'Us-against-the-world mentality' oozing from Eagles

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'Us-against-the-world mentality' oozing from Eagles

The wins keep piling up. And the doubters keep piling on.
Lose your star quarterback, your MVP candidate, and that's bound to happen. Certainly the Eagles' Super Bowl chances took a significant hit when Carson Wentz walked off the field in Los Angeles with a torn ACL.
Still … the Eagles have the best record in the NFL. They locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs Monday night at the Linc, where they're 13-2 over the last two years — the best home record in the league since opening day 2016.
Win a home game and they're in the NFC Championship Game. Win two and they're in the Super Bowl.
"For us to even have success, we have to have that us-against-the-world mentality," Malcolm Jenkins said. "And I think it's so important for us to lock up that home-field advantage because now all of the teams that they want to talk about being frontrunners and favorites to win have to come through us.
"And if you ask anybody in this locker room, 'Do we think that we can win a game against anybody in the Linc on any given Sunday,' I think that answer would be yes, especially with the NFC Championship Game or the Super Bowl being on the line.
"Winning a home game … I’d take those odds."
Things haven't come easily for the Eagles lately. After winning nine straight games by an average of 17 points, they've lost to the Seahawks and scuffled to beat the Rams, Giants and Raiders, all in games that were in the balance in the final minutes.
But they've won them.
Overall, they've won nine straight home games, the longest active home winning streak in the NFL and fourth-longest home winning streak in franchise history.
"We're going to be facing good teams (in the playoffs), but I like to think we're a good team ourselves," Corey Graham said.
"I think people underestimate what we're able to accomplish. We've got 13 wins for a reason. Everybody's thinking just because we play somebody good that we're going to be down and out, that we can't win, but you don't win 13 games by mistake. We're a good team too and they're going to have to come here and play."
It's easy to get so focused on the Eagles' issues that you lose sight of the big picture.
And the Eagles have found ways to win three straight games, all with Nick Foles either starting or entering the game with the Eagles trailing.

No playoff-bound team has a longer winning streak. Only the 49ers have a longer winning streak leaguewide, winning four straight to go from 1-10 to 5-10.
Winning ugly is still winning.
"We need to be playing the best football at the end of the year," Zach Ertz said. "Any team in the NFL this time of the year wants to be peaking. I think we have a lot of good players on this team, and we have guys with a lot of pride that are going to figure this thing out.
"We have three weeks until we play a playoff game, so there’s time to improve and time to get better. That is all we are focused on.
“We have to play a complete game. I wouldn’t say we have to do anything crazy. Last week, the offense played great and the defense didn’t play great. This week, the offense played horribly and the defense played great. We just have to put it all together. It’s not panic mode by any means.”
After a meaningless game this weekend against the Cowboys at the Linc, the Eagles will sit out wild-card weekend before opening the playoffs the weekend of Jan. 13-14 at the Linc.
"We've played great at the Linc so far and not to have to travel anywhere and you're talking about winning one home game and we're in the NFC Championship Game," Jenkins said.
"That's all we're guaranteed right now, but if we were able to advance farther than that, everything has to come through the Linc, and that's a good place to be. We think our fan base can bring a little bit of an advantage, so we're excited to be home."

Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

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Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

Brian Dawkins has chosen longtime teammate and close friend Troy Vincent to introduce him this summer at Dawk's Hall of Fame induction.

Dawkins was selected in February for enshrinement in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class.

"The presenter that will actually be on the stage will be Troy Vincent," Dawkins said in a video posted on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's website.

"My teammate in Philadelphia. We came there the same year. Almost from Day 1 he kind of ... not kind of, he took me under his wing on becoming a professional. Not just a football player but a professional. The details. The details that he went through, the particulars of how he played the position of cornerback was the same way he lived his life (and ran) his businesses that he had off the field.

"He's a guy I can call anytime. Any time of night. And tell him 100 percent all what's going on with me, and I know he's not going to judge me, and it's not going to leave his lips (for) anybody else.

"And the most important thing for me, being a man of faith, is that I know he's going to pray with me. So all those things combined are the reasons why Troy was the perfect guy to introduce me to the Hall of Fame."

Vincent, a native of Trenton and graduate of Pennsbury High in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, spent his first four seasons with the Dolphins before signing an offer sheet with the Eagles before the 1996 season that the Dolphins didn't match.

The Eagles drafted Dawkins in the second round a month after signing Vincent, and the two spent eight years together in the secondary, reaching the playoffs five times and the NFC Championship Game three times.

During those eight seasons, Vincent reached Pro Bowls and Dawkins made the first three of his nine Pro Bowls.

Vincent retired after the 2006 season and Dawkins after the 2011 season.

Dawkins, Vincent and Eric Allen are the only Eagles defensive backs picked to five or more Pro Bowls.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.

Dawkins' former Eagles teammate, Terrell Owens, will also be inducted. He hasn't yet announced who will present him.

Dawkins will be the 21st former Eagle inducted into the Hall of Fame but only the ninth who spent the majority of his career with the Eagles.

Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

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Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

Offseason quarterback controversies are a rite of passage in the NFL. A time-honored tradition, really. 

We’ve certainly had our share in Philadelphia over the years. There were calls for Ron Jaworski to sit in favor of a young Randall Cunningham. Then cries for Jim McMahon to take Randall’s place. When Andy Reid drafted Kevin Kolb in 2007, that began a groundswell that he was the better choice than Donovan McNabb. Of course, most recently we had the Michael Vick/Nick Foles back and forth. To look back now, it seems silly these were even debates.

Most of the time, when you have these “controversies,” it generally means you have no quarterback on your roster. Not always. The 49ers in the late-80’s and early-90’s had Joe Montana and Steve Young, both Hall of Famers and all-time great quarterbacks. Both also won Super Bowls for San Francisco. But that is the exception. So is the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles’ situation.

I use the word “situation” and not “controversy.” Because there is no controversy. If Wentz is cleared by the Eagles’ medical staff, he starts Week 1. Period. What Foles did was incredible and will go down as one of the great — if not the greatest — stretch we have seen in Philadelphia sports history. He came up as big as you can. But Wentz he is not. That’s no disrespect to Foles. There are a handful of people on the planet who are in Wentz’s class.

Just a refresher course on what Wentz did in 13 games last season (his second in the NFL, by the way). He threw for 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 3,296 passing yards and had a 101.9 passer rating. The 33 TDs were the second-most in the NFL despite his missing the final three games. He also led his team to an 11-2 record before succumbing to that knee injury late into that Rams game that clinched the NFC East. He would have been the league MVP had he not gotten hurt.

There is a great luxury having Foles on this team. Wentz does not have to come back before he is able. If he’s not ready, you have the best backup in the league to start the season. But that’s the only scenario in which Foles plays Week 1. Simply put: Wentz is the better quarterback. And he has earned the right to start the opener if cleared. 

Some people read into Wentz's Instagram video of himself throwing earlier in the week as him somehow sending a message to Foles. I don’t buy it. I think Wentz’s message was to the fans and himself that I’ll be back, better than ever.

Wentz and Foles are both good teammates who put the team above themselves. Sure, Foles is a competitor and would likely prefer to start. But there won’t be any behind-the-scenes maneuvering to undercut Wentz. And Wentz is secure enough to be able to handle a Super Bowl MVP backing him up and all that goes along with that. Not to mention a coaching staff and organization that won’t allow outside noise to become a distraction.

Wentz over Foles. There’s no quarterback controversy.