Sunday, October 13, 2013
Locker Room Buzz: Philadelphia Eagles
By Phil Sheridan
TAMPA, Fla. -- Observed in the locker room after the Philadelphia Eagles’ 31-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
MRSA worries allayed: The Eagles were concerned but comfortable playing despite the Buccaneers’ MRSA issue. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans, the NFL Players Association rep for the team, said he “didn’t want my players being scared or worried.” Coach Chip Kelly said the Eagles met with Dr. Deverick J. Anderson of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, which is managing the Bucs’ situation. “He came over and met with myself, Howie [Roseman, the GM], Don [Smolenski, team president], our doctors and [athletic trainer] Chris Peduzzi,” Kelly said. “He gave us the whole rundown. I think we felt comfortable in his answers. He was very helpful, and then our doctors talked to the players.” Ryans added, “They let us know we would be safe playing. That was the biggest thing for me, making sure our players would be safe coming down here. Nobody had any worries in the back of their mind about having a chance of catching MRSA.”
Felt like home: The Eagles’ third consecutive road game felt like a home game. Quarterback Nick Foles was confused by the way the sellout crowd reacted to a few plays. “I felt like it was a home game,” Foles said. “There’s a couple times the crowd was yelling and I thought, 'Oh, no, what happened?' I saw all the green and white jerseys, so it was our fans. We had a tremendous amount of support here. It’s pretty fun.” Kelly said, “To be in an away stadium and listen to the crowd chant us on like that, it was awesome.”
Kelly would've kicked: The Eagles were up 28-20 with just more than three minutes left, and had the ball on fourth-and-inches at the Buccaneers' 17-yard line. Kelly sent the offense out, but only with the hope that Foles could draw the Bucs offside. “It worked,” Kelly said. “You want to kick a field goal in that situation. You want to make it a two-score game, but if we could extend the clock a little bit. Could you go up 11 and take a little more time off the clock? They jumped.” The neutral-zone infraction gave the Eagles a first down. They wound up kicking a 24-yard field goal with 2:34 on the clock. Tampa Bay used all three of its timeouts to stop the clock after the penalty.