The Philadelphia Eagles have seen fans holding trolling signs outside the entrance to the team’s practice facility. Some players have even channeled the trolling on their social media pages, with head coach Nick Sirianni claiming he sent coffee out to one pessimistic group of nay-sayers.
So, yes, the Eagles can feel the storm crashing down around them. They are “pissed off,” according to Sirianni, but they are using it as fuel to grow. The defending NFC champions can see the calm in the chaos.
“So, we’re pissed, and we know that being pissed only lasts for so long. You have to do something about it,” Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni told reporters. “We’re going through some adversity right now, and we welcome adversity, right? You don’t like it. It’s like the criticism a little bit. You don’t like it when you first hear it, but then can you use it to help you grow? There is no doubt adversity helps you grow as a team.”
One tangible thing Sirianni did was switch up the weekly schedule. The Eagles held a padded practice on Wednesday (December 14) instead of a previously scheduled walk-through as a way to put everyone on high alert. Message sent. Message heard.
Brandon Graham said: “Coach just wanted to shake up the room a little bit and let people know, ‘Hey, we’re going to have to change something’ and I’m okay with that because I know at the end of the day, when the confetti coming down, it’ll be these moments right here that you remember we had to make a change in order to make this run and I’m all in and I know we’re all in and we gotta exhaust everything.”
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts Talks Challenges, Addresses Fumbling Problem
Jalen Hurts’ steady leadership has fallen on rocky times in every aspect except in the art of the press conference. The Eagles quarterback still knows how to relax the huddle and change the temperature of the room with one cliched sentence. Hurts was it again following calls that the sky was falling with the Eagles mired in a two-game losing streak.
“You don’t get anywhere without any challenges,” Hurts told reporters. “You don’t grow. It’s not natural to not grow and develop the right kind of character, and develop into a team truly if you don’t go through anything together. This is a great opportunity for us, and it’s something that we’re going through and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Hurts also addressed the turnover epidemic that has doomed the team throughout the 2023 campaign, specifically his recent rash of fumbles. He has coughed the ball up in seven straight games to give him eight fumbles on the year. Worse yet, Hurts has watched the other team recover four of them. He now has 35 career fumbles, including 26 in 47 starts.
“I think you have to be your biggest critic. And I’ve always been that and that won’t change,” Hurts said. “Protect the ball is always a thing we push out every time we talk about a key to victory and ball security is a big thing in that, so that’s a focus point.”
Eagles Press Conference Roundup: Overheard in the Locker Room
Jalen Hurts on the Mentality in the Room: “We’re eager to go out there and get better, learn from our mistakes, and just grow, continue to push that envelope. I think you could dress it up and make it however you want, and make it look like whatever it is, but the reality is it’s just about getting better every day. It’s about having a relentless approach in that regardless of what’s going on, you know, what’s going on outside or whatever the external factors are — focusing on you doing your job and focusing on your teammates.”
Jalen Hurts on Playing in Seattle: “They say it’s loud and a hostile environment so we gotta be ready to operate.”
Shaq Leonard on Seeing a Bigger Role on the Eagles defense: “I’m not sure. I’m just here to do exactly what the coaches need me to do and try to do it to the best of my abilities.”
*Leonard had a limited role in his Eagles debut last week and saw only 14 snaps against Dallas. He finished with two total tackles.
Kevin Byard on Two-Game Losing Streak: “The sky isn’t falling. I think it’s still up there and I think we’re still very optimistic that we can get these things corrected because at the end of the day they are correctable. They are fixable. We know what the issues are, I just think we have to attack these issues and attack this week with a great sense of urgency.”
Kevin Byard on the Switch from Walk-Through to Padded Practice: “I don’t have any issues with that, honestly; sometimes, you have to put those pads on one time and feel contact earlier in the week. I think it will be helpful for us, guys need those reps.”
Sydney Brown on Fighting Adversity: “You gotta respond when you’re in these moments, and these moments of adversity, you gotta take advantage of it because it can lead two ways — it can either take you down the drain or it can lead you to the top. It’s exciting moments like this where you can really see change in the team and I think that’s where we’re headed this week.”
*Brown saw an uptick in snaps versus Dallas (58) after starting safety Reed Blankenship left in the second quarter with a concussion.
Dallas Goedert on the Offensive Struggles: “I think offensively, if you take out the turnovers and the plays that we hurt ourselves, I feel like we moved the ball really effectively we just need buy-in and lock-in to that process and keep chipping away.”
*Goedert caught four balls for 30 yards, including a 15-yard gainer, in his first action since November 5. He added that he was feeling a “little sore” in his recovery from a broken forearm but overall he’s “fine.”
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel