This past weekend, defensive end Brandon Bair made his first career start at 30 years old. But, he isn't focused on his age and doesn't think anyone else should be either ... even if in a constant joking point with his teammates.
"It's fun. Everybody always gets after me every time there's an article that starts off with, 'Brandon Bair, first start at 30 years old.' It's like why'd you have to put that in there?" Bair laughed.
Regardless, Bair's first start was an overwhelming success. Stepping in for the injured Cedric Thornton, he also saw his first action of the 2015 season after being inactive for the first two games.
He notched three tackles and disrupted three passes, one of which ended in an interception for the Eagles.
"I thought it was pretty neat. I had a really fun game. People kept saying, 'That was the game of your life.' I said, 'Well, it was the first game I ever started. Yeah, it was the game of my life.' But, it was more just opportunities," Bair said. "I was on the field for I think 43 plays (it was 46 defensive snaps), and I had the chance just to be out there and be part of something longer.
"Normally, I sub in or rotate in. Last year, I'd get five to 10 plays a game. Not much time to get into a routine, just time to play the role that you have and give the guys a break and still be productive, but this was an opportunity to do something a little different. It was fun."
Keeping himself mentally focused for the start was a bit more challenging, but Bair kept his usual routine. He prepared the same way he does week in and week out, which clearly paid off.
"I had to kind of keep myself in check a lot," Bair said. "I had a lot of outside noise basically from family saying, 'Hey, this really is a great opportunity.' I had to agree with them, but at the same time, my wife (Jordan) kept asking me, 'Why aren't you so excited? Why aren't you ... Are you hype?' Anything like that. No. I'm just going to prepare the way I do every week and my opportunities come that I can just go out and play and I haven't psyched myself out or put expectations too high. I can just go out and do what I prepared to do."
Three-And-Out with a look at the rookies' performances at 3:13
Enemy Intel with the key matchups at 31:04
Game Time - Order in the Supreme Court at 38:45
Mailing It In at 52:31
To have the Eagles Insider Podcast delivered directly to you every week, be sure to subscribe to the podcast here.
Following the Eagles' first win of the season, Fran Duffy and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell sat down for their weekly chat on the Eagle Eye in the Sky Podcast. The two took an in-depth look at the X's and O's, specifically focusing on the win over the Jets and what is to come for the team this weekend in Washington.
First up on the list of items to discuss was the Eagles' defense. It was very successful against New York, even with injuries to a number of players.
"Clearly, in the second half they went away from playing their predominant man concepts," Cosell said. "Now, we saw a lot of changes in personnel because (Chris) Maragos got hurt. What happens in their nickel, they brought (Malcolm) Jenkins back to safety and played (E.J.) Biggers in slot.
"But, then they wanted to play dime as well. What they did when they played dime is they brought (Nolan) Carroll inside, and that's when the rookie (Eric) Rowe went in and played outside. Now, they played a ton more zone concepts in the second half and I thought it was really effective against this particular opponent."
Looking ahead, the team's defense will have another challenge this weekend. Washington has the fourth-best rushing offense in the league, but through their opening three games, the Eagles have allowed the fewest yards per carry.
If they can shut down Washington's running backs, Cosell believes quarterback Kirk Cousins will struggle, giving the Eagles an advantage.
"You don't want to let them get their run game get going because then Cousins can be an effective quarterback," Cosell said. "If you can stop the zone run game, force Cousins to have to get into third-and-longs, then your defense is going to win more often than not."
Two-Technique with Brandon Bair at the 28:34 mark
Saturday Scouting with Alabama beat writer Matt Zenitz at the 33:01 mark
Be sure to subscribe to the podcast here to hear Duffy and Cosell's analysis on a weekly basis.