Correctable mistakes hold back Eagles in loss to Seahawks

Correctable mistakes hold back Eagles in loss to Seahawks

SEATTLE -- The mood in the Eagles' locker room was about as somber as you'd probably expect. 

It was quiet. Like funeral quiet. 

For the last few months, the Eagles' locker room after games has been a party, music blaring, jokes bouncing around the room. It wasn't that way on this chilly Seattle night. 

There was nary a smile after the 24-10 loss to the Seahawks. A lot of tiptoeing around. A lot of dejected faces. 

"We gotta let it go after tomorrow," said Brent Celek, hanging his head as he sat by his locker stall. "Reset and let's get after Los Angeles."

For as somber as the mood was in the visitor's locker room at CenturyLink Field, there was also a strange sense of encouragement and perspective. Because while the mood was funeral-like on Sunday night, the Eagles are far from dead. 

Sure, it stung like hell to lose their first game in months, but the Eagles are still 10-2 with four games left. They still control their own destiny. 

And while they lost to the Seahawks, they didn't necessarily get outplayed. The Eagles made way too many mistakes (see Roob's observations). Players made sure to give credit to Seattle, but thought they beat themselves more than anything. 

In a strange way, that's actually encouraging. 

"It's definitely better when it's a self-inflicted thing that you can correct," Jason Kelce said. "It's not like, in my opinion, still have to go watch the tape, but it wasn't like we were by far the worst team out there. I think we were the more undisciplined team today. And that ended up culminating in putting us in a situation where we couldn't win the game. 

"I think that it's encouraging that as long as we get that fixed, we can beat a team like this and we should beat a team like this. It's encouraging, but at the end of the day, it's still frustrating."

The Eagles committed seven penalties for 64 yards. While there were questionable calls among them, they still had too many and in too important of situations. And the Carson Wentz fumble through the end zone was crushing (see story).  

After the blowout win against the Bears, head coach Doug Pederson warned his team about making mistakes. They were able to overcome their sloppiness against a much lesser opponent, but against a good team like the Seahawks, they couldn't afford it. 

"It's definitely frustrating when you don't play the way you expect to play," Torrey Smith said. "But it's one of those things, I'm glad it happened now and not later. For us, everything is still in front of us. You can learn from your mistakes." 

Kelce said that before the game they were told that when two comparable teams get together, the team that makes fewer mistakes normally wins. That team was the Seahawks on Sunday. 

Instead of a long flight back to Philly on Sunday night, the Eagles have a short flight to Southern California. They're going to be spending a week practicing at the Angels' stadium in Anaheim. 

While it will be different for the team to be out of its normal routine this week, several players are excited about the bonding opportunity. Chris Long said there's nothing better than spending a week with your buddies. 

"We’ll be fine," Wentz said. "The guys in this locker room, we’re all mature, we’ll all respond just fine. We’re all frustrated about this one, but we’re not too worried. I think we’ll be just fine." 

Maybe the Eagles will use this serving of humble pie as a wakeup call. They would have rather won every game on their way to a parade down Broad Street, but it was always really unlikely things were going to shake out that way. 

The Eagles, one by one, walked silently out of their temporary locker room on Sunday night as they got ready to leave the cold weather and the frigid performance in Seattle behind for the warmth of Southern California. 

Smith said the Eagles can afford to give themselves about one day to sulk. 

Then it's back to work. 

"And the beauty of the whole thing is it’s still in our control," Pederson said. "Guys in that locker room are sick to their stomachs obviously for the loss, but at the same time we have a great opportunity again against another playoff-caliber football team next weekend. 

"We just have to regroup, learn from our mistakes and get ready for another great game next week."

Eagle Eye: When does a contract negotiation become a problem?

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Eagle Eye: When does a contract negotiation become a problem?

In the latest edition of Eagle Eye, John Clark and Barrett Brooks are pumped for the start of training camp. Following MLB Commissioner's comments on Mike Trout's marketability, the guys discuss if it's on the player or the league to market an athlete? The Falcons said they will not give Julio Jones a new contract. At what point does a public contract negotiation become a distraction in the locker room?

1:00 - Guys are excited for the start of training camp.
4:45 - Is it on a player or a league to market an athlete?
11:00 - When does a Julio Jones contract situation become a locker room distraction?
18:00 - When money starts dividing a locker room.

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Eagles 2018 training camp battles: Weakside linebacker

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Eagles 2018 training camp battles: Weakside linebacker

As we get near the start of the Eagles’ 2018 training camp, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the key position battles to watch this summer.

Today we’ll look at weakside linebacker.

Names to know

Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, Corey Nelson

What to watch

After years of trade speculation, the Eagles finally just released Mychal Kendricks this offseason. It saved them $6 million in cap room and let Kendricks out of a situation he had been ready to leave for some time. It also left the Eagles with a void. No, Kendricks didn’t play at an All-Pro level last season, but he stepped into a larger role after Jordan Hicks went down and helped the Eagles win a Super Bowl. Now, he’s gone and his old starting gig is up for grabs.

When Nelson was signed this offseason and said he was told he’d compete at the weakside linebacker spot, it raised some eyebrows. That was Kendricks’ job and as long as he was on the team, he wasn’t going to give it up. Now, it all makes more sense.

The WILL linebacker in the Eagles’ system doesn’t play a ton. The Eagles are in their nickel package for around 75 percent of their defensive snaps, which means two linebackers instead of three as the team brings an extra DB on the field. So Hicks and Nigel Bradham will stay on the field for most of the game and the third linebacker will play about a quarter of the snaps. And it’ll be one of these three guys.

What all three guys seem to have in common is the ability to cover. Grugier-Hill and Gerry are both converted safeties and Nelson is much smoother in coverage than Kendricks ever was. All three are good athletes and have shined as special teams players, but are hungry for more responsibility.

It’ll be interesting to see if this competition goes into the season. Bradham is suspended for the season opener, so it seems like two of these guys will start next to Hicks. So read into it how you will … because the guy who plays the WILL in that game might not be the guy who plays it in the next game because the player at the SAM will be on the field more and could possibly be ahead on the depth chart.


Grugier-Hill appeared to be in the lead for this job and I think he hangs on, although this one really is up in the air. I just think his two years in the defense will mean something to Jim Schwartz and it’ll be enough to give him an edge on a second-year player and a veteran special teams player. 

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