The Right Mentality

Posted: October 23rd, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Eagles are 3-4, just a game out of first place.

The Eagles have lost consecutive games by at least 17 points.

The Eagles are a couple of plays away from being 5-2.

The Eagles are playing sloppy, undisciplined football and are making key mistakes in all three phases of the game.

Each of these statements is true. Do you spin things as glass half-full or glass half-empty? Most fans see things as at least half-empty. They want Doug Pederson to rip his players and to tell the truth about everything wrong with the team.

Pederson, at least publicly, is taking a very different approach. He’s admitting there are some issues, but is focused on positive angles. Some people see this as stupid. Some see this as delusional.

On the outside, it is easy to be all fire and brimstone. We all yell at the TV. What we saw on Sunday night was depressing, frustrating and at times infuriating. How in the heck can anyone have a positive outlook on this crap?

I read John Madden’s books when I was younger and he talked about this. He said the time to be hardest on your team is when they are winning. Everyone on the outside will be praising them so a coach’s job is to keep them focused and humble.

Madden believed the time to ease up on a team is when things are not going well. The players are going to get criticism from all over the place. Someone at the gas station. Someone at the grocery store. Friends. Neighbors. Family. Certainly random fans and the media.

A coach can do his team a lot of good by staying positive. Some people roll their eyes when Pederson says there are nine games left…but there are nine games left. If the team falls apart and you go 3-6, the season is a complete waste. The coach has to do anything and everything to turn the season around. Screaming at players and telling them all is lost isn’t going to get the job done.

The tricky part for a coach is to be tough and positive at the same time. He has to let his players know that their performance is unacceptable, but that they can turn things around. Can Pederson find the right words and the right tone to do that?

Pederson talked on Monday about the 2015 Chiefs who started 1-5 and then won their final 10 games. We’ve seen the Eagles overcome slow starts. Last year 4-6 turned into 9-7. The 2008 Eagles started 2-3 and just missed a trip to the Super Bowl. The 2006 team was 5-6 before winning the final five games of the season.

You have to find reasons to believe. What’s the option, just giving up?

Not every team can turn it around. That’s why I talked about the need for Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Pederson to have a long discussion about what they truly see in this team. Is this an aging group that is underachieving and is beyond hope? Is this a team that will get better as key players return from injury and they get over a rough stretch of away games?

As frustrated as I am with this team, there are reasons for optimism.

Carson Wentz is a gifted QB. If his receivers quit dropping passes, Wentz will be one of the most productive QBs in the league.

Jordan Howard has been good this year. He is a physical runner who has fit in well with the Eagles offense. Rookie Miles Sanders is erratic as a runner, but has been a playmaker as a receiver.

Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are the best pair of TEs in the league.

Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson are a terrific trio of OL.

Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham remain an excellent DL duo. Young DL like Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat and Daeshon Hall have shown some promise.

Jalen Mills started last week and played pretty well. That’s promising for a secondary that’s been desperate for good CB play.

FS Rodney McLeod leads the team in tackles and has played well this year.

Getting DeSean Jackson, Tim Jernigan and Nigel Bradham back should help the team in a big way. If Avonte Maddox and Cre’Von LeBlanc can return, that would help the secondary a lot.

This isn’t a bunch of bums. There still is a good amount of talent. The concern is whether there are some fatal flaws. Are the receivers good enough? Can the secondary cover? For a scheme that is built on the DL, is that group good enough?

Beyond talent, this team just doesn’t have the same vibe the last couple did. Maybe that comes from not winning enough. Or did the great chemistry help create the winning? This is something else for Lurie, Roseman and Pederson to figure out. How can they fix that?

I don’t have a good feel for this team. I haven’t been able to figure them out.

Let’s hope the guys in charge can figure this team out and come up with the right answers. As Pederson would point out, there are still nine games left.

Anything can happen.


One Comment on “The Right Mentality”

  1. 1 The Right Mentality | SportSpyder | said at 1:07 AM on October 23rd, 2019:

    […] The Right Mentality […]