After the Eagles’ heartbreaking 27-20 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, Doug Pederson said his message to the team was that they all need to look into the mirror.
When they do that, they’re going to see a bad football team staring back at them.
They’re going to see a football team that set high expectations and hasn’t come close to meeting them.
They’re going to see a football team that doesn’t even deserve to be compared to the team that won a Super Bowl nine months ago.
Because for the first half of this season, it feels like we’ve all been waiting for a good team to turn it on. We’ve all been waiting for the Eagles to snap out of this funk and return to the form they showed last year as they went on their Super Bowl run. But after nine games, sometimes you just are what your record says you are. And the Eagles are a bad team.
“Are we doing enough? Are we giving enough?”
That’s what Pederson wants everyone on the team to ask themselves. There’s not an answer that makes you feel good. Either everyone is giving enough and the team is still floundering. Or there’s not enough effort, which might be worse.
After several losses this season, I’ve sensed some anger in the Eagles’ locker room. They should be angry. They’ve let several games slip through their fingertips this season, games they should have won.
It felt different after Sunday’s loss.
The locker room was as dejected as I have seen it in quite a while. The players know the team needs to play better, but there were plenty more questions than answers. A lot of wide-eyed, searching stares.
Instead of a bunch of guys saying, “We’re going to fix this,” there was more a vibe of, “We need to fix this.” I’m starting to wonder if they’re confident they’ll be able to. If there’s a lack of confidence, it would be understandable.
Pederson went back to the well with his “look into the mirror” speech. It’s been his rallying cry before, but it doesn’t seem to be working. On Monday, he was asked if it’s time to change that message:
“I think that's something I'd have to consider. Because I don't know any other way to do it but to look internally: Am I giving enough as a head football coach? Am I giving enough to the team? Am I giving up? Am I sacrificing enough in my game planning and my studies during the week? So, I have to look at myself. And that's what I asked the players to do. They've got to look and see, are they getting extra conditioning? Are they getting extra film study during the week? Are they getting rest at night? All those things are part of wins and losses. So that's something that will never change.”
Just like everyone else, it seems like Pederson has a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. Time is running out.
And in a few months, it seems likely that when the Eagles look in the mirror, all they’ll see is a team that wasted a season.
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