I'm reminded time and again how a struggling team with a 3-7 record impacts so many people. There is a sense of puzzlement and frustration and even anger in many of us, for six straight losses and fourth place in the NFC East is not where the Eagles expected to be heading into the final game of November.
This is a scene that has happened too many times in the last couple of weeks. I bumped into a friend whom I hadn't seen in quite a while and he shook my hand and said what I know so many want to say, and what so many of the reporters standing in front of players in the locker room after a game say: "What do you do now? How do you do it?"
The Eagles are 3-7. The players don't want to be 3-7. The coaches don't want to be 3-7. And nobody in the organization feels good about being 3-7.
So what do we do? There is no choice but to keep working hard and to keep hoping for something good to happen. Just one win. Just one win. Who knows where just one win might lead?
"We keep working hard, keep fighting," said safety Nate Allen as he answered that very line of questioning after Sunday's loss to Washington. "I mean, that's really all we can do."
"We're going to keep fighting and grinding every day," said wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
And so that's what happens. Eagles fans are so in love with this football team and they are so frustrated and upset with the 3-7 record and they deserve to be. Everyone had high hopes for 2012. The division was, and still is, clearly there for the taking.
Eagles fans have reacted in any number of ways, and all of them are understandable. We are all here for the same purpose, and that is to win the Super Bowl. That's really all that matters
With six games remaining in the schedule, the Eagles are going to play Monday night with the intention of starting the turnaround. Beat the Panthers and get to 4-7! Is there any other way to look at things?
Do you think Nick Foles has any secondary focus in his life? He's going to start his second consecutive NFL game and he's going to be on national television and his job assignment is to defeat Carolina. He wants to take a big step forward from his first start, and he wants to absorb every nuance of the experience. He wants to be a great Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.
The Eagles are set to send a Kiddie Corps out on the field on Monday night, with rookies Foles, running back Bryce Brown, fullback Stanley Havili (drafted in 2011, didn't play), right tackle Dennis Kelly, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, cornerback Brandon Boykin and wide receiver Damaris Johnson expected to play key roles. That's a ridiculously young group of players who need to learn how to win in the NFL.
Just about everyone I've seen in these last days and weeks wants to know the same thing: "What the heck is going on with the Eagles?" I don't have an answer, other than to say that the team has a dire need to win a football game. I can't explain 3-7, not easily. It's certainly been a series of factors that has led to this moment.
The only way to make things better is to fight through the hard times and to expect that something good is right around the corner. Right now, it isn't pleasant. I'm about the most frustrated person in the world right now, along with everyone in this NovaCare Complex on a Saturday afternoon. But nobody here is giving up because, well, you don't do that in the NFL. You don't do that in life.
Hey, if you see me out and about and you need to ask, go ahead and do so. I really don't have any answers, but I'll be happy to share in the frustration with you and promise that we'll feel the pain together and, in time, enjoy the good times together.
NEWS, NOTES AND A LITTLE BIT OF THIS AND THAT
- Good move to claim wide receiver Greg Salas, who has a nice skill set and could help the Eagles in the future as a slot receiver who can also play outside. Why not? He's worth a look. First things, first. Salas has to take a physical and pass it and then we'll see how he looks in this system.
- It's going to be interesting to see what Sean McDermott has planned with Carolina's defense. He obviously knows this Eagles scheme very well, having worked for Andy Reid, and he believes in pressure. The Eagles must be sound in the backfield picking up the blitz and giving Foles a chance to set up and find his receivers. I think the Eagles are going to make sure that Jackson and Jeremy Maclin get their touches early on Monday night.
- Former cornerback Troy Vincent and long-time ticket man Leo Carlin will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame on Monday night. Tune in for the pre-game press conference at 6:30 p.m. and then join in live at halftime for the on-field ceremony.
- I know the Panthers haven't run the football much this season, so why do I think that Carolina will try to establish the conventional ground game early on Monday night? It's just a feeling. The Eagles need to step up and win the line of scrimmage. I'm not sure how much of the Wide 9 the Eagles are going to play. The challenge is to stay disciplined and not give up the edge to quarterback Cam Newton.