“Next man up, no excuses, just execute”. This pretty much became the mantra for the Eagles over the 2017-18 season. Week in and week out Eagles Nation witnessed a key player going down, whether it was Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, All-Pro Jason Peters, or would have been MVP Carson Wentz. It would have been easy to mope around, complain, and chalk it up as another cursed season. However, the bird gang never gave up and ultimately took us to a place that Eagles fans had only dreamed of. Well, now we are faced with another bump in the road, but I see it as another opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.
I will admit I was just as upset as anyone when QB coach John DeFilippo left Philly to become the new Offensive Coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. I immediately texted a good friend that’s a Vikings fan to let him know that they got themselves a good one. Needless to say, I felt very much the same when OC Frank Reich decided to be the next Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Reich, DeFilippo, and Carson Wentz were an excellent team who believed in each other’s abilities, and it showed as the Eagles’ offense put the whole league on notice prior to the knee injury that ended Wentz’s season. Again, it would be easy for us to make excuses if our offense struggles next year, but that’s not what I see in the forecast.
The promotion of Wide Receivers Coach Mike Groh is a fantastic example of the “next man up” mentality that Philly has come to love. We don’t find it necessary to hire anyone from the outside because this team is a family. The job Groh did with the Eagles receiving core cannot be understated. Just a year ago most people were ready to give up on Nelson Agholor, but one year with Groh turned him into a near All-Pro level talent. So-called experts, most notably ESPN’s Tedy Bruschi, are predicting the Eagles offense to regress next year. However, I think this will just make the Eagles hungry to continue to prove everyone wrong. We have Doug Pederson, a confident coaching staff that loves what they do, and the next great NFL quarterback. Not to mention Alshon Jeffery won’t be playing with a torn rotator cuff. People can continue to doubt, but “We all we got, we all we need”.
(Photo: David Maialetti, philly.com)