‘That’s Been Our Mindset’: Eagles Leadership Speaks Out

Rodney McLeod

Getty Defensive captain Rodney McLeod has everyone rallying together for the Philadelphia Eagles.

It looks the world is crashing down on the Philadelphia Eagles right now. The quarterback depth chart has been rearranged. Veteran players have been traded. And the first-year head coach is talking about flowers.

Wait a minute, there are 10 games left and team leadership has built an asteroid-proof doomsday shelter. That safe place is called the locker room. In there, everyone is sticking together and looking for ways to improve. It started on the flight back from Las Vegas when guys spent four hours digging into the game tape. Honest conversations guided the in-flight film session.

“We tried to talk about the corrections that were needed, maybe some things we need to improve on,” defensive captain Rodney McLeod said. “Just being critical of ourselves right there, in that moment with each other. All of it wasn’t ball, of course, it’s another time to bond and hang out and say, ‘how are we going to fix these things?’ and ‘how can we get a win next Sunday?’

The schedule could help them get back in the win column, too. The Eagles take on the hapless Detroit Lions (0-7) in Week 8, although it would be pretty bold for a 2-5 team to overlook them.

“They’re facing adversity, too, and they’re a good team,” McLeod said. “So we’re going to have to fight to the end, going to have to battle, but I like the guys that we have.”

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Players Sticking with Nick Sirianni

It would be easy poke fun at Nick Sirianni’s hokey positivity. This isn’t Mayberry. It’s Philadelphia. Yet the players in the locker room have rallied around the newbie coach and continue to believe in his messaging. One reason for that is Sirianni’s innate ability to relate to them.

“He’s very relatable,” McLeod said. “He’s always staying positive and makes an emphasis on connecting, getting to know his players, and I think that’s why – regardless of our record or whatever position we are in now – we have stayed together. Guys still believe in one another and in him.”

McLeod cited Sirianni’s experiences playing high school and college football as another reason. He’s a likable dude who understands what players go through on a daily basis. No one is panicking, instead guys are showing up to work with their lunch pails.

“Complaining, making excuses, that’s not going to get it done,” McLeod said. “So that’s been our mindset all week. The leaders on this team, and the guys, have rallied behind and shown up ready to work.”

Doubling Down Not a Joke

The Eagles have used the term “double down” and “trust the process” so many times this year that it’s turned into a running joke. That tends to happen with losing teams. You get asked the same questions every week, only in new and creative ways. Jason Kelce had fun with reporters the other day when he tried to explain why they keep giving the same generic answers.

“This week we’re not going to try and get better. We’re not going to focus on our mistakes. We’re not going to try and improve on what we did last week. You don’t do that,” Kelce said. “I mean, the doubling down, we know this works. We know how we’re going to be successful and it’s by improving all of these things, by continuing to iron out mistakes.”

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