ANAHEIM, Calif. – Friday morning wasn't like every other morning for the Eagles. Former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, an Eagles fan who grew up in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania and played his high school basketball there, addressed the team for about 10 minutes at the team hotel.
Bryant's words, which also included some questions from the players and coaches, had an impact.
"Just meeting him and hearing what he had to say, I've always respected him and I'm a huge fan of his, but I respect him even more now," wide receiver Alshon Jeffery said. "He talked about his mentality and the way he approached the game. He approached everything to kill everything. Attack everything, stay in the moment, stay focused. He gave us some championship knowledge."
Said running back LeGarrette Blount: "It was amazing, man. It was inspirational. Anything he says, any words of wisdom he throws out there, you want to take it and put it in your back pocket. He's speaking a lot of truth and he's speaking a lot of real stuff."
The Mamba Mentality clearly is to go for the jugular and finish the job.
"It was a really good message," defensive end Brandon Graham said. "What he talked about mostly was you've got to have a killer mentality. You've got to believe that you're going to be the one out there killing everybody. You can get up for the LeBrons and the main players and stuff like that, but I want to impose my will on people that shouldn't be on the field, or on the court, with us. That's his attitude.
"And, day in and day out, you've got to be committed to what you're doing and you've got to envision everything before it happens."
As for Bryant, who says he gets "nervous before every (Eagles) game," he loved the opportunity.
"I was on Cloud 9. Walk in, see all that green, the good-guy green, not that Celtic green. It felt good being able to talk to them, which is weird because as a player I was never superstitious," said Bryant, who described himself as a "neurotic" Eagles fan. "During the season, I've always been a little superstitious.
"I think the character of this team is special and that's what wins championships, the character of the team, the spirit of the team. You have certain moments where you go up and down but when the spirit of the team is a strong one, a collective one, then you have something that is truly special. Fingers crossed, they look to have this."
Bryant wanted to convey the message that all the work the players put into their profession pays off on gamedays. It's the little things that add up to big results.
"Detail. Detail. There will be a lot of talk, a lot of hype, especially going into the postseason and you can't let that emotional roller coaster distract you. You have to focus on detail, the smallest of things. How to execute, execute, execute. You go over those things so much, you download those things so much in your mind that when you step out on the field to perform, you can forget about them because they're naturally there. That was the big message."