Dear Diary appears on PhiladelphiaEagles.com during the 2014 season. Today: safety Chris Maragos. Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMaragos ...*
I am just so hyped for Monday night and playing the Carolina Panthers. It's so much fun to come to work each day and play with these guys and for this organization. I love it, man. Things are going well for our team eight games in and I think we have a lot of areas where we can improve and get better, so it's exciting to see how we progress from here.
We have a lot of motivation. We know that it's not how you start, but how you finish. We're a relentless team and I think we treat every game the same, with the same urgency and purpose. Carolina has a good team coming in with a lot of pieces. They play very sound football on special teams and they're coming in here looking to knock us off. We have to be ready to play great football.
It's been a tough week here in the sense that we lost two of our leaders in Nick Foles and DeMeco Ryans with injuries. If you have been in this business you understand that there are going to be injuries and that you have to be ready to overcome them. Our backup players prepare as if we are starters. That's the nature of the game. If you aren't ready when you are called upon, you won't be in the league very long.
No doubt those are huge losses for us. It's hard to express the depth of who those guys are individually and the impact that they make in just the smallest nooks and crannies of our team. When you lose them it definitely hurts, but good thing is that we've built a core and a unity to withstand injuries. We have to pick up where we left off.
The entire team showed how much love we have when we all went on the field when DeMeco went down and was unable to move. It was a terrible feeling for everybody. But you have to get your head right before the next snap of the football. You have to bounce back. We're all trained so well that we're on the sidelines saying, "Let's have a good play. Let's have a good series." We would not allow ourselves to lose focus.
I feel like we all want to raise our games and make them proud of us in their absence. That's even more motivation for everyone in this locker room.
We've worked hard training for Carolina. For me, I'm picking up the defense and feeling really good about things. I'm working on the little details and feeling confident for whatever the coaches need me to do. Obviously, when you're going against Cam Newton, you know that the challenge is a great one. He's a dynamic player, big arm, can run the ball and we'll have our hands full with him, for sure.