WE got spanked last year. We keep talking about how talented this team is, and how deep it is, and yet it still under-performs. Every Eagles scribe (me included) has weighed in what’s wrong with parts (Defense, run game, Secondary, etc.), but no one has yet to address what ails the whole team.
So let me nutshell it for you.
Amid the high of being the defending champs, and RT Lane Johnson talking about how much fun things were here, and everybody writing a book, and blah-blah, our Eagles lost focus. The result was a team that did what most first-time champs do: They basked in the afterglow.
The hungry dog, underdog mentality, gave way to a sort of well-meaning swagger. We didn’t have the cocky, “FUCK YOU.” variety of swagger. We had the well-meaning, self-confident sort. Which is kind of the root of the problem. I’ll get back to that when I finishing listing the symptoms that make up our condition.
Our loss of focus, and the wrong type of swagger, weren’t helped by the injuries that ravaged our Secondary last year. While those injuries did a lot to deepen us, many of the lessons we learned in 2018, were ignored or shelved (so far) in 2019. For instance, our starting CB’s should be Rasul Douglas and Avonte Maddox. They play with a chip on their shoulders and an aggression that Sidney Jones and Ronald Darby simply do not possess. Eagles CB Jalen Mills has that. (Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey also has that. IJS.)
When you add all these things together, they spelled 9-7 record, and a second round exit from the playoffs. In a very real sense, circumstance punched us in the mouth, hard enough to knock us unceremoniously on our ass. Being possessed of well-meaning swagger and not FUCK YOU swagger, we haven’t charged back, to give as good as we’ve got. So far we’ve just sat there. Like pussies.
From the Head Coach on down, almost nobody has it in their head that they’re going to MAKE things happen. Sure, we saw QB Carson Wentz in that Atlanta game, trying to will the team to a win on his own, but there weren’t enough guys thinking the same thing.
Mentally the Eagles seem to be in a defensive crouch. Nobody is hunting. We’re more focused on surviving, than on going out and making something happen. Magic only happens when you cast the spell. Silence, and inactivity yield nothing. Lacking the will to act, will only result in someone else getting what WE want.
We have plenty of talent. We have all sorts of depth and we’re putting it to the test now. What we need is for the team to decide if they want more than to just “get through it.” Circumstance kicked our ass in 2018, and we’ve yet to prove tough enough to come back at it.
If we want to be Number One, we have to go get it. Period. There is no substitute. GO GET IT. We have to earn it. Otherwise we don’t deserve it.
I know on the eve of a game, this is hardly Pep Rally material, but it needs to be said, and you can’t count on anyone whom the Eagles pay, to be this honest. But again, it needed to be said.