PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The cliches were out in full force this week.
As expected, the Eagles had plenty of compliments for the winless San Francisco 49ers. If you listened to the Eagles throughout the week, you’d think the 49ers of the 1980’s with Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott were rolling into town. While the 2017 49ers hardly remind anyone of the Super Bowl winning San Francisco teams, the Eagles are clearly not taking their opponents lightly.
Quarterback Carson Wentz has plenty of concerns with the San Francisco Defense.
“Their defense is solid,” said Wentz. “They fly around. Their front seven is actually pretty impressive. You turn on the tape and you wouldn’t think that’s an 0-7 football team. We’ve got to stick with what we do best.”
The Eagles have not acted like an overconfident squad throughout the week. The team continues to take a one week at a time approach and Safety Rodney McLeod credits Coach Doug Pederson for keeping his players focused with struggling San Francisco coming to town.
“I think us leaders on the team do a good job of putting an emphasis on that,” McLeod said. “So does Doug. He showed us a statistic earlier this week on previous years and on how teams at 5-1 and 6-2 were playing a team that didn’t have the best record. It shows you that each and every Sunday, you have to bring your “A” game.”
Heavy rain is in the forecast for Sunday, which the 49ers are hoping will help even the playing field. The Eagles may see a heavy dose of Carlos Hyde, the San Francisco Running Back who has had plenty of heavy workloads in the past. McLeod is preparing for a lot of carries by Hyde if the wet weather arrives during Sunday’s game.
“There’s no telling what the weather is going to be on Sunday,” said McLeod. “Obviously, they are calling for a lot of rain, so there might be a heavy run game for them. They have a good running back over there in Hyde, He runs hard and aggressive and fights for every yard.”
Eagles Tight End Brant Celek is clearly not looking past the 49ers. There is extra motivation for the veteran with his younger brother, Garrett, on the San Francisco roster. For Celek, Sunday’s game will also be a family affair.
“It’s going to be fun,” Celek said. “I’m preparing just like any other game. I don’t know if there’s really going to be any times where I line up against him. If that was the case, it would be a little different story, but it will probably be more fun for my family.”
The Celeks have cut off contact for the week with the exception of one text.
“He said he was going to do something to me on one play,” said a smiling Celek. “I responded.”