Javon Hargrave has been here before. And not that long ago.
Hargrave was with the Steelers last year, and they opened the 2019 season in much the same way the Eagles opened the 2020 season.
That Steelers team had all kinds of injuries. They were 28th in the league in defense, 28th in offense after three weeks. Ben Roethlisberger struggled and then got hurt and was replaced by Mason Rudolph. They were one of five 0-3 teams in the league.
Then they won eight of their next 10 games to get right back into the playoff race at 8-5.
It can happen. You never know.
Hargrave, who signed with the Eagles this offseason, said that experience is important to remember as the Eagles try to dig out of an 0-2-1 hole.
“Because there’s a lot of vet guys that have been in those battles,” he said. “In Pittsburgh, we had a lot of veterans too that kept going and kept talking to us. Just (saying), ‘Losing is not really acceptable around here, it’s just in our nature to keep going and keep trying to turn this thing around.’ We started 0-3 last year and we just leaned on each other. I just know we can do it and I know we will find a way to do it.”
That Steelers team, with third-string Devlin Hodges at quarterback, lost its last three games and didn’t make the playoffs.
But they did become the 12th team since 2000 (out of 104) to finish with a non-losing record after an 0-3 start.
It does happen. It can happen. Not very often, but Hargrave has seen it happen with his own eyes. If you stay together. And just start playing better.
“Just me being in the league, I’ve dealt with a lot of adversity,” he said. “I’ve been in a situation like this before in some of the past years. I’ve even been in a tie before. It’s the NFL, it’s a lot of ups and downs, it’s a long season. We’re really not that far from where we need to be. We’ve just got to keep going and getting on the right path. I think everybody’s really confident that we can turn this around and get things rolling.”
If the Eagles are going to dig their way out of this hole following their tie with the Bengals, they’re going to have to start against three of the NFL’s toughest teams – the 49ers, Steelers and Ravens.
Strangely, the Steelers last year faced the 49ers, Bengals and Ravens in Weeks 3 through 5.
“It was pretty bad,” Hargrave said. “The NFL is a roller-coaster. A roller-coaster. We’re about to get on the right track.”