Lost in the holiday shuffle this week was a little gem from Sheldon Brown, in which he indicated that the atmosphere around the Eagles was too tight before they were eliminated from the playoffs, and that it stemmed from the coaching staff and trickled down. As reported by Kevin Roberts:
"We all played tight -- you know what I mean?" Brown told reporters
Sunday. "The last two weeks it was like: Let's just go play ball. We
should have had that attitude from day one."
Someone asked Brown why that didn't happen.
"It's a trickle-down effect," Brown said. "If the coaches feel tight,
it trickles down to the players. They're like: Oh, I can't make a
mistake. I can't make a mistake.
"Now the coaches are relaxed, the players are relaxed and we're having
fun playing and that's how it's always been since I've been here. I
don't know why it wasn't that way from the beginning."
I don't think the coaching staff was by any means perfect this season, but this is a weak excuse for a team underperforming in key games, even if it's true. Worse than believing it, however, is saying it. Nothing good can ever come of blaming your coaching staff for losses (see: Giants 2006), and with what Big Red's been through this year, it's like rubbing salt in a pretty deep set of wounds.
Some sobering stats after the jump.
Also reported by Roberts:
The Eagles are the only NFL team to have outscored their opponents and
still have a losing record. The Eagles are one of only four teams
ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in both total offense and total defense
-- and they're the only one of the four not leading their respective
>>Eagles cornerback points finger at coaching staff [Courier Post Online]