Maybe, at some point, this won't hurt so much. Maybe one day we'll look back after the Philadelphia Eagles have won their second Vince Lombardi Trophy, and we'll be reminded that this season's collapse served as the turning point. Maybe that won't happen, but you have your dreams. These are ours.
No one has any answers, regardless of how often we try to drum up a few (or watch others do the same). Until the Birds turn it around, we're left to pick up the shattered pieces of a once-promising season.
To make matters worse, we've had to watch valuable contributors from last season's NFC Champion Eagles squad move on and become key assets in other NFL cities for other NFL teams. Two that come to mind are T.J. Edwards (Chicago Bears) and Javon Hargrave (San Francisco 49ers). Hargrave's exit hurts a tad more because he's part of a very good NFC team that, seemingly, will be a pain in the Eagles' side for years to come.
Recently, while appearing on Arik Armstead's Third And Long podcast, Javon sat down with his teammate and, among other things, addressed the most dissimilar part of Philly and San Fran's cultures.
Something tells us that you already know where that difference lies. Yes friends, we're back talking about practice (in our Allen Iverson voices).
Javon Hargrave offers his take on Eagles, 49ers practice habits (and it's concerning).
Winning and losing changes everything. Sometimes, we'll let things ride when teams do well that might normally peeve us when that same team is losing.
We were never really fans of Nick Sirianni's approach to how offseason workouts and practices were to be handled. Sure, we understood why he was doing what he thought was right. No one will ever complain about a coach's desire to keep his team as healthy as possible.
Nick's teams won more often than they lost, so we dismissed our own theories (teams get better at playing football BY playing football). We adopted comfortable takes like 'Nick knows his team better than we do'.
Here we sit. The Eagles are losing, and they look inferior while doing so. Now, everything has come into question.
To make matters worse, Javon Hargrave's take on the dissimilar nature with which the Eagles and Niners prepare for games casts another spotlight on Philly's collapse. That's especially true when you consider that San Fran has replaced our Birds as the National Football Conference's best team.
Here's part of his conversation with teammate Arik Armstead.
How do we put this and do so politely? And, we wonder why the Eagles are being punked at home by the likes of the Arizona Cardinals. The Eagles are the 'Golden State Warriors' and the Niners are the 'Miami Heat', huh? Yeah, that might be okay by NBA standards, but that won't work for the typical football fan.
If you have ever heard former Los Angeles Lakers or former/current Miami Heat stars discuss the tyrannical nature of their workout sessions, you know exactly what Hargrave's comments mean. The Lakers won under Pat Riley, and they won often. The Miami Heat has become one of the NBA's model franchises. Sure, Golden State wins, but football is more of a demolition derby than pro basketball is.
Some of you will defend Sirianni's coaching style and argue that the NFL limits physicality in practice. You still don't get it. Philly's practice sessions lack intensity when they're allowed to be intense. That's where the problem lies.
Meanwhile, teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and San Francisco 49ers run a more physical style of workout, and they are all better teams than Philadelphia right now. You can call it a coincidence. You would be wrong to do so but go right ahead.
Football is a results-based business. The truth is this is Philly's lack of intensity is akin to their weekly approach. As rookie Sydney Brown said recently, practice habits become game-day reality. That's all the evidence required to demonstrate a change in philosophy is needed.