BY PAUL MANCANO—Every year, Eagles junkies and schematic geeks anticipate the release of the Birds’ Sound FX video, which gives them just a five-minute glimpse into the inner-workings of the team during a game. And with an enigmatic head coach and a bashful quarterback, there’s no better opportunity to gleam character from this tight-lipped squad. This year’s video, which was released yesterday, includes a mic’d up Chip Kelly and Nick Foles during last Sunday’s blackout shutout against the Giants. Though the editors skimp on first-half highpoints, they do a good job to piece together some very telling and dramatic moments of the second half. Here are some of the highlights.
The video starts with a brief look at one of Chip Kelly’s many particularly peculiar warm-up routines: the three-man weave—yes, that three-man weave. The one that your coach drilled every grade school basketball practice until you collapsed in a corner and decided you weren’t going to be an NBA player after all. Kelly gleefully tells defensive coordinator Billy Davis that he’s used it in warm-ups ever since his New Hampshire days, despite it being, ya know, a basketball drill. “Hey, if it was good enough for Red Auerback and the Boston Celtics, it’s good enough for us,” he says. Maybe Chip should try implementing Phil Davis’ famous Triangle into his offense; it worked out pretty well for the Lakers.
“Nice toss, big fella”
Following the excellent toss-and-catch touchdown from Nick Foles to Zack Ertz, Mark Sanchez approaches Foles on the bench and complements Number 9. “That was a great ball bro,” he says, seeming genuinely impressed with the throw. It’s awesome to see a veteran comfortable enough with his designation to second-fiddle that he goes out of his way to compliment the starter. Cool moment caught on the mic.
“That’s my teammate”
By this team, most people have figured out Nick Foles is a nice guy—polite, humble, and genuine. But select members of the media have inexplicable and unjustifiably questioned Foles’ passion and leadership. If the Eagles’ 5-1 record doesn’t shut them up, one moment in particular from this video ought to.
When Darren Sproles crumpled to the ground in the third quarter under the weight of several G-Men, Foles jumped to his defense. The video shows Nick yelling at the Giants to back off, then at the referee for not doing more to blow the play dead. “This guy is a special dude right here,” he tells the ref. “That pisses me off. That’s my teammate.” The quarterback then proudly cheers his 5’6” running back as he hobbles off. We’ve heard Foles talk about his love for his teammates and his willingness to fight for them, but we had never really seen it in action. (Why? Because he’s so humble) Foles is a true team player, and he’s a true leader.
“Culture wins football”
Despite the persistence by Eagles brass that DeSean Jackson was cut for “football reasons,” most fans saw through the thinly veiled excuses. D-Jax was cut because his reportedly defiant attitude and lackluster effort was cramping Chip’s style. He didn’t fit the “culture” Chip was attempted to bread within the organization.
During the Giants game, the second-year head coach once again professed his belief in the importance a likeminded football team.
“We got a good group of guys,” he says to an indistinct specialist on the Eagles sideline. “You know why? Cause culture wins football. Culture will beat scheme every day.” Chip imparting his wisdom on a no-name assistant coach near the end of the dominating win is like a scene out of a movie. This is what Chip believes. All the success his team incurs can be traced back not just to talent or scheme, but to culture. This is the moral of his story. Fade to black, roll credits.