The Eagles appear to be a much different team than they were a year ago. Two one-point wins to open the season in games they simply would have folded in a season ago has fans hopeful that the 2012 Eagles could be on the verge of something special. Surely, Juan Castillo has made some improvements in year two as his defense remains talented, but looks like a far more cohesive unit. So what’s behind the renaissance? According to Matt Lombardo, Eagles’ defensive end Brandon Graham says it’s all about leadership.
“I just think the leadership,” said Graham. “They got everybody out that was the cancer as they say. But I feel like everyone is more focused, determined and we had that taste last year of not going and don’t want to go through that same feeling again this year.”
So let’s use some deductive reasoning here. DeMeco Ryans? Definite leader. That helps. Mychal Kendricks has added youthful energy and a playmaking presence at linebacker, too. Can’t hurt. But in terms of cutting out cancers? That has to be a dig at Asante Samuel, and frankly, I couldn’t agree more.
I know Samuel had his share of fans here in Philadelphia. Nobody will argue his talent. He was brought to Philadelphia from New England prior to the 2008 season to make big plays and he did just that, but it was evident that Samuel felt disrespected and was a malcontent last season. When one of your highest-paid and most talented players does his own thing, it can throw the entire chemistry of a unit off. So is Graham taking a shot at Samuel? Yeah, maybe. But is he right? You’re damn straight he is.