Jenkins Questions Eagles’ ‘Demeanor’
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The embarrassing New Orleans loss is in the rear-view mirror but it hasn't been forgotten at the NovaCare Complex.
Pro Bowl safety Malcolm Jenkins, who started his career with the Saints, was not happy after the 48-7 drubbing in the Big Easy. Usually, one of the most accessible Eagles Jenkins did his paid hit with NBCSports Philadelphia after the setback but otherwise decided to take a few days to collect his thoughts.
Tuesday Jenkins admitted he was disappointed in the demeanor of the team during the loss the but didn't point the finger at any particular player.
"It was just embarrassing, quite frankly," Jenkins admitted. "It was one of those things that I didn’t feel like, as a team, we had a lot of fight. I would rather get thrown out of a game than just lay down and take it. There’s a ton of frustration. One being, me going back to New Orleans. It’s a game that meant a lot to me but just the demeanor of the team really bothered me."
To be fair the Eagles were down their top five cornerbacks by the end of the game after Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas were forced from the game with knee injuries and Sidney Jones suffered another hamstring injury. Typical starters Ronald Darby (out for the season with a torn ACL) and Jalen Mills (foot) were ruled out before things even started.
"Just the frustration of having guys you work hard with and spend a lot of time with getting injured. It's just a rough day overall but at this point in time we need to figure out some things about ourselves," Jenkins said.
By the time the final gun sounded the Saints had rolled up 546 yards of total offense to just 196 for Philadelphia.
"When a team jumps on you ... and things get rolling, you find out a lot about yourself," Jenkins explained. "You’re going to get blown out regardless. You’re either going to get blown out swinging or you’re going to get blown out laying down. And I think you had a little bit of both.”
Doug Pederson didn't see it that way, however.
When asked if the coach ever questioned his players' efforts, Pederson said, “Never. Never once.”
Jenkins understands mistakes are going to be made and execution is a problem at times for every NFL team but that effort needs to be consistent in good times and bad.
Brandon Graham, another of the Eagles' leaders, also was disappointed in how the team handled adversity.
"I mean I with Malcolm you know. ... the spirit wasn't as high when we were getting beat and it sucked because we know we are better than that," Graham said. "The way they got on us so fast. Everybody was kind of in their feelings a little bit because we came out and it wasn't good enough."
Graham stopped short of saying anyone quit, however.
“I just felt like in that moment people were disappointed,” Graham said. “I don’t think nobody quit. At the end of the day, we all gotta watch the tape. I hope nobody looked like they quit. I don’t think nobody is no quitter on the team.”
The next three weeks, which features NFC East games against New York, Washington and Dallas, should serve as the litmus test for Graham's assertion.
“Some things are just non-negotiable," Jenkins said. "We can deal with guys getting beat. Mistakes happen. If you don’t win at the point of attack, cool. But if you don’t know what you’re doing or if you’re not giving us everything you’ve got, especially when our backs are on the wall then I think that’s something as leaders of the team we need to nip in the bud because we’re at that moment where we can’t carry non-essential personnel.
"Not to say that there are guys that aren't playing hard or aren't giving it what they've got. We just need every drop of it at this point. And we're going to demand that from the top of the roster all the way to the bottom."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen