Let me explain to you what a day-before-a- preseason game experience is like for me. A production meeting with head coach Andy Reid at 8 a.m. to go over some things for the Eagles Television Network broadcast. A lot of planning for an entire day of coverage on your favorite web site. And then some time away from the scene to collect thoughts and to get a second wind and to build some intensity for a long day and night of preseason football.
And during that time taken to step back and take a deep breath, the talk begins in Philadelphia about a lot of the potential scene off the field, in the parking lots, among the fans. I have to admit that it is sometimes strange to find out the goings-on of events outside of the very narrow sphere of what happens on the football field.
This is one of those cases.
I am here to volunteer that neither Andy Reid nor Michael Vick nor Donovan McNabb will pay an ounce of attention to what happens "out there." Good, solid teams don't even consider that stuff. They don't get caught up in headlines. They don't bounce along with the sensationalism. They honestly, truly don't know what the fans are discussing each morning with their coffee.
A well-run team ignores anything that happens beyond the boundaries of the locker room. And I think that is the mental approach this team is taking. The way I see it, having that tunnel vision is one of the many strengths Reid presents and preaches to his team every day. There is too much hustle and bustle within a preseason for a football player to be mindful at all of what the rest of the world is talking about. Oh, the headlines are there and the television is on and players see that stuff, but they don't live it. Not for more than an instant.
So while the talk of the town is, right now, the reaction this Eagles team is going to get in Preseason Game No. 3, and how the fans walking into the fine perimeter that is Lincoln Financial Field tonight, the players and the coaches don't care a bit.
This is a football team that should be entirely forced on improving over last week's dismal performance against the Colts. Every phase of the team came up short, and this game is a chance to get things back on track. Now, a win or a loss in the preseason is not an important issue, but the way a team plays is important. There are jobs on the line in this game. And there is something to prove mentally, if only a little bit: The Eagles have some key players coming back from injury, and they have Vick ready to make his debut as an Eagle, and they want to put on a good show for what should be a revved-up crowd.
I'll get into the matchups and what to look for a bit later in the day. A few hours away has given me a perspective that I wanted to share with you. My feeling is that from a strictly football side of things, it's all systems go for the Eagles. The media and the fans have an event to attend, whatever that means. To the team, to the players and coaches, it is all about 60 minutes of the best football the team is going to play right now.
Anything less would be a disappointment.