PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - There will be two quarterbacks on the field Sunday when the Eagles visit the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Two signal callers from Austin's Westlake High School, two who have Lombardi trophies and Super Bowl MVP awards on their resume but only one who gets the respect he deserves, at least according to some members of the Philadelphia defense.
Anytime Drew Brees' name was brought up Thursday in the Eagles locker room both Fletcher Cox and Treyvon Hester immediately highjacked the question and only spoke of Nick Foles, the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
"In addition to being a Hall Of Fame QB how good is Dres Brees...," was the only thing one reporter could get out when Cox, the Eagles' star defensive tackle, turned sharp left.
"Nick Foles is a Super Bowl MVP. Nick Foles is a Super Bowl MVP," Cox said. "Nick Foles gets rid of the ball. He's a great leader you know. He's got energy and I'm looking forward to him playing on Sunday."
The Eagles defenders are clearly a little tired of all the Brees love but after a season in which the veteran completed 74.4 percent of his passes with 32 touchdowns against just five interceptions with a 115.7 passer rating and is expected to be the runner-up in the MVP race to Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes, the shadow is going to be a far-reaching one.
And one that exits until the moment Foles and the Eagles prove they can compete with the superstar and his 13-3 No. 1-seeded team.
During the 48-7 dubbing the Saints put on Philadelphia back on Nov. 18, Brees completed 22-of-30 passes for 363 yards and four touchdowns against an injury-plagued Birds secondary.
"We got a bunch of players back," Cox said. "A bunch o guys healthy. Guys are kinds molding themselves to the defense now. We went down there [the first time] with a couple of guys we had just brought in that week. We were kinds all over the place and now we got a bunch of guys that have bought into the defense and know the way we do things."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen