Posted: July 16th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Complacency

Ben McAdoo recently said that the Eagles big issue was going to be their ability to handle success. Doug Pederson was asked about this and had a solid answer. Dave Zangaro has a piece up with a long answer. He’s part of what Pederson said.

I think there’s a point there. I mean, quite honestly, complacency can set in. You can skip an OTA, you can maybe skip a workout or whatever. But what I saw from our players was not that. Our players showed up for OTAs, they spent time getting themselves ready.

Pederson is acknowledging the potential issue and has made plans on how to deal with it. That’s all he can do right now.

Complacency can kill a team. It helped to destroy the 2005 Eagles. Everyone seemed to focus on “me” and not “we”.

One of the keys to the 2004 season was the great play of the young secondary. CB Lito Sheppard and S Michael Lewis both made the Pro Bowl. That, and going to the Super Bowl, got into their heads. Neither player was ever the same after 2004. They struggled in 2005 and gave up too many big plays.

Corey Simon focused on his contract. The Eagles couldn’t re-sign him and couldn’t work out a trade for him (that Simon would agree to). They ended up letting him just walk away in free agency. Derrick Burgess, a playoff hero from 2004, walked away in free agency. I don’t know if Joe Banner was feeling cocky from the 2004 success, but to lose a pair of key DL and get nothing back from them…that really hurt.

Ike Reese, a key leader and role player, left in free agency. Atlanta told him he’d have a chance to start. He didn’t. Reese remained a backup and STer for them.

Most of all, TO went TO. He demanded more money. The Eagles didn’t like how he went about that at all. Then TO went into cancer mode and destroyed the team internally. He openly questioned Donovan McNabb, forcing players to choose sides. Are you Team TO or Team Donovan? TO was openly disrespectful to the coaches. He made everyone uncomfortable. You’re not going to win a lot when you have a toxic locker room atmosphere.

I don’t blame the free agents for leaving for more money or better opportunities, but it is interesting to see how quickly everyone focused on themselves and not trying to stay as part of a winning team. That fell apart so fast.

And the Eagles had won from 2000-2004. They understood success. That team just didn’t handle it well.

Think about Nick Foles. He could have pressured the Eagles to deal him. Instead, he’s fine with staying here another year. That is world’s different than the 2005 group. Veterans like Haloti Ngata and Mike Wallace signed reasonable deals because they wanted to come be part of this.

The current Eagles have better leadership than the 2005 team. Pederson has a better feel for his players than Reid did. Carson Wentz and Nick Foles are natural leaders. Jason Peters is…well Jason Peters. Malcolm Jenkins is a terrific leader. Chris Long is a natural leader. I think the current coaching staff and veteran players will keep this team focused and on track.

Long has now won back-to-back Super Bowls. Jenkins just won the second Super Bowl of his career. Haloti Ngata was with the Ravens when they won in 2012. Corey Nelson was a backup on the 2015 Broncos, who won it all. Chris Maragos was with Seattle when they won in 2013. These players know what it is like to be a champion and how that affects individual players and teams.

We’ll have to wait and see how things play out for this team, but it sure doesn’t feel like complacency is going to be the biggest problem. Injuries or a tougher schedule or having everyone give you their best…those are things that worry me more than complacency.


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