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  • Writer's pictureAl Thompson

NOTES: DREAMING WON'T FIX EAGLES MISCUES - BRITAIN COVEY STARTS TO EMERGE


Eagles punt returner/wide reciever leads the NFL in total return yards with 409. He caught his first meaningful pass against the Giants. Photo by Andy Lewis

Wouldn’t be great if the Eagles could hire Leonardo DiCaprio's Cobb character and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Arthur; two guys who showed the world it was possible to implant ideas into a human's mind like they did to Cillian Murphy's Robert Fischer in the brilliant Oscar-winning 2010 film "Inception."


Yes, it was all fiction, a movie. But wouldn't that be cool?


But can you imagine Cobb and Arthur implanting specific ideas into the minds of Eagles starters such as…“Don’t throw interceptions” or “don’t fumble” or “don’t hold?”


That would a fantastic thing to take advantage of, but unfortunately that story was 100 made up.


The Eagles and their coaches will have to correct their self-inflicted issues on their own.


On Friday – just two days before the Eagles seemingly rare 1:00 PM matchup against the


Arizona Cardinals, Eagles third-year head coach Nick Sirianni was asked about takeaways and turnover differential.


He was asked about last year, and the fact that that he and (then DC) Jonathan Gannon – now the head coach of the Cardinals - were adamant that it's not a luck-based statistic; it's coached up.


Sirianni was asked if it was the type of thing where he’s seeing it more as a luck-based thing this year, or does he still think it is a product of technique and coaching.


“Yeah, I think it's always going to be a product of that. Now, are there some unlucky bounces? Yes. But I do believe that every team has those, right. There's every team that's going to be like, if we just didn't do this one and this one and this one with that unlucky bounce, but everybody has those, right, that go both ways.


“I do believe those even themselves out. So yeah, I firmly believe still that we've got to continue to harp on it and even do a better job of what we're doing as far as the way we're coaching it, and then also we've got to execute it better.


“So, it's always in that, and that's how I feel about that. I think that's a really good question because there have been some unlucky bounces and those things -- I think I said this maybe on the radio this week. Sometimes I get upset about a call or something like that, but those things have a tendency of evening themselves out as well.


Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni is looking for some lucky bounces this week against the Cardinals. Photo by Andy Lewis

“And so, you can't get wrapped up in the ones that might not be bouncing your way, because

I do believe in this game and in a 17-game season, that all that stuff evens itself out.


“So, we'll wait for some of those to bounce our way in that, but it always starts with what we can control and that's the way we coach it, the way we execute it, and the detail within that.


CAN LEONARD HELP WITH POSITIVE PLAYS?

Eagles new linebacker Shaq Leonard showed flashes of his All Pro form last week against the Giants. Yes, he made mistakes but the 28-year-old led the Eagles in total tackles with seven (five solo) against the Giants.


Leonard also recorded the team’s only sack, had two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit.


Leonard, who was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on November 21, 2023 after voicing his displeasure about his status with the team, joined the Birds on December 4, 2023, was asked if his solid play could help set a better tone and help cut down on the mistakes that have plagued the Eagles all season.


“Of course,” Leonard said. “That’s the way I play…with energy, no matter what it is. I’m going to try and get the guys involved, energy-wise, if you have good, positive energy, you’re going to have good, positive results on the field. That’s my biggest thing…is having fun and truly making sure the guy’s are standing up no matter what the case may be.”


BRITAIN COVEY CHIMES IN ON HOW TO DEAL WITH MISTAKES– CAN HE BE THE NEXT WES WELKER?

The Eagles second-year punt returner set the tone for the offense when he returned his first punt of the day 54-yards to the Giants 13-yard line.


Two plays later it was 7-0 when Jalen Hurts “Tush Pushed” his way into the end zone.


At his locker on Wednesday, Covey was asked about how the locker room was dealing with all the self-inflicted mistakes that plagued this team during its three-game skid and again against Big Blue, a 33-25 victory.


“There’s a tricky balance of finding the joy in being and eleven-win football team and not letting wins mask problems,” said Covey, who leads the NFL in total punt return yards (409). “This is where you kind of rely on your leaders like DeVonta, but specifically like guys that have been here for a while, like (Jason Kelce and BG (Brandon Graham).


"They’ve been a part of only a few 13-win teams and we have a chance to be one of those. But also not letting that be our end goal. It’s a tricky balance. You’ve really got to rely on your leaders to help you find that.”


Covey caught his first pass during meaningful scrimmage against. It was just seven yards, but it was a start. Covey said at his locker he believes he can be a productive sot receiver in the NFL.


“I’ve had a package in for me since week three of the season, with multiple plays,” Covey said. “We just haven’t gotten to it. I’m not the type of person to ever to put my hand up about plays.


"When my number’s called and I hope I get the confidence. I’m not ever ashamed of not playing when there’s guys like A.J. and DeVonta in front of me. I just want to be there any time I do.”


When he gets the chance, it won’t be because he was dreaming. *

 

Email Al Thompson at al.thompson@footballstories.com   

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