Several Eagles players spoke to reporters following their loss to the Raiders on Sunday, and it was apparent that there were some frustrations, but also confidence in the group moving forward. Fletcher Cox and Rodney McLeod spoke about having to find ways to be aggressive, but not too aggressive, within the plays that are called. Dallas Goedert and Jalen Hurts emphasized a lack of execution and self-inflicted wounds keeping them from success.
Here’s what the players had to say:
“Honestly, it’s just not what it’s been. Obviously, you just have to play what’s being called, and when you’re so used to playing so aggressive the last, however many years I’ve been playing, it just changed. So, you can’t just be as aggressive, kind of got to play what’s being called.”
Cox went on to say that he thinks they do need to be more aggressive up front, but that starts with him. He just has to be mindful, because sometimes he can play too aggressive and it gets him back into his “old ways” and can get them in trouble.
“I don’t get paid to play screens, I get paid to sack the quarterback, play in the backfield, tackle. I don’t get paid to play screens. Get a screen, we get screened all the time, just get out of the stack and run to the football.”
The veteran emphasized that he’s an aggressive player, that’s how he’s made his living, getting in the backfield and splitting double teams — he’s not used to double teams sticking with him three, four yards down the field. Cox said that it boils up into frustration, and being frustrated with 600-700 pounds repeatedly landing on you, and he’s going to want to do something about it.
Still, he said he has confidence in everybody, and in the coaches, despite showing his frustration on the sideline. Cox admitted that he didn’t agree with the play being called on defense, but he had to let that go. He noted that as a team captain, it’s his job to act like a pro and keep everyone moving forward. When asked how often he talks to the coaching staff about scheme, Cox said he doesn’t think it’s his job to do that and he just has to play what’s called. The coaches spend so much time game planning, they just have to buy in to what they’re doing.
The defender went on to say that they know who they are as a team, as a defense, and they need to make sure that no one tears the locker room apart. He said he doesn’t care what the outsiders are saying. When asked, “Who are you?” Cox was quick to fire back, “I’m Fletcher Cox. Next question.”
The safety said that in the games they’ve won this year, the defense created a lot of negative plays, but on Sunday against the Raiders, they didn’t create many.
“We have to figure out ways to create more negative plays, get them behind the sticks, get them off track, off rhythm, and that’s on us as players at the end of the day. We gotta find a way to do that. Find a way to be aggressive within the calls and within the scheme.”
McLeod went on to say that he doesn’t have the answers right now, but they need to watch the film and figure things out quickly because they can’t do this week-after-week and just accept a great effort, it has to translate to wins. He noted that they had a talk in the locker room, he spoke, and he knows the guys are committed and they are ready to come back on Wednesday and get to work.
The tight end said that the first drive, they all executed everything they needed to do, but then throughout the rest of the game, they weren’t doing what they needed to do. Goedert said that losing Miles Sanders was tough, but echoed Nick Sirianni in that it was next-man-up, and the run game continued as it was supposed to.
“We’re really close. The only thing that’s really missing is execution. Just little things set us back, you know — we got a big run that gets called back for a facemask, we false start on a 3rd-and-3, it’s just little things like that that we need to clean up.”
Goedert also said that he doesn’t think Eagles’ fans will lose faith in the team. He admitted that sometimes they might “boo” them, but when they do, it’s because it’s deserved. Philadelphia has some of the most passionate fans out there, so the TE thinks they’ll still support the team, but they do need to start winning.
“I believe in myself to go out there an execute, and that’s something that I haven’t done a good enough job of doing. Clearly. We’ve been losing games.”
The quarterback went on to say that they have to execute better, but that they all have confidence in each other as teammates and in the coaches. Hurts said they have everything they need to win, but haven’t been able to execute on a consistent basis, which is what they have to do to win in the league. He emphasized throughout his time with reporters that he believes in the team and in the coaches, “I believe, I believe”.