Attitude adjustments among Eagles’ priorities as the eye Monday night matchup with Saints
Published: Saturday, November 03, 2012
By ROB PARENT
PHILADELPHIA — Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg might have a colorful, accentuated manner of speaking, but he’s looking for similarly exaggerated signs of character from his offense as the Birds prepare to travel to New Orleans for a Monday Night Football scoring party with the Saints.
To Mornhinweg, what the Eagles have mostly been missing of late is something that should come natural in Philadelphia — a certain attitude. As in, ATT-E-TOOD.
“You know our mentality, we want to be aggressive, aggressive, aggressive — unafraid to make a mistake,” Mornhinweg said Friday. “When we make a mistake, we admit it, we find a solution, we correct it and move on. It’s that simple. Now, there’s reasons why these (mistakes) occur, OK? Excellence is all about attitude and a certain mentality. We’ve discussed that as a unit and that’s important.”
What’s important for the Eagles is to stop the bleeding. Breaking down their three straight losses isn’t easy because so much has gone so wrong. What really stood out last Sunday was the way the Atlanta Falcons torched the Eagles’ defense, scoring on their first six possessions and converting 7 of 13 times on third down in a 30-17 victory.
“Last ball game, at a certain point in that ball game, we needed more of it — that certain mentality and attitude,” Mornhinweg said. “You understand how disappointing that would be, because we hung in there and hung in there when things weren’t going right, and that’s typical of what we do. You give yourself a chance to win it ... and right there is where you need (that attitude).”
Right there, Mornhinweg added, is where the Eagles went flat, and where Michael Vick’s confidence also seemed to deflate.
“It’s a certain attitude that, ‘We’re the baddest men on the field,’” Mornhinweg said. “And it’s a certain mentality of being aggressive, aggressive, aggressive.”
Marty wasn’t stuttering. He just kept emphasizing a trait that he finds necessary for his offense — one “aggressive” reminder for each of the three straight defeats — which indicates what he thinks has been lacking.
Vick, for one, apparently has gotten the message.
The still-starting quarterback admitted Thursday that dealing with a rash of personal turnovers earlier in the season has moved him to play a little too carefully for his — and the Eagles’ — good.
Said Vick: “I’m trying to not make a mistake, and that’s not me. I’ll be honest with you, I have to go play lights out; I have to go play the game and leave it all on the field, and play aggressive, and shoot it and run the ball as I feel I need to.”
“That’s got to flow naturally, though,” Mornhinweg cautioned about Vick’s renewed commitment to scrambling, “where he moves and/or runs when he’s forced. Otherwise, we’ll stay with the play, and we got away from that just a little bit that last ball game. We had, certainly, some opportunities to be just a little bit more explosive and against certain teams, you’re only going to get a certain amount of chances and we failed to do that.”
What Mornhinweg didn’t do was fail to disappoint when talking about something that’s always part of the Philadelphia football attitude — distractions.
Clearly, Vick has been distracted by so much speculation that he’ll be replaced by Nick Foles as the starter. That’s a seed that Reid — who has coached all year like the most distracted man in the cushy practice facility — has only helped germinate with his seeming lack of enthusiasm when it comes to saying Vick is his man.
All this while the offensive line is still trying to get into mid-September (much less early-November) form, and the defense continues to prove that at times, especially late in games, it really can’t stop anybody competent.
“You just can’t single anything out,” defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said. “Us as a whole on defense, we have to get it done.”
But didn’t his defense came undone, allowing the Falcons to score on their first six possessions, in his first game as the club’s defensive coordinator?
“It wasn’t frustrating for me,” Bowles said, repeating a late-Sunday refrain. “It was frustrating that we lost. It was frustrating how we didn’t play the way we normally play.”
Ah, maybe they were just distracted by the way the offense was looking so distracted.
Then there are other distractions, like those for the resident Twitter tongues, the largest belonging to Jason Babin, who lately has been calling out Eagles fans for saying, you know, vile things at games.
Yeah, that’s something new.
“I will say this, there are some players that can’t play in this city,” Mornhinweg said. “It’s that simple. Then there’s the tough guys, both physically and mentally, (who) can thrive playing for the Philadelphia Eagles and this city. You know, I’ve been here a while now and I’ve grown to love and respect our fans. They are passionate. It’s almost like, ‘Hey, they can say anything they want about their players, but no one else can.’
“We understand that, and it’s just very simple that outside influences (don’t) distract us.”
Bingo. Well said. Oh, and good luck with that.
No replies to this topic
Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:47 AM