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A Trip Around The Eagles' Locker Room

Posted Nov 24, 2017

This has been a week like every other week for a team with a zeroed-in focus and the sole intention of winning another football game. For the Eagles, it’s a meeting with the Chicago Bears on Sunday and with that, the locker room has its stories within the big story. Here is another Trip Around the Eagles' Locker Room …

This has been a week like every other week for a team with a zeroed-in focus and the sole intention of winning another football game. For the Eagles, it’s a meeting with the Chicago Bears on Sunday and with that, the locker room has its stories within the big story. Here is another Trip Around the Eagles' Locker Room.

K JAKE ELLIOTT: CLEARED AND READY TO GO

His Sunday night didn’t go as planned; Jake Elliott spent most of it in a dark room watching the Eagles take apart the Dallas Cowboys using linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill on kickoffs and converting three of four two-point conversions instead of attempting extra points.

Elliott suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff of the game when he made the tackle on Dallas returner Ryan Switzer. Elliott stayed in the game to convert a PAT and push a field goal attempt wide right, but most of his night was lost in darkness.

Now he’s back, having cleared the concussion protocol.

“It’s kind of a day-to-day thing. Hopefully, you’re feeling better every day after that kind of incident,” Elliott said. “That was the case. You’ve got to go through all the doctors, the independent doctor, pass the impact test, and all that stuff.”

Elliott kicked on Wednesday and Thursday, so he did not deviate from his normal routine. There should be no ill effects from the concussion.

And should Elliott be in a situation where he needs to make a tackle again? He knows he has to improve his technique.

“Definitely need to get a little lower,” he said. “Probably go for the legs a little bit more. He kind of lowered his head on me at the last second there and I just didn’t see that coming. Maybe a little lower.”

And then he laughed.

Elliott will be fine for Sunday.

DE VINNY CURRY: GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

Defensive end Vinny Curry was named the Week 11 National Football League Players Association Community MVP based on his second annual Thanksgiving Rush program that provided Thanksgiving meals to 200 families in need, providing recognition to Curry for something he does from the bottom of his heart.

“I do it because it’s genuine, to show my appreciation, and to give back,” Curry said. “When I was a kid and people gave back, it helped me and my family. I just want to put a smile on people’s faces.

“It’s always been something that has been important to me. I don’t promote it. I make sure I am out a lot and I know it makes a difference. When it comes to the holidays, I’m all about the spirit of giving and helping families, and it’s close to my mom’s (the late Linda “Cissy” Jackson) birthday, so that’s always going to be special to me.”

Curry was influenced in a positive way by former Eagles defensive end/linebacker Connor Barwin and the impact that Barwin had on the Philadelphia community.

“He definitely showed me a way to up my game,” Curry said. “I want to help all that I can.”

Curry has been an instrumental part of the defensive line’s success this season, playing 54 percent of the snaps with three quarterback sacks, eight tackles for loss, and strong play against the run.

The defensive end rotation, four deep with a very capable Steven Means in the wings, has great things going on.

“It’s been great, being 9-1 and playing the way we are,” Curry said. “This is the best defensive line I’ve been a part of, but we have a lot of games to play, a lot more work to do. It’s been so fun, I can tell you that.”

DE CHRIS LONG: BROTHERLY LOVE AND MORE

Momma Long will be in the stands at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday watching her sons, Chris Long of the Eagles and Kyle Long of the Bears, playing each other. Daddy Long will be in the FOX Network television studios watching.

It won’t be easy for the Long family.

“It’s uncomfortable for them, I’m sure,” Chris Long said of playing against his brother, a three-time Pro Bowl guard for the Bears. “But I’m looking forward to seeing him. It’s been awhile. I can’t wait to see him. I’m proud of him and his career. He’s been great.

“I don’t know how much we will actually bang into each other, but if we do, I’ll probably do some talking, bust his (stones) a little bit and have some fun.”

Chris has played Kyle once before (Chris was injured the other time their teams played) when Chris played in St. Louis. So it’s going to be a special occasion.

“It’s a good day if we don’t touch each other much and get out of there healthy,” Long said. “I might see him the night before the game or on the field before kickoff and I’m excited about that. Some people act like you can’t talk to them, but I don’t need to be isolated from my brother to go play hard. I love him to death, so anytime I get a chance to see him I’m going to.

“When you play football professionally you don’t see somebody for months and months at a time, so it will be awesome to have him in town.”

TE ZACH ERTZ: THE OFFENSE HAS YET TO HIT ITS PEAK

We’ve seen the offense light up the scoreboard all season and show great balance in the run and the pass games. But tight end Zach Ertz sees something else, too: He sees an offense that hasn’t yet put it all together for 60 minutes.

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“I think it’s been a combination,” Ertz said. “I think one game we’ve had a really good passing game and another game we’ve had a good running game, but I don’t think we’ve had a complete game, that 500-yard game. We’re excited about it. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re excited, because we haven’t played our best and we’re still playing really good football.

“We’re excited about the rest of the year to hopefully have that complete game.”

WR TORREY SMITH: THE KEY TO WINNING DOWN THE STRETCH

Wide receiver Torrey Smith won a Super Bowl with Baltimore, as did defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, while safety Malcolm Jenkins won in New Orleans, and Long and running back LeGarrette Blount won last season in New England (Blount’s second Super Bowl win with the Patriots).

There is experience in the locker room, and there are players who were on the team when the Eagles last made the playoffs in 2013. But there are also a number of young players who have not experienced what is happening with the Eagles right now, or what might happen.

Smith is impressed with how the young players are preparing each week.

“We try to stay focused on the task at hand. Obviously, like everyone else, we talk about it a little bit afterwards and everyone wonders. I’m watching the game yesterday and I saw the Cowboys lose and I’m like, ‘What does that mean?’ That’s just the reality of it,” Smith said. “At the same time, it doesn’t take your mind off it (what’s immediately ahead). We have to beat Chicago. We have to worry about them first and then after that everything else just kind of falls into place.

“The young guys, they don’t know what’s going on. I just talk to them and say, 'Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep working your tails off.' Around this time, in the next week or so, a lot of those guys would be done (in college). Our plan is to be playing for a long time.”

Smith lauded the leadership on the team, starting from the top down. So, there are no problems anticipated, just victories starting Sunday.

“I don’t think,” Smith said, “I’ve ever had this much fun playing on a team.”

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