re-signed a lot of guys that were drafted here, which I think is important and makes guys feel good.”