By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a day the Eagles were hoping wouldn’t come for another month.
Two days after losing to the Saints in the first round of the playoffs, the Eagles cleaned out their lockers as the off-season got underway. Players such as Brent Celek knew the team had come a long way from a 4-12 campaign in 2012, but still had a feeling of unfinished business.
“I’m still feeling this loss right now,” said Celek. “Physically, I still feel pretty good. That’s what hurts, too. We feel like we’re a better team than just this first round. I wish we would have won. That’s what I’m thinking about right now.”
Quarterback Nick Foles was also trying to come to terms with the end of the season, and says he’ll miss going to work with his teammates until they get together again for their off-season workouts in the spring.
“My body feels like we’re still playing,” Foles said. “When I woke up this morning, I had to lay back down for an hour to calm myself down because I wanted to get going. I’m going to remember this feeling for the rest of my career. I enjoy playing this game and I enjoy playing with my teammates.”
Head Coach Chip Kelly received plenty of praise in his first season as head coach of the Eagles. Kelly said he learned much about the NFL in his first year on the job, and is ready to move forward after seeing his team’s season come to an end.
“It’s an exciting time for us to take the next step,” said Kelly. “I think we’ve laid a foundation, but you’ve got to build something upon that foundation. You can’t rest on your laurels.”
While many of the players talked about what the team could accomplish in 2014, Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson expressed his desire to restructure his contract. Jackson is due to make $10.25 million next season, but it is not guaranteed money.
“I definitely feel like I’m still a top receiver in this league,” Jackson said. “I was able to do some very special things. I really don’t think there’s too many wide receivers that can bring that to the field. Hopefully, we can work things out smoothly and not have to worry about anything out of the ordinary.”