Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins knows what it takes to win in the National Football League.
He was a member of the Green Bay Packers' 2011 Super Bowl championship team. Last year, he was a part of an Eagles team that rallied to finish the season 8-8, but one game shy of the playoffs. If the Eagles didn't start the year 1-4, maybe go on to win the Super Bowl and not the New York Giants.
Jenkins doesn't want to see the Eagles stumble out of the gate again this year. And that was part of the fire behind the emotional sideline conversation between he and head coach Andy Reid that was televised nationwide during Monday night's win over the Patriots.
"Winning's not easy. There's a fine line between winning and just being close in this league," Jenkins said. "I don't want to get off to the start that we had last year."
The Patriots, without a majority of starters on offense, had just scored on a two-point conversion to increase their lead to 11-0 early in the second quarter. Prior to the ensuing kickoff, Reid went over to talk to Jenkins, who was sitting on the bench. Jenkins was fired up and stood up to Reid before defensive line coach Jim Washburn intervened and defensive tackle Derek Landri took Jenkins aside.
Jenkins, who realized pretty quickly Tuesday morning the attention the discussion received, said that he has talked with Reid multiple times since then and "everything's fine."
"He was just trying to control things," Jenkins said. "He was trying to make sure everything was going the right way. It's getting a little emotional early and he was trying to control things."
Reid apparently got his point across. The fact that Reid rarely shows this type of emotion on the sidelines elicited a response from his players.
"It caused a reaction through the whole team. Everybody's going to feed off his emotion," Jenkins said. "I think the team really started playing better after that point too. Everybody needs to carry emotion like that throughout the year."
Jenkins would not say what the genesis of the discussion was. He admitted that it was "a little disappointing" to learn that the Patriots were resting their key offensive players. Still, there was a game being played. And don't tell the players that it's only preseason. Landri has been a starter for the Eagles this preseason, but at this time last year was a reserve fighting for a roster spot.
"A game's a game. As long as they sing (the National Anthem), as soon as it's done it's a game. I don't care if it doesn't count on your record or not. We're still playing for our livelihood. We care about it," Landri said. "We want to win. I think it's a testament to everybody on the team that we want to win."
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