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5 Things: Getting Ready For #BirdDay


Good morning, Eagles fans! With the short turnaround before the Thanksgiving showdown in Detroit, the team will be back on the field again Tuesday morning. Our live coverage begins at 10:15 AM with defensive coordinator Bill Davis' and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur's press conferences. Following the team's training session, we will learn more about the quarterback situation for Thursday's game. At 5 PM, we will have a recap of all the day's news and notes on Eagles 360. Until then, here are the 5 Things to Know Today for Tuesday, November 24 ...

1. Celebrate #BirdDay With Your Eagles Family

For the second straight season, the Eagles are playing on Thanksgiving. We want to know how you are enjoying this holiday, so check out our #BirdDay section with special photos, unique graphics as well as a mosaic of Eagles fans.

2. Bradford Returns, But Will He Play?

When the Eagles' training session kicked off on Monday, quarterback Sam Bradford was on the field taking part in warmups and individual drills. The Eagles listed Bradford as limited in his first practice since suffering a concussion and left shoulder injury. Bradford has been cleared to play, but with the short week will there be enough time to get him ready for Thursday?

On Thanksgiving, Brandon Graham will play in front of his hometown crowd as the Eagles take on the Lions in Detroit. Take a look at the linebacker's childhood growing up in the city and his recent trip back to visit ...

3. Brandon Graham Returns To Detroit

A native of Detroit, linebacker Brandon Graham will play in his hometown for the second time in his career and first since his rookie season. He recalled how he dreamed of playing on Thanksgiving while growing up.

"It's already special because growing up all I used to do is watch the Lions on Thanksgiving play the Packers, most of the time that's usually who they play," Graham said. "I think it was just always nice because I said, 'One day, I'm going to play on Thanksgiving.' But, I thought I would be playing for the Lions. As a kid, you're thinking, 'I want to play for my hometown.' I knew they needed work, so I was like, 'I hope we've got a good team by the time I'm playing.'"

Graham also delved into the obstacles he's overcome from the tough neighborhood that he was raised in to his early-career struggles in the NFL and the pressure of living up to being a high draft pick.

"I just had a core group of people I could call and vent to," Graham explained. "Once I kind of got past that stage where it is what it is, I was hurt. I'm not worried about that stuff. What else can they say? Let me get back and when I come back, I'm going to make sure they eat those words. That was my motivation."

4. Spadaro: Eagles Are At A Crossroads

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro went around the locker room on Monday after the training session and one thing was evident - no one was dwelling on Sunday's loss. The beauty of the NFL is that it is such a week-to-week league, and the Eagles have to play another game in just four days.

"The mistakes we made have to be corrected fast because the game is nearly here," cornerback Nolan Carroll said. "You've got to get over it. You've got to move on. I know that Calvin Johnson is going to be out there, part of a good offense Detroit has. We can't put in a whole new game plan. You have to prepare on the run. You expect them to do mostly what they did on Sunday, with a few wrinkles.

"We can't point fingers. We have a game in three days. We just have to get the mistakes corrected. Nobody is pointing fingers. We all have to take ownership of our mistakes and be a man about it and prepare for the next game."

Spadaro added, "These are tough times. This is a crossroads moment. The Eagles generated exactly zero momentum from that overtime win at Dallas, instead losing two home games to Miami and Tampa Bay. No way it could happen, right? It did. And the Eagles are 4-6 and the fan base is disappointed, understandably so.

"The only answer is to beat Detroit. That is what is directly in front of the Eagles, with precious minutes to spare."

5. Looking For Answers

The instant reaction to Sunday's loss was to dramatically shake up the entire operation. As head coach Chip Kelly said on Monday, and has many times before, you don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Fan-Demonium columnist Tommy Lawlor offered a comprehensive explanation of what exactly Kelly means.

"If the Eagles simply block and tackle better, they will play better this week," he wrote. "Obviously they have more issues than just those two things, but football really is more about the fundamentals than some realize. You can have all the great schemes and great talent in the world, but if you don't do the basics well, your team will struggle. Sunday's debacle is ancient history now. The Eagles have to get ready for the Lions.

"There is an old saying that tough times don't last, but tough people do. Thursday will tell us a lot about this team."

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