Wide receiver Jason Avant is one of the respected leaders in the locker room. In his seventh season with the Eagles, Avant is one of the longest-tenured players. He's a former recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, which is voted upon by the players.
After Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field, Avant was very honest in assessing the mindset of the team. The Eagles head into the bye week with a 3-3 record having lost their last two games by a combined five points.
"We're definitely going to assess the tape very critically, not just of today but of the six games that we played," Avant said. "I really think there's been a bunch of undisciplined players and just honestly I think the thing we need to address is that of our focus and our discipline. We're here to play football. I think we have to make sure we're focused at all times, not just going out on the field. You can get sidetracked with everything that comes with this game, but the truth of the matter is we're here to play and we have to be professionals."
Sunday's loss was disappointing because they held a 23-13 lead with 5:18 left in the game after wide receiver Jeremy Maclin's 70-yard touchdown reception.
"I went over to the defense and told them not to relent and (the Lions) got a couple of critical plays ... and put themselves in position," Avant said. "They did a great job of battling back and never quitting. I think we kind of took our foot off the pedal offensively and defensively and it cost us."
In the two offensive drives for the Eagles after Maclin' touchdown, they did not gain a single first down and had a pair of three-and-outs. On the opening drive of the overtime period, quarterback Michael Vick was sacked for a 7-yard loss by defensive end Cliff Avril. That put the Eagles in a precarious position that they were never able to recover from.
"We have to do a better job of protecting (Vick). You get that (7-yard) loss it's going to be an uphill battle in trying to get back the position that you lost," Avant said. "It forced up to call three straight shots down the field which was definitely not beneficial to our team. It put our defense in a bad spot and they kicked the field goal to win it."
Now, the Eagles have two weeks to figure out how to get back on track.
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