In one of the more revealing stories of the offseason, Quintin Mikell admitted to Reuben Frank that there was division in the Eagles locker room last year and that the teams' moves this offseason removed that negative element.
"There was just a lot of negativity," Mikell said. "A lot of people weren't putting the team first. Everybody's guilty of it at some point - I've been guilty of it here and there. But when it's all the time, then it's a problem. We've never had that before, since I've been here. We've never been a selfish team, where guys were more worried about what they did individually than how we did as a team. But we had guys who were more concerned about how the game plan affected them. It was, 'How am I going to get my sacks if we're doing this,' instead of, 'Hey, let's go out and do whatever it takes to win the game.'
If we look at the guys jettisoned on defense this offseason: Jason Babin, Chris Clemons, Darren Howard, Sheldon Brown, Chris Gocong, & Sean Jones... Who could he be referring to? Mikell did seem to make it clear that the problem guys were not Brown or Gocong. He also spoke of certain guys doubting the playcalling of McDermott, saying that they could have had better stats with a different call in a certain situation. He said that guys blamed scores they conceded on bad field position or on the offenses' inability to get first downs...
He referred several times to guys complaining about their chance to get sacks... which might lead you to believe that one or all of the defensive lineman(Babin, Clemons, & Darren Howard) could have been part of the problem.
In all, he painted a picture of a faction in the locker room as selfish and excuse making. Obviously that's not conducive to winning. It also shows that the defense needs leadership and that Sean McDermott and Andy Reid need to do a better job of stamping their authority on the team. By jettisoning a number of these guys, they may have started to do just that.