In this week's "Gunn-on-One," which you can watch Sunday on NBC Sports Philadelphia's Eagles Pregame Live, Derrick Gunn talks with veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins.
There's no doubt Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is a leader on the defense. He is an articulate and passionate veteran. I recently sat down with Jenkins, who is known for getting his guys fired up (see story).
Gunn: Prior to the Falcons game, you gave a passionate speech to your teammates in the auditorium of the Novacare Complex. And I'm assuming you are a fan of the movie Hoosiers, because in that movie coach Norman Dale took his team to the gym before the big championship game and had his team measure 10 feet from the rim to the floor, and told them it's still the same rim they've been playing on and still the same game. You were telling your guys things like: it's still the same field, the ball is the same, the rules are still the same, everything is still the same. But how do you couple "just another game" with the magnitude of this particular game?
Jenkins: Actually I haven't seen the movie, now I have to go watch it (laughs). I mean for me, you acknowledge the outside influence, you acknowledge the crowd is going to be louder. The stage is obviously bigger. The consequences are larger. Your season is done if you lose, and you advance to the Super Bowl if you win. So the feeling is going to be magnified on either spectrum after the game. But what happens in those four hours on the field is all the same. The field is the same distance, the ball is the same size, the rules are exactly the same, and so what wins and loses is exactly the same. I think that sometimes when people start to look too much around at the things surrounding the game you forget about what wins, and often times you see sloppy performances of small little details. People love to replay the amazing catch, the run that broke through, but really what wins and loses are usually those small mistakes. A missed block, an offsides penalty, a missed field goal. You just need to be locked in on the small things.