It didn't take long - the time between the end of Monday's loss to Green Bay and when Doug Pederson arrived at the podium to explain it - for the rookie head coach to switch perceptibly from the present tense to the future tense when talking about his team.
The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network began to notice geophysical anomalies in the south end of the city of Seattle on Sunday afternoons not long after the NFL Seahawks opened their new stadium in 2002. These were recorded by spectrograms and seismograms that rated frequency content and envelope function and the fascinating sort of things that seismologists like to discuss at cocktail parties, but the bottom line was that the ground was shaking.
IMalcolm Jenkins looked around for a moment on Tuesday during one of the meetings he and four other NFL players had with members of Congress on the subject of race relations in this country, and it struck him that this has been sort of a different year for him, and that he might be different now as well.
In their four losses this season, games that were decided by an average of five points, the Eagles had the ball in the fourth quarter each time with the opportunity to put together a drive that would either assure a victory or provide one. If you have studied the season, or just the words "four losses" in the previous sentence, then you know how those opportunities turned out.
Dorial Green-Beckham is 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, fast and agile, and 23 years old. If you wanted to build an elite NFL wide receiver a slightly taller, comparably quick version of Julio Jones, the elite pass catcher the Eagles face on Sunday the prototype would look a lot like Green-Beckham.
Immediately after the Eagles came off the field at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon, trudging into the locker room having suffered another death by accumulated paper cuts, safety Malcolm Jenkins stopped them and gathered the team into a large huddle around him.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The past week or so hasn't been very kind to the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and, frankly, things didn't improve Sunday in MetLife Stadium when Doug Pederson eschewed two early field-goal attempts in a game his team lost by five points.
It was Wednesday and there were clouds in the sky, but a good chance they would still drift away as the Eagles practiced at the NovaCare Complex. On a near field, Josh Huff was working with the kickoff return team; one eye on the ball, the other on the clouds that would eventually lower and encircle him.
After about a dozen questions at Doug Pederson's weekly Wednesday news conference, several things had been firmly established. The coach was disappointed that receiver/returner Josh Huff had apparently not heard that the only places in the Philadelphia region where you absolutely do not speed are the four bridges patrolled by the Delaware River Port Authority, which really doesn't have a whole lot else to occupy its time.
ARLINGTON, Texas - If Sunday's overtime game in AT&T Stadium between the Eagles and the Cowboys was a peek at the next decade of games between the teams - a future in which the Eagles have Carson Wentz throwing darts and the Cowboys have the lightning combination of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott - then the NFC East is going be two things: very difficult and a lot of fun to watch.
Bob Ford is an award-winning sports columnist for the Inquirer. He is a four-time Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year, as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. His work has been cited numerous times by Associated Press Sports Editors judges, and he won an Eclipse Award for outstanding coverage of horse racing. Prior to becoming a columnist at the Inquirer, Ford was the 76ers beat writer for six seasons and then a general assignment feature writer with a specialty in Olympic sports. In 1995, he was designated a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. Ford has written sports in the Philadelphia area since 1981, when he served as the Phillies beat writer and later as a general sports columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times.