‘What is this team’s identity?’
That’s the question that was often raised during the Philadelphia Eagles’ struggles earlier this season. Given tempered expectations, it wasn’t totally shocking or disappointing that they didn’t look like a dominant team. But it was frustrating to not be able to see what they were at least attempting to do.
Ever since their loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, however, the Eagles’ identity has come into focus. They’ve dominated their opponents with a relentless rushing attack. The defense has found success through both personnel and strategical adjustments.
But the Eagles themselves will tell you that’s not their identity isn’t about being a run-heavy team or anything scheme-related. They believe it’s a mentality. It’s about “being nasty.”
Both Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts broached this topic during their postgame locker room speeches following Philly’s Week 11 win over the New Orleans Saints.
“Guys, great team win right there. Offense, 244 yards rushing ... ON WHAT USED TO BE THE NUMBER ONE RUSH DEFENSE IN THE NFL.
DEFENSE! We stopped everyone all day, great job.
Hey, that’s our identity. That’s our identity. It’s not about the plays. It’s not about the defenses we call. It’s about us being mean and nasty. Being together. Being together. That’s what’s gonna help take us through.
Hey. We’re nasty. We are nasty. And we’ve got a division game next.”
“We always knew what type of team we could be, man. Coach said it best just now. Our identity. Not running that [expletive], stopping the pass, not doing none of this. It’s being nasty. Going out there and playing physical. Controlling everything, everything we do. We gotta understand that, we gotta know that [expletive] moving forward. It takes the right preparation, it takes the right detail, everything we’ve been talking about. Everything we’ve been talking about.”
“So, stick to the script. Attack every day. Keep your mind right. Take care of yourself off the field. And now we got something special in here brewing now. We got something special.”
Winning games isn’t always as simple as being the tougher team. But there’s no denying the Eagles have imposed their will on opponents as they’ve won three out of their last four games. Smash-mouth football.
With a favorable schedule upcoming and the postseason in sight, the Eagles have established an identity that could serve them well down the stretch.