Eagles are, to borrow a Bill Belichick Phrase, "On to Cincinnati"
PHILADELPHIA - Bill Belichick added the phrase "on to Cincinnati" to the NFL lexicon after a particularly bad loss against Kansas City during the 2014 season.
The Bengals happen to be on the schedule next for the 0-2 Eagles and the Philadelphia defensive unit was trying to tap into the Belichick sentiment on Wednesday, morphing from a disappointing 37-19 setback to the Los Angeles Rams to a Week 3 matchup against Cincinnati.
The only thing between that goal was the reporters wanting to know what happened against Sean McVay's Rams especially after hearing the defenders verbalize what was coming beforehand.
Jim Schwartz tried to shield his players from blame Tuesday but few were buying what the defensive coordinator was trying to sell.
"What happened on the field was I had a poor game plan," said Schwartz. "We had a very simple game plan. ... We've had success with that in the past. But in an effort to do that, also created a lot of conflict with what the guys were doing. It gave them a lot of stuff to look at."
A number of the players spoke Wednesday and appreciated Schwartz's willingness to accept responsibility but also revealed his culpability was only part of the problem.
"We have to be able to execute what’s going on out on the field, starting with bad eyes and all," said cornerback Avonte Maddox on Wednesday. "We have to have good eyes, starting from the back end, moving to the linebackers, and defensive tackles. It was just not all (Schwartz's) fault.
"It’s everyone’s fault. We’re collectively a team, and we were all down on our backs and we’re ready to move on."
Fellow CB Darius Slay also appreciated the gesture from his boss but wasn't ready to abdicate a role in the debacle.
"We are not going to put it all on him, but as a coach, as a defensive coordinator, he did take the blame. We could have done a lot of stuff better as too a group, as a unit," Slay said. "But having a coach like that, that take it like that, is a great coach.
"He has been in the game for a long time. He done seen it all and did it all. So we appreciate him the most for doing that. All that does is make us want to fight harder for him, each and every day, even though we already do. But just the max effort. Go out there every play and try to give it our all."
Linebacker Nate Gerry was one of the most obvious Eagles having a bad day against LA, allowing touchdowns to tight end Tyler Higbee in pass coverage and also getting fooled on misdirection on a number of occasions.
“The first (TD) was a boot, I’m not here to point any fingers or anything, but I know the second one I had a man-to-man and it’s just one of those plays where he was wide high and he just ran down the opposite hash and I lost my eyes for a split second and got out-leveraged," said Gerry on Wednesday.
Now that all the obituaries are written it's time to flush the poor performance, according to Gerry.
“We talked about it, we obviously went over the tape, we learned from our mistakes, we understood what type of mistakes we had. You’ve just got to flush it," he said. "Obviously, we haven’t had the season we wanted to start out the way it has, but our goals are obviously still out in front of it.
"So it’s easier for us to flush it knowing that we still have the objectives and goals ahead of us that we still want to accomplish so it’s just one of the bumps in the road we’ve got to put it behind us and I think that we’ve learned from it and especially after today’s practice I feel like we’ve definitely flushed it.”
It's on to Cincinnati.
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM and every Monday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SportsMap Radio. He’s also the host of Extending the Play on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Get the latest Eagles news by joining the community. Click "Follow" at the top right of the EagleMaven page. Mobile users click the notification bell. And please follow @kracze on Twitter.