By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report
After six straight weeks of losing games, your starting quarterback, your starting running back and most of your offensive line, and continuing speculation your head coach is on his way out, the Eagles are desperate for a win.
Coming into this Monday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers, the 3-7 Eagles are looking for something to hang their hats on as their chances for the postseason are receding into the evening shadows, if it hasn’t faded to black already.
“You still have to do your job, you still got games to play,” said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. “You’ve to get wins for ourselves, the coaches, and for the fans. That’s what you’ve got to do. You’re paid to go win games. Just because you’re in a rough situation it doesn’t change anything.”
The Eagles came into the 2012 season believing that last season’s 8-8 record was a fluke because they didn’t have the benefit working together during off-season minicamps. This season they had organized team activities and a full training camp. Suffice it to say, the Birds expected to be better than their current record.
“After last year, we had a lot to prove coming in, we came out winning some games this year,” Jenkins said. “We carried that momentum from last year and stuff just kind of stalled. It’s pretty disappointing.”
In a season that has gotten progressively worse, the Eagles are trying to find a way to make sense out of what has been a lost season for a team that once had Super Bowl aspirations. While keeping a stiff upper lip in the face of a losing streak is easier said than done, some of the Birds players feel they have no choice.
“We haven’t had a win in two months, it’s definitely is getting old, the same story, the same reasons why we aren’t getting the job done,” said Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. “It’s definitely getting old, but the only way to fix it is to get a win.”
While they’ve tried to put a happy face on their situation, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who’s never in his football career ever experienced anything like a like a six-game losing streak, said the frustration of losing is definitely there.
“It’s a tough situation being 3-7 and losing six games in a row is definitely not any happy times,” Jackson said. “Throughout the course of the game when adversity hits, it might be quick for that frustration to settle in because it presents itself. That’s the difficult thing is trying to find a way not to get down and go here we go again…Just be positive and lift spirits.”
Perhaps the easiest situation for players to internalize the difficult times is during the course of the game when the mistakes can have a snow-ball effect on a team’s ability to fight their way out of it.
“Throughout the game, turnovers and penalties are things that break some guys as far as getting mad and frustrated if something doesn’t go right,” Jackson said. “It’s just an energy and a persona that I feel we kinda have to shake. When something does go wrong, I don’t think everybody has to be in a rush to panic, just be professional.”
Jackson was a rookie when leaders like Brian Dawkins, Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook were the faces of the Eagles back in 2008. He said the current locker room lacks the vocal personality of those veteran players to keep the team upbeat during tough times.
“As far as anybody being that vocal guy there’s really not no one on this team like a Brian Dawkins to pump up the team,” Jackson said.
“We don’t have that going on with this team. When I was a young guy coming up through the organization, that’s who we counted on. Brian Dawkins, Westbrook, guys like that’s been here eight or 10 years. With the guys here now, we just have to mold together and find a way to get it done.”
Do the players believe that there is still hope to somehow save this season? Playoffs?
“We got to win first and not worry about anything else” Jenkins said. “That win has been eluding us, we’ve got to find it. We gotta get it.”