Signs of dysfunction in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room began to show late last week when ESPN’s Josina Anderson quoted an anonymous Eagles player criticizing Carson Wentz and the Birds' offense.
Head coach Doug Pederson wasn’t thrilled about it when asked prior to the Dallas Cowboys game, then the team went out and played a total dud.
A new page in the drama was written this morning when WIP’s Howard Eskin reported on the air that he knew the identity of the anonymous player — Alshon Jeffery.
Not only did Eskin name Alshon, he also called him “foolish and stupid.” Eskin also criticized Anderson, “She’ll bait a guy and then the guy gets trapped into saying things and he says them.”
Here’s the full quote as transcribed by Crossing Broad:
Eskin: Yeah why not. Alshon Jeffery.
Cataldi: It is?
Eskin: Yes. The thing is, here’s why he’s foolish and stupid – He knows that she’s not out to have his back. The problem is, as a reporter, I’ve seen her do this. She’ll bait a guy and then the guy gets trapped into saying things and he says them. It’s just foolish and stupid. We all understand it’s not productive. But what benefit was there to say that? And the reality is, why would he worry about a defensive player (Jalen Ramsey) not being traded for? And when he talks about checking down, sometimes the back you check down to is blocked. Or he’s blocking and then can’t get off the block. That’s one of your checkdowns. So the whole thing was just stupid. But it’s not being productive for somebody like that.
This is interesting in part because Alshon denied being the source last week, Josina defended her source from Eskin — “He has zero knowledge of who I spoke to. #Zero” — and also because Eskin appears on the Eagles radio broadcasts on game days, travels on the team plane, and even received his own Super Bowl ring. So the Inquirer’s Eagles beat writer Jeff McLane took all of that info to Pederson’s press conference on Monday, which led to a fascinating exchange.
“There was a report that Alshon Jeffery was the anonymous player who was giving quotes to ESPN," McLane began. "Is that true? And also, the person who reported it doesn’t technically work for the Eagles but he’s on the sideline with the Eagles, he flies [on the Eagles plane], he wears a Super Bowl ring given to him by the Eagles. Are we to assume just because he reported it, that the Eagles want it out there?”
Pederson appeared somewhat dumbfounded but didn’t “want to go there.”
“That has nothing to do with the Buffalo Bills or the Dallas Cowboys," Pederson said.
So pretty much a non-answer. But the interesting exchanges didn’t stop there.
Once the press conference ended, Eskin had some choice words for McLane who reportedly took the high road and avoided a confrontation, according to people in the room.
So maybe Alshon was the anonymous player, maybe not. It'll be curious to see how Alshon responds to the latest reports here. He had some unusually high praise for Carson Wentz in the locker room following the game last night.
"I still believe in each and every one of the guys in here," Jeffery said. "Carson is our guy. Everybody on our team, we’re together. On offense, Carson, O-line, me, Nelson, receivers, the skill group, we all have to be held accountable. I mean, that was unacceptable. That was embarrassing today.”
All we know for sure is there is plenty of drama surrounding the Eagles these days. That never bodes well.
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