If I was lucky enough to talk to the team pre-game, this is how it would go…
So today marks the beginning of a brand new season. It’s not just any season though because a lot has changed since last year. There are a lot of new faces. Sometimes that can be a good or bad thing, but that’s up to you.
It’s no secret that there hasn’t been a winning team around here in a long time. Ask Phil Dawson. He’ll tell you. But we’re not here to dwell on the past. That’s just the culture we’ve inherited, but it isn’t the culture we have to live with any more.
Things change all the time. There’s a new owner in town. A family legacy and a billion dollars changed this off-season. So even when you don’t know it, drastic change could be right around the corner. Even though we’ve lost a lot lately, winning is right there as an available option.
Speaking of the new owner, a lot of fans and media will tell you and me that we’re all playing for our jobs. None of that matters though. If you’re playing for your job, then you’re playing scared. If you’re playing for your job that means that you doubt yourself. If you’re playing for your job that means you think you might not be good enough to be in this league. Do you think that about yourself? If you do, you might as well just walk right out of here right now. It’s a waste of your time and a waste of mine too.
Look, you know you’re good football players. I know you’re good too. That’s why you’ve been chosen to play here. Not because we’re looking to just save our jobs, but because you are the guys we want to build this culture with. Not a culture of just getting by, but a culture of winning. Because that’s what we’re here to do. Don’t just believe you can win. Know it. Every time the ball is snapped you should know that each tackle, block, pass, catch, run, that whatever you’re doing is better than whatever the guy across from you is doing. If you do that – to a man – I promise you we can come out of here today with a win.
Those fans out there today don’t expect much of you, and who can blame them? But it isn’t because they don’t want you to win. It’s because they’re fans and they can’t control the outcome of the game. Those media guys out there predicting a ten point loss today can’t control the outcome either. But we can.
It is a privilege and an honor to control your own destiny. Don’t let the Eagles go out there and take that away from you.
If you do that, wins will happen and soon enough they won’t be saying you’re playing for your jobs. They’ll be wondering if other guys are good enough to play against you. They’ll be wondering if other teams are fast enough, or physical enough to play against the toughest team in the NFL. Will quarterbacks be brave enough to stand in the pocket against you? Will receivers be willing to come across the middle? Will defenses stack the box and dare you to throw? It’s all up to you and today’s a new day to create that image for the media, the fans, and most importantly yourselves.
It’s up to you and it starts today. Do you want to play well enough to keep your job or do you want to shoot right past that and be a winner? Seems like an easy choice to me.