An extra day to prepare has given Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni a bit of added time to alter the team schedule ahead of Monday night's game at Tampa Bay. He and his coaching staff used the day after the loss to the Giants as a "self-scout" day and on Thursday the players put on the pads for practice at the NovaCare Complex.
Makes sense. It's win or go home, and the Eagles want to keep playing.
"We have extra time this week and an extra day where our guys' bodies feel good and we want to work some fundamentals and do some different things," said Sirianni, who had originally scheduled a walkthrough practice. "This time of year, you don't get these very often because it's late in the year and you don't have the extra days. You want to get a lot of the walkthrough reps. And we're trying to combine both of them here by still getting a lot of walkthrough reps, while also getting some stuff at speed and some individual stuff for some fundamental work."
Sirianni met with the team on Thursday morning and made sure to get his point across: This is a good football team that has to understand its strengths and who it is heading into the postseason.
It is time to win and advance.
"We just talked about our identity, who we are, and like I said, physical, violent. We talked about with the offense, don't forget you're a top 10 unit these past two years, or top, whatever, eight unit, whatever we finished this year in scoring and offense, total offense. Don't forget that," Sirianni said. "And special teams has been doing a great job all season long. Just talked about our identity. I don't think you come up with a new message because you got to the playoffs. You come back to who you are, what got you here. Even if you drifted a little bit from who you are, what got you there, just trying to get yourself back to that moment. And know we can have confidence that we've been here before and are ready to go up there and play a really good team that we're facing this week."
The Eagles didn't handle the final six weeks the way they would have liked – a 1-5 record dropped them to the fifth seed in these conference playoffs – but Sirianni is hammering home the message that the Eagles are still breathing and hungry.
Hungry dogs run faster?
"The guys have been consistently working. Nobody was satisfied with a playoff berth. I know that. It's what it turned into, just a playoff berth, not an NFC (East) Championship, not a No. 1 seed. It was a playoff berth," Sirianni said. "And I know nobody was satisfied with that, just like nobody is satisfied with where we're sitting right now, like, we're in the playoffs. We want to go out and win this week and see what happens. I just see the focus of our guys, and even through the ups of the season and through the downs of the season.
"And I know that they're ready to work today. They're excited that we're here in the playoffs. We obviously have waited a long time to be back into this spot. Not everybody gets to go to the playoffs for three years in a row or back-to-back years even. So, we're excited to be back in this spot because we know all our goals are ahead of us."
Relive the greatest moments between the Birds and Bucs before they square off in the Wild Card Round.