On Monday, the Eagles returned to the NovaCare Complex to take care of their typical postgame business. They watched tape, met with coaches and went about their routine. After that, they will be off for the bye week.
But this year's bye week won't come on the heels of a confidence-building win. Instead it will come after two straight losses and the knowledge that the second portion of the season must be different from the first.
"This break we've got to clear our minds; we have to come back fresh," defensive end Trent Cole said. "It's early in the season. Everybody knows what kind of team we have. We have a lot of potential to be a great team. Great teams execute. They don't have penalties. They don't make mistakes. That's what it's about, a winning team."
The bye week is an opportunity for players to rest their bodies and recharge their minds. For the Eagles, the rest will be much needed, even if there aren't key players returning from injury. The week will be more about regaining focus and making improvements to a team that still harbors Super Bowl aspirations.
"It's going to be a gift in disguise," said defensive end Darryl Tapp. "We're going to get some time off. Do some soul searching, each individual player, and get back to work."
On offense, that work means fixing the consistency issues and limiting turnovers. Through six games, the Eagles have lost nine fumbles and quarterback Michael Vick has thrown eight interceptions. The bye week gives the signal caller a chance to step back and review his season to find ways of correcting mistakes.
"I think it's a good time for a bye," he said. "I think we need to just kind of figure out what we need to do to finish games. Try to start a little faster on offense and not make so many mistakes early in the game. You can't do that in this league. The opposition is just as good as you are. So the mistakes have to be eliminated."
The Eagles were hoping to go into the bye week on a positive note, but the team's two recent losses create a different kind of bye week for this team.
"You're not treating the bye week the same as we would have treated it had we come away with the victory, so that's why you just see a lot of heads hanging in here because we know it's a different bye week now," cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. "(Being) 3-3 is behind the 8-ball, so it's like we have to now pick it up."
The Eagles will need to return from their break ready to work. The Eagles will return to face the undefeated Atlanta Falcons, who will be coming off a bye of their own.
"It comes at a good time," said cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. "Two tough losses and you get a chance to give your body a break then you re-evaluate yourself and try to understand what's going on and you've got two weeks to do it."
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