Cornerback Ellis Hobbs had to ask some of his teammates who have been with the Eagles longer than he has. It was certainly the first time linebacker Ernie Sims, who is in his first year with the team, witnessed it. Andy Reid, the normally calm and even-keeled head coach, made it clear to his players that he was not happy with last Sunday's performance against the Redskins.
He told his players in the team meeting this week that the Eagles need to make a statement. Reid's tone certainly struck a chord with the players.
"I think he's trying to convey the message, especially with a team that's so young, that we're playing for keeps out here. This is serious," Hobbs said. "You have to look at each game like there is no next time. He's definitely doing a good job of conveying the message that he wants."
Hobbs spent the first four years of his NFL career in New England where, like in Philadelphia, making the playoffs each year seemed like a sure thing. One player who knows that the playoffs are anything but a given is Sims, who will play in his first primetime game on Sunday night after four-plus NFL seasons.
"I see that from a head coach, that definitely sends a message to the whole team. That's something I like in a coach," Sims said. "If the team doesn't perform well, the players have to step up. I do feel like we've got a chip on our shoulder right now. We're coming off of a loss. We really want to make a statement."
And the Eagles can make that statement in front of a national audience against the 49ers. Sure, the 49ers are eager to get their first win of the season. But the Eagles will tell you that after letting a golden opportunity to seize the division lead slip away last week against Washington, they are just as - if not even more - hungry to get back in the win column.
"Right now, we're desperate for a win, especially after last week's game," said Jackson. "We know what we have riding on the line being 2-2. We would like to be 3-1 or 4-0, but unfortunately we're not. We just want to set ourselves up to win as many games as possible."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:30 a.m., October 9