PHILADELPHIA — Editor's note: The above video is from Aug. 2.
Leadership has taken the Eagles a long way over the last five seasons, maybe farther than it has taken any other team.
Decimating injuries, slow starts, and anonymous player sources calling out teammates: Most teams dealing with that kind of adversity over five seasons would not win a Super Bowl, and make the playoffs in four of five years.
Veteran leaders like Malcolm Jenkins, Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham, and Fletcher Cox were able to steady the ship and keep those teams together. While many of those tenured pieces of the core are still key voices in the Eagles locker room, there are many young players grabbing the torch, stepping up and leading this team into the future.
Of course, it starts with the quarterback. The signal caller on offense is the most important player on the team: The face of the franchise. The quarterback has to be able to lead not just vocally, but by example too.
The jury is still out on whether or not Jalen Hurts has the passing ability to be the Eagles long term starter, but one thing that has never been questioned is his maturity and leadership. It is his strongest attribute.
But it isn’t just Hurts.
The maturity, leadership, and discipline in this young core’s approach is very apparent. By the way players like DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, and even rookies like Jordan Davis, Cam Jurgens, and Nakobe Dean carry themselves, you would think they have been in the NFL for over a decade.
Smith took rookie receiver Britain Covey to the side during Thursday’s practice to coach him up, even when Smith was injured and not practicing. Jordan Davis and Cam Jurgens have been making sure they stay after practice to learn from Jason Kelce. This young group just seems to get it.
Maybe some of it comes from playing for a powerhouse, NFL-like college programs, such as Alabama and Georgia. Playing for Nick Saban or Kirby Smart certainty helped teach these players how to be a professional, but it is likely that these schools gravitated towards these prospects because they already had that in them.
The Eagles have very high expectations for the 2022 season.
Some think the team could be Super Bowl contenders.
That would go to a lot of young players’ heads, but if any group could avoid Philadelphia failing to meet lofty preseason expectations once again, it might be these guys.