PHILADELPHIA – In the pantheon of great, first-and brimstone motivational messages, the one Nick Sirianni offered to his players on Wednesday was more, let’s say, flowery.
Looking to dig its way out of a 2-5 hole when they travel to play the winless Detroit Lions on Sunday, Sirianni said he put a picture in front of his players during their team meeting prior to practice of a flower and how each player must water and fertilize the flower in order for it to grow and pop.
“That was my message today because we are going through tough times, and everybody wants to see results,” said the Eagles head coach. “But just keep doing what we’re doing, keep watering, look at yourself first, are you watering, and are you fertilizing every day, so when it’s time to pop it’ll pop.”
Not exactly Knute Rockne or Vince Lombardi stuff.
Or even Ray Rhodes for that, matter.
During his stint as the Eagles’ head coach, Rhodes wanted his team to regain its toughness and said this to his team in November of 1996: “People are coming to your house, trying to break into your house, probably sodomize your wife and kids and you don't do anything about it.”
Different era, yes.
But are players really that much different now?
Here’s more context to Sirianni’s message on Wednesday.
He showed the flower to illustrate the root system, which gives a flower its foundation.
“It’s really important that the foundation is being built and that the roots are growing out,” said the coach. “The only way the roots grow out every single day and they grow stronger, and they grow better is that we all water, we all fertilize, we all do our part.
"Each individual coach, each individual player each and everybody in the building that we do our part to water to make sure that when it does pop out it really pops out and it grows.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.