I stopped in Cleveland last week to talk to ex-Eagles Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong, as well as former Eagles GM Tom Heckert. The Brown and Gocong pieces will appear in the Daily News and on Philly.com tomorrow. But here’s a sampling of what they had to say:
Brown said that besides injuries and the departure of Brian Dawkins, the defense also was hindered by the fact that some of his teammates didn’t buy into some of the things Sean McDermott was doing.
``You have to believe in what’s in place,’’ he said. ``I didn’t always feel that everybody felt that way last year. That’s my personal opinion. Other people might disagree. But that’s my personal opinion.’’
More on that: ``I’m not saying this guy or that guy didn’t buy in. I’m saying that’s the way I felt. To me, when Jim (Johnson) said something, nobody dared question him. Sean knows what he’s doing. He’s a good coach. I enjoyed playing for him. He’s a heckuva young, talented coach. But there were some guys in the locker room who questioned some of the things that were being done.’’
Gocong is happy to be with the Browns, where he’ll play mainly inside in their 3-4 scheme, but get a chance to rush the passer; something he seldom got the opportunity to do with the Eagles.
On his benching late last season: ``To go through that, to be starting for several years and then all of a sudden, to be sitting down, you feel like a rookie. I was on kickoffs and doing all that stuff. Whatever. I took it with a grain of salt and tried to do my best running (on) kickoff (coverage) and doing kickoff returns, knowing my time was coming. And here it is.’’
Gocong said he feels his benching had nothing to do with his on-field performance and everything to do with the fact that he was on the final year of his contract.
``It was understood,’’ he said. ``I can’t remember the last linebacker they extended.’’