Eagles complete remarkable turnaround, look ahead

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm •  Published: December 30, 2013
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — By the time they reached the locker room after winning the NFC East title and completing a worst-to-first journey under rookie coach Chip Kelly, the Philadelphia Eagles already were thinking ahead to their playoff opponent.

They'll have plenty of time to reflect on their accomplishments later.

"The way they shifted their focus to the next game just minutes after we won was most impressive to me," general manager Howie Roseman said Monday night on his radio show.

The Eagles went from 4-12 to 10-6, a remarkable turnaround after a miserable ending with Andy Reid last year. The makeover started with the hiring of Kelly, the hotshot college coach who needed convincing to leave Oregon.

While most people outside the organization expected this to be a rebuilding season in Philadelphia, players and coaches bought into Kelly's way right from the start and accelerated the process.

"It was evident to me on April 1 when I got here with these guys and got a chance to be with them for the first day that they were kind of the mind-set: 'Whatever it takes, what do you want us to do and where do we got to be and how are we going to do it,' and that's a credit to them," Kelly said.

"That's why we are where we are, because they are the ones that play. They are the ones that go out there every single day. They are the ones that train. They are the ones that have done everything as a staff that we have asked them to do and the results are everything that they put into, and that's the great thing about this game is that you can't fake football. You get out of it exactly what you put into it and these guys put in an unbelievable effort and it's paying off for them on the field."

The Eagles advanced by beating Dallas 24-22 and will host the New Orleans Saints (11-5) on Saturday night in their first playoff game since Michael Vick threw an interception in the end zone in the final minute of a 21-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 9, 2011.

Win or lose, it's been a successful season. But nobody is thinking that way around here.

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