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Hopefully the Eagles’ collective self-confidence will rub off on Jalen Carter

Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Workout Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

When the Eagles won Super Bowl LII in 2018, team management tended to run around reminding everyone what they did, and were not exactly too giving in their credit, other than to themselves, multiple NFL resources revealed a few years back. It was a lesson learned, because soon after, what was built came crumbling down quickly in the disaster that became their starting quarterback (now on the verge of being with his fourth team in four years ... or out of the league entirely) and having their Super Bowl-winning coach fired and labeled as a scapegoat for their downfall.

For years, the Dallas Cowboys walked and talked with a swagger that they’re champions, even though they were far from. That collective attitude pervades a building and stirs an attitude. The Cowboys, like the old-school Oakland Raiders, felt anything and anyone they touched would turn to gold.

It’s why teams like the Raiders and for a time the Cowboys were able to take “risky choices” in players. Those teams felt anyone that would come into our building, regardless of how dubious their character may be off the field (see the Cowboys’ Michael Irvin, and 1970’s Raiders’ John Matuszak for blatant examples), would transform into someone responsible and great football players for the time that they were there.

The Eagles, like numerous other teams, passed on Randy Moss and Warren Sapp in the past because of character questions off the field. Maybe it was a lack of confidence the Eagles felt in keeping Moss and Sapp in check.

Under owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman, that’s changed. It changed when the Eagles shocked the football world in August 2009 when they signed Michael Vick after his suspension and three-year hiatus from football.

Now comes another challenge to the Eagles in first-round draft choice Jalen Carter, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound Georgia defensive tackle that the Eagles traded up one place with the Chicago Bears to take with the ninth-overall pick. The reason why nine teams passed on Carter was because he was charged with reckless driving and racing back in March, charges in which he pled no contest.

The Eagles feel that they now carry the kind of collective confidence to fix players like Carter; that the risk they are taking will be worth the reward.

We’ll see.

Roseman told ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio recently, “I think you’re left your own devices in those situations, and you’re putting yourself out there when, I mean there are situations where you’re trading for nothing, right? I’m not saying it was in this situation necessarily, but you’re doing it and you have to be comfortable with the outcome either way, and so, you have to be comfortable with the outcome of, ‘Hey, I traded a fourth-round pick’ and understanding that could be a good player for your team a year from now, but at the same situation being OK with not getting the player and who is next. And so, you know, that’s not to say we wouldn’t have been ok staying at 10 and taking another player, we just felt for us and our team and where we were that Jalen Carter was the right selection for us.”

Carter revealed the Eagles never really delved deeply into the fatal car accident. The Eagles were more interested in, “Just getting to know my personality and stuff like that,” Carter said. The night the Eagles drafted Carter, Roseman, “We’re going to wrap our arms around him and do the best we can to help him.”

Right now, Carter has to know all eyes will be on him as training camp nears and during training camp. Eagles’ management will certainly be feeling the same.

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter based in the Philadelphia area who has written feature stories for,,,, Deadspin and The Philadelphia Daily News. In 2006, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a special project piece for called “Love at First Beep.” He is most noted for his award-winning feature on high school wrestler A.J. Detwiler in February 2006, which appeared on SportsCenter. In 2015, he was elected president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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