Despite an inconsistent start to the season, there wasn’t a whole lot of discourse among players — at least not publicly — while the team was 10-1, and then 10-2. But now that they’re 10-4 and coming off a loss that was somehow uglier than the two in the weeks prior, the discontent from within the locker room is starting to show.
That’s never a good sign.
Last week, before it was revealed that Darius Slay underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, he posted a video in which he responded to the fans who put two trash cans outside NovaCare, one with his name on it. Slay explained that he actually had a great game against the Cowboys, but the team played poorly.
Context or not this is such an insane statement pic.twitter.com/YxvaJnUOjj— Kendall Beck (@KBeckEagles) December 15, 2023
This wasn’t a good look, at least initially, with a defensive captain seemingly avoiding accountability coming off a super bad loss to a division rival in December. However, following the Seahawks game, guys like A.J. Brown and James Bradberry are making similar comments that allude to issues aside from the guys on the field.
Bradberry had a notably poor game against Seattle, allowing six receptions on the six times he was targeted, including getting smoked on the game-winning touchdown. After the game, the veteran CB was asked if he would do anything differently on that play, and his response was interesting.
[10 second pause] “Nothing really, he just ran past me because I was sitting at the sticks.”
This definitely feels like he’s putting the onus on the playcaller, which ironically was Matt Patricia after head coach Nick Sirianni stripped Sean Desai of his DC role earlier in the week — an adjustment he justified as making in the best interest of the team.
Similarly, A.J. Brown’s post-game comments made note that he was disappointed, but not discouraged, and he knows what type of football play he is and having to just focus on his job.
“Everything else is out of our control. We run routes, we get the ball, we catch the ball, we try to make plays. Other than that, we can’t control the other stuff. As much as we don’t like it, there’s nothing that we can do about it.”
Brown has never been shy to speak his truth, but there’s definitely a growing sense of frustration throughout the locker room, and captains speaking out hits differently than these comments coming from a depth player.
And all that he forcing me the ball shii too . I’m in his head bullshii. When I make plays , everyone happy , but when it’s incomplete it’s I’m making him throw me the ball. I get blame for more shit than anything. Tired of yall playing with my character.— AJ Brown (@1kalwaysopen_) December 19, 2023
One thing’s for sure, the Eagles have no shortage of talent on both sides of the ball, and while any team might have a three-game losing streak, having it mid-December with postseason seeding implications on the line, is not the time you want this all coming to a head.