Ever since the miraculous Super Bowl run made by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017, the term “underdog” has forever been associated with them. From the iconic dog masks, the “hungry dogs run faster” quote by Jason Kelce at the Parade, it became synonymous with the identity of the team…until it didn’t. But now, with a new era and a new Head Coach, Nick Sirianni has put his own spin on what it means to have a dog mentality.
The Eagles were largely looked over in week one. While the Atlanta Falcons were in a similar position in terms of where their franchise was headed, their offense was deemed to have too much firepower for a very young Eagles team. With some question marks at quarterback, a win on the road seemed improbable to wider media.
However, a 32-6 thumping rightly turned heads. Jalen Hurts looked confident, the defense was decimating, and Nick Sirianni called a solid game.
After the win, video emerge of Sirianni’s post-game speech to his team, reminding them of a ‘dog mentality’. He was asked on Monday about what that means:
We’ve been kind of talking about dog mentality over and over and over again.
And so, dog mentality isn’t just – when we talked about it yesterday at the press conference, dog mentality isn’t just like, ‘Hey, I made a good play here, so I’m playing the next play,’ right? That’s part of it, right? Or, ‘Hey, I made a bad play here and playing the next play and having this short memory,’ right? It’s also a week-to-week thing. It’s a day-to-day thing, right?
We literally live in the moment of, ‘How are we going to get better today – how are we going to leave this building better today than we were yesterday?’
Well, if you’re constantly thinking about the past or if you’ve got a big ego based off how you played and not thinking about that, you won’t do that.
So, it’s just me reminding them, but I think also they innately have this ability to do that, as well. We talk about it all the time. Players talk about it all the time. We got our shirts, we got our dog mentality shirts. And so, that’s just how we go about it.
It’s my job as a coach to make sure that importance of no letdowns happens. In all honesty, we won one game. We got to go out there and do it again.
That’s what good teams do, they come out on the field every Sunday ready to play regardless of what happened the game before.
This should come as a refreshing statement to Eagles fans. How many times over the past few years had the team dropped the ball in very winnable matchups by playing down to their opponent? There was often a level of complacency that loomed over Philadelphia after a big win or ahead of a game they were heavily favored to win. It looks as though that may finally be a thing of the past under Nick Sirianni.
They may not win those games by blowout proportions, and still may drop a couple. But the main thing is that there will be effort and a willingness to fight throughout the entire matchup, which is all fans of the city could ever ask for.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire