Defense wins championships, and right now the Eagles' D is playing at a championship level. Safety Rodney McLeod is one of the keys to the unit's success. He is this week's Gunn on One subject.
Gunner: This defense has been straight up balling. No. 6 overall, No. 1 rush defense, No. 3 in points allowed and No. 3 in takeaways. What is making this group so special?
McLeod: It's the way we prepare, how we practice. Doug (Pederson) always talks about making it easier on Sundays, and making practice harder, and that's what we do. We hold ourselves accountable no matter who you are, and we hold ourselves to a high standard. We are a prideful group, so the things we do on Sundays, we do out on the practice field. We stress turnovers, interceptions, stripping runners during practice, pursuit to the ball, all those things that you need to do to be a top defense in this league.
Gunner: You have faced mobile quarterbacks in Cam Newton and Dak Prescott, but this guy Russell Wilson takes extending plays to a whole different level.
McLeod: A guy like Russell Wilson ,who can extend a play anywhere from six to 12 seconds — it's pretty impressive. He's a general over there, he makes that offense go, so it's going to be critical for us up front to stay in our lanes and do whatever we can to get him on the ground. Pursuit, angles, we're gonna need everybody, and on the back end for us we have to have good eyes, and just be locked in every play. I think this week is going to test us out a lot.
Gunner: Is this season the most fun you've had playing in this league?
McLeod: It's got to be. ... It's one of the best groups of guys I've been around. From the practice field to Sundays to off the field, we hang out a lot and you see it all unfold out here on the field. We're just playing for one another, and we're trying to do it for the city of Philadelphia, but also for each other. We put so much into it, so just to see the results we're getting right now is amazing. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but on this team.
McLeod is always insightful and entertaining. To see my extended interview with number 23, tune into Eagles Pregame Live Sunday from 7 to 8pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia