Eagles Pro Bowler Puts Everyone on Notice: ‘That’s How It Is’

Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat

Getty Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat is stepping up his trash-talking game with Brandon Graham out.

The attitude in the Philadelphia Eagles’ locker room is the same as it was 12 months ago. The thrill of an unexpected Super Bowl run is over. Back to the bottom of the pile.

Pro Bowl defensive end Josh Sweat — fully recovered from a scary neck injury — was all smiles as he addressed the media on May 24. He talked about personal and team goals for 2023, but the one thing he kept stressing was that last season was over and done. It’s a clean slate.

“The mentality is pretty much we’re at the bottom again,” Sweat told reporters. “That’s just how we have to look at it. We went [to the Super Bowl]. We didn’t win. Everybody’s starting over. You’re at the bottom, that’s how it is.”

Sweat was no doubt taking a cue from head coach Nick Sirianni who shared a portion of his message to the team at the Annual League Meetings in late March. Super Bowl hangover? Not on his watch.

“I think (losing) just makes you more hungry, makes you more starving,” Sirianni told reporters. “And I know that’s the sentiment of the guys that we have in that locker room. I know that’s a sentiment of coaches. I sure know it’s the sentiment of me. More determined than ever.”

Brandon Graham Appreciation Post

Brandon Graham registered a career-high 11 sacks during last year’s Super Bowl run. The 35-year-old pass rusher looked rejuvenated in a situational role, unloading all his passion and energy on roughly 28 snaps per game. Graham is an Eagles legend in every sense of the word and he’s back for his 14th NFL season.

“He’s definitely an Eagles legend,” Sweat said of Graham. “In my book, he’s always been that, you know, that guy I look to for anything especially earlier on in my career. You know he went through a lot of things going on earlier, so he can relate. I mean, he’s great. We all know that. You already know.”

Then, Sweat dumped effusive praise on Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith. The two rookie first-rounders out of Georgia are expected to see meaningful snaps in 2023. And, judging by their work ethic, they are ahead of schedule.

“They’re great. The work ethic is pretty crazy for both of them,” Sweat said. “They’re already working. Shoot, they’re professionals. It’s actually surprising coming out of college but they’re working, they are just here to learn and they’re making improvements quickly.”

Kudos for New Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai

The Eagles swapped Jonathan Gannon for Sean Desai for the rights to wear the defensive coordinator headset. That could be a huge upgrade for a defense that led the NFL in sacks (70) in 2022. Desai is considered a more aggressive blitzer and schemer. Desai has already been chirping hard in the ear of his big dogs upfront, according to Sweat.

“He seemed genuine and I believe he is,” Sweat said of Desai. “He loves the edge guys. He loves D-line. And I was on board, that’s all I needed to know.”

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