Eagles Reveal ‘Strong’ Pandemic-Inspired Motto for 2020

Doug Pederson family, Doug Pederson wife, Jeannie Pederson

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The Eagles went with the detail-oriented motto of “Everything Matters” in 2019. In this crazy pandemic-driven world, they are going with something a little stronger.

According to new cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, the team has been adhering to the motto, “We Are Stronger Together,” to guide their 2020 season. It’s directly related to the novel coronavirus as every player has been forced to hold themselves more accountable than usual. Masks must be worn inside the practice facility. Curfews are being enforced at the team hotel. And having too much fun “outside their bubble” is a no-no.

“We are stronger together. That’s been our whole motto all offseason,” Robey-Coleman said. “Coach Pederson been harping on that with us. Just knowing that hey man, we’re all in this thing together, we got to do this thing together. No man is left behind.”

In addition to COVID-19, the Eagles are attempting to integrate a ton of new players and coaches during an abbreviated training camp. Two weeks in and they have yet to line up and hit each other or even put on helmets. The early days of camp have mostly been about getting “mental reps” in and learning each other’s personalities.

“We’re all out here sharpening iron, trying to get to know each other better,” Robey-Coleman said. “Talking and communicating … just getting to know each other’s personalities and how we could formulate the defense and just make it easier for everyone to work better and to work smarter.”

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Darius Slay Enjoying Brotherly Love in Philadelphia

Darius Slay is another one of those new pieces. While he already knew Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham before signing a $50 million contract in Philly, the former Lions cornerback said the entire team has accepted him “like a brother.”

Slay hopes he can return the favor by bringing them the shutdown cornerback the Eagles really haven’t had since Asante Samuel left in 2011.

“It’s been good, it’s been a good journey,” Slay said. “I love meeting new people. I bring a new type of energy to their team [the Eagles] … something they knew they missed, something they knew they needed. I’m looking forward to being here, y’all accepted me like a brother and I appreciate the organization for believing in me.”

It has been hard to get to know individual teammates on offense, though. Due to strict social distancing guidelines, the offense and defense have been separated at the team facility. They probably really won’t get to know each other until they start banging heads on Aug. 17 when “live contact” practices begin. The only time the two units have been on the field together so far is for joint walk-throughs.

“It’s a lot of mental reps in between everything because of the social distancing,” Robey-Coleman said. “When we got on the field, just looking at the receivers, we haven’t gotten that much one-on-one contact yet. But, as we make our way to the ramp-up phase of camp, we are going to start to see each other more. And we’re definitely, as DBs [defensive backs], looking forward to making our young receivers better.”


Old Teaching Young, Rookies Pushing Veterans

Those young receivers — Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Quez Watkins — are going to have to grow up faster than usual in this bizarre football season. Those guys would be best suited to watch the older veterans and soak them in like sponges.

Heck, Slay admits he can learn something from going up against Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz. And, hopefully, vice versa. They sure seem to be having fun together either way.

“I’m hoping they help me become a better corner and I’m hoping I can help them become a better receiver or tight end or quarterback,” Slay said. “My goal here is to just make people better, that’s how I always played the game. If you’re not coming into the game giving another guy knowledge, trying to make him a better player, then you’re not a great teammate. And I like to be a great teammate.”

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