How Malcolm Jenkins became Eagles' go-to leader

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How Malcolm Jenkins became Eagles' go-to leader

When Eagles backup defensive end Steven Means doesn't suit up for a game, he tries to stay out of the way during the celebration in the locker room. 

It's become customary that after head coach Doug Pederson addresses the team in the locker room following wins — in videos we've seen after the Eagles release them — veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins breaks down the huddle with some more inspirational words of his own. 

So Means will sometimes be on the outskirts of the circle with some of his other teammates, who all lean inward and physically turn up their ears just to hear what Jenkins, one of the most influential leaders on the team, has to say. 

"He speaks with a lot of passion and intensity," Means said. "And there's meaning behind his words. You want to be right there and you want to feed off of that intensity. You've already got a lot of emotions and energy in yourself already, but when you've got a guy like that, you feed off of that too."

Jenkins, 30, says he's really kind of talking to himself in those moments. 

He knows that shortly after he breaks the team down, reporters and TV cameras will flood into the locker room, so he tries to anticipate what's coming. He tries to be aware of the questions that will be about how great they are or how a teammate messed up or about "doubting yourself" or about being "super confident." The former Super Bowl winner said those are all things that need tempering. 

In those moments, he's reminding himself as the rest of his teammates listen intently. 

"Most of it is just kind of off of my heart," Jenkins said. "I kind of try to analyze the situation of where we are as a team, do a little bit of reflection but make sure that it's not just an emotional response to keep everybody in perspective. Just because it's easy to get too high or too low after a win or loss. It's easy to start to listen to all of the things that people are getting ready to say."

No one seems super sure of how this became Jenkins' role for good. He said the team would call on different guys each week last season, but this year Pederson called on him early in the season and they started winning. 

Jenkins admitted football players are often superstitious, so if him speaking to the team after wins got them a 13-3 record and into the NFC Championship Game, he's certainly not going to stop now. 

"I just think he's embraced it," Pederson said. "I think now the guys embrace it. I don't necessarily say, 'Malcolm, break the team down or talk to the team.' I think it's just him being Malcolm and being a leader of this football team, and being one of the guys that they look to for that leadership. He's embraced it and guys look forward to it, obviously. He's been good. He's got a lot of profound messages as you've seen. He speaks from the heart and he speaks truth. So that's been a positive."

Jenkins' message seems to change after each win. His speeches are always topical. 

After the win over the Falcons in the divisional round, he said they believe in everyone in the circle. He told his teammates if they didn't believe it yet, they should go home. He then stressed the importance of focusing on their process and their grind in the upcoming week before they "shock the world" next week. Watch it here.

After the win over the Raiders on Christmas Day, Jenkins wished his teammates a Merry Christmas and then reminded them that no one ever said it would be easy or pretty. "Just get it done," he said. Watch that here.

After the win Dec. 17 over the Giants, he stressed the importance of staying in the moment, especially as the end of the season neared. "Winning in this league, it ain't easy," he said. "You realize it ain't going to be no easier going forward." Watch it here.

But his most impassioned speech of the season came on the night after the Eagles won the division in Los Angeles but also lost Carson Wentz. The impassioned speech on Dec. 10 was longer than normal and profanity-laced. It was one of the most important moments of the season; the Eagles won the NFC East but lost the MVP of the league. 

"Carson being out of this s---, bruh, that s--- sucks," Jenkins pleaded from inside the cramped locker room at the L.A. Coliseum. "But dig this: We f------ set this up for whoever the f--- is in this room! This is who we're riding with, man!"

He then told his teammates to be proud of themselves and celebrate the division title. 

At the end of every speech, Jenkins brings in his teammates and breaks them down with the same refrain: "Family on three!" 

The whole time Jenkins speaks, his teammates listen. They're all hoping they'll get one more speech at the Linc on Sunday. 

"It's definitely all ears," linebacker Nigel Bradham said. "Honestly, I think when anybody speaks on this team, it's kind of like that. It's respect. His is another level. What he's done in this league and what he's been able to accomplish off the field in the community, of course, we all listen."

Former GM would demand king's ransom for Nick Foles

Former GM would demand king's ransom for Nick Foles

The Super Bowl champion Eagles face a multitude of tough decisions this offseason. 

The toughest is what to do with Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles. With franchise QB Carson Wentz recovering from a serious knee injury, the situation becomes more complicated.

Longtime NFL executive and current ESPN analyst Bill Polian essentially thinks Foles is untouchable.

Two first-round and two second-round picks would be a doozy of an offer for a quarterback who has one year left under contract. But that speaks to how highly Polian values Foles and the idea of having a top-notch backup QB on a contending team.

Former Eagles LB turned TV host Dhani Jones is in the same boat as Polian, saying he believes that Foles should be the starter, even if Wentz is healthy by Week 1.

Check out Jones' opinion in the video above.

Key staff member of 19 years leaves Eagles

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Key staff member of 19 years leaves Eagles

While the Eagles have been figuring out their new-look coaching staff, one of the more important people in the NovaCare Complex is leaving.

Head athletic trainer Chris Peduzzi announced on Tuesday that he is stepping down from his role with the team.

"We thank Chris for his contributions over the last 19 seasons and we wish him and his family all the best," the Eagles said in a statement.

Peduzzi took over as head trainer after Rick Burkholder went to Kansas City with Andy Reid in 2013. But Peduzzi had been with the Eagles in some capacity since 1999, when he joined the franchise as an assistant trainer.

“It has been an honor and a blessing to be part of this organization for the past 19 seasons,” Peduzzi said in a statement released by the Eagles. “I especially want to thank Mr. Lurie for his faith in me to care for the health of his players. I never took that lightly. I also want to thank Coach Pederson and Howie Roseman for the opportunity. I have had the pleasure of working alongside so many great people, from my staff and co-workers to our coaches and of course the players. More than anything, I am going to miss those daily interactions.

"However, I do believe the time is right for me and for my family to step away and take some time off. This was not an easy decision, but one that I have put much thought into and I appreciate the organization’s support and wish them all the best in the future. I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve together. To bring the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia this year was an amazing experience and I believe we have built a strong foundation that the team can continue to build on for years to come.”