PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s fair to say the Pittsburgh Steelers were impressed by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Steelers Defensive end Cameron Heyward said Carson Wentz played “like a Hall Of Famer” and veteran offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert apparently talked to Eagles defensive lineman Brandon Graham about a February rematch.
“[Gilbert] gave me a nice compliment after the game and just told me, ‘We’ll see you guys in the Super Bowl because ain’t nobody gonna be able to block ya’ll,'” Graham told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show. “It was kinda cool. It was kinda cool.”
Eagles radio analyst and former wide receiver Mike Quick was asked about Gilbert’s comment to Graham on the 94WIP Mike & Ike Show a few hours later.
“It doesn’t get much better than that,” said Quick. “Guys play for that. That type of respect goes a long way.”
Graham had his way against Gilbert recording a tackle for a loss, a quarterback hit, and one of the Eagles’ four sacks en route to an Eagles 34-3 blowout win over the Steelers.
The Eagles have been dominant on defense through three games, allowing a league-best nine points per game. Seven of those points came on an Eddie Royal punt return against the Bears. In the previous three seasons under Chip Kelly and Billy Davis’ 3-4 system, the Eagles never finished better than 17th in points per-game allowed.
New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and his aggressive 4-3 system fits the Eagles’ personnel better, Graham says.
“I think because we had a scheme change and everybody that was here already, kind of fit that mold already, as far as 4-3,” Graham said of the success of the defense. “Because we went from 3-4, as far as reading and reacting. Now we attack and react and now it’s like — I mean that played right up our alley. Because me and Fletch [Fletcher Cox], Bennie [Bennie Logan] and those guys we all been here before. We’ve been through this system, and we love system, and we just had to learn the terminology. But it was like night and day. Everybody was just excited because we’re back to what we knew, what got us here.
Listen: Brandon Graham on the 94WIP Morning Show
“Sometimes, some coaches that’s what they like,” Graham continued. “And it’s on them. I’d rather go out doing what I know, I guess that’s what he’s been doing. So, I mean we just adjusted, but now we’re back into what we know and that’s why teams look how they look right now.”
Graham already has three sacks this season, just three and a half off his career high. As a team, the Eagles are tied for third in the NFL with 10 sacks.
“My whole attitude changed,” Graham said when asked about playing in Schwart’z system. “I don’t have to think about much. I know I don’t have too much responsibility. All I know is go get that quarterback once we stop the run and everything else kind of goes without saying.
“I promise I ain’t ever been on a team where the backend was as good as we are right now. And man, I’m just loving it because it’s giving us time to get there.”
You think Graham likes playing for Schwartz a little bit?
“Man, I’m telling you Schwartz is dedicated,” Graham said. “I’m hoping we gonna have him for years to come.”