In the wake of the Eagles’ 48-7 butt-kicking on national television in New Orleans on Sunday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said as bad as things got, his team continued to fight. He seemed proud of that.
When asked if he ever questioned their effort, Pederson said, “Never. Never once.”
Malcolm Jenkins apparently saw things a little differently. Jenkins, on Tuesday, was asked about why he was so frustrated after the blowout. His answer was not just telling, but a departure from the message the head coach delivered.
It was just embarrassing, quite frankly. It was one of those things that I didn’t feel like, as a team, we had a lot of fight. I would rather get thrown out of a game than just lay down and take it. There’s a ton of frustration. One being, me going back to New Orleans. It’s a game that meant a lot to me.
But just the demeanor of the team really bothered me. And then just the frustration of having guys that you work hard with and spend a lot of time with get injured, it’s just a rough day overall. At this point in time, we need to figure out some things about ourselves.
When pressed on what he meant by saying he was bothered by the demeanor of the team, Jenkins was asked if he thought it was “uninspired."
“I wouldn’t say uninspired,” Jenkins said. “I think when a team jumps on you like the Saints did and things get rolling, you find out a lot about yourself. You’re going to get blown out regardless. You’re going to get blown out swinging or you’re going to get blown out laying down. I think you had a little bit of both.”
Jenkins said they can deal with guys getting beat or making mistakes, but they can't live with guys who aren't giving it everything they've got.
Brandon Graham, who served as a captain last season, partially agreed with Jenkins. He said the “spirit” of the team wasn’t as high once it started getting blown out. But he didn’t think his teammates were laying down. Zach Ertz also told reporters he thought the team fought until the end of the game.
Graham characterized the lack of spirit as simply disappointment in a game in which the scoreboard became really lopsided. He even pointed at a late red-zone stand when the game was already a blowout as some evidence the team didn’t completely quit.
“I just felt like in that moment people were disappointed,” Graham said. “I don’t think nobody quit. At the end of the day, we all gotta watch the tape. I hope nobody looked like they quit. I don’t think nobody is no quitter on the team.”
The Eagles have six games left this season. If there are quitters in that locker room, they’ll be easy to spot.
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