Brotherly Love

If you search for the definition of the word “teamwork” you will read: the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.

The Eagles are a textbook definition of what a team should be. If the Super Bowl didn’t prove that, Brandon Brooks did yesterday. Brooks, coming off of a great season as the starting Right Guard, restructured his salary to make more cap room available for the team. He took to twitter to confirm the money he saved the team will be used to pay Nick Foles. Brooks proved he’s willing to take care of his Quarterback on or off the field.

Brooks is not the only player to restructure their contract to save the club money. Lane Johnson, the man lined up next to Brooks on the right side of the line, also worked out a deal to help the team. The Eagles will now save $13.8 million from these restructures. How this money gets spent on the team remains unknown. What is known though is that these players are willing to make sacrifices to benefit the team.

This unselfishness is nothing new. You’d be hard-pressed to find any cases of ego or greediness from last year’s Eagles squad. Snap counts, which can cause issues in some NFL locker rooms, were no problem at all. When the team traded for Jay Ajayi mid-season, not one player already on the roster complained. In fact, the group seemed to greatly benefit from the trade. Despite being in direct competition with each other, Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, and Corey Clement were all each other’s biggest fans. When one player break a long run or score a touchdown, the other Running Backs were usually the first to celebrate.

Perhaps the best example of this team first mentality was how Carson Wentz responded when he was injured for the year.  He, along with the rest of the team, put total faith in Nick Foles.

Their relationship is one that has evolved through the short time they’ve been teammates. Early in training camp Foles was merely a backup, holding the clipboard for Wentz. But as the year went on, Foles began to mentor Wentz and help with certain plays. The two would be seen on the sideline talking about coverages or certain routes. And when it was Foles turn to start, Carson repaid the favor. Their bond is evident even to the casual fan.  Trade rumors involving Nick Foles have been going on nonstop since the Super Bowl, but the team seems content. Both men understand the situation the team is in, and both seem willing to embrace their roles to help collect more wins.

This whole team first mentality is one that was put in place by Head Coach Doug Pederson. It was his mantra since the beginning of OTA’s. While this idea may seem cliché or hokey, it’s one that the Eagles have fully bought into. It shows that the players care for each other, and all want to win together. In addition to their sheer talent, the Eagles won last year largely by sticking together and playing as a team. So far this offseason, they’ve continued that and are still proving why they’re the envy of the league.

Every Championship team must lose pieces the following year. This team is no exception. But despite what players might not be back next year, the cohesion the team has built will undoubtedly remain. Pretty soon just the Eagles logo will appear when “teamwork” is searched.

Richard Welenc

A Philadelphia native who loves sports, writing, and cheesesteaks – in that order. Being retweeted by Brian Dawkins remains life’s crowning achievement.
@RichWelenc

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