What are the Philadelphia Eagles' players and coaches talking about ahead of Sunday's matchup against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field? Let's find out:
1. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was really complimentary of the playmaking weapons the Lions have on both sides of the ball when speaking to Detroit reporters via conference call on Wednesday. He talked specifically about wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, tight end T.J. Hockenson, quarterback Jared Goff, running back D’Andre Swift and defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson. Expect Sirianni and the Eagles to have a plan for all those players.
2. Eagles Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce had this to say about the Lions this week, via the Philadelphia Inquirer: "I do know this – I think Detroit's a really, really good team. And if we don't come out there and play up to our potential, and play as good as we can play, we will get beat. They're too good for us to be like, 'Hey, we made a bunch of offseason moves this year, and on paper we're better.' That's not the way it works in this league."
View photos of the starters for the Philadelphia Eagles.
3. Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen will certainly be aware of where Hutchinson lines up on the field at all times. Steichen told reporters this week he's kept an on eye on Hutchinson throughout the preseason knowing this matchup was looming Week 1. Steichen used the words explosive, long and powerful in describing Hutchinson.
4. Second-year Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon has added a number of new players to his defense this year including: Pass rusher Haason Reddick, safety/slot C.J. Gardner-Johnson, CB James Bradberry, DT Jordan Davis and LB Nakobe Dean. The Eagles' defense should be much improved, but so should the Lions' offense.
"I feel like the last half of the year they kind of came into their own with their identity and how they wanted to play offense, and (it's going to be a) big-time challenge for us," Gannon told philadelphiaeagles.com of the test the Lions pose for his defense this week. "They have a really good o-line, quarterback is a good player, and they have some skill guys."
5. Cornerback Darius Slay spent seven seasons with the Lions after being a second-round pick by Detroit in 2013. The All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler called Detroit his second home when talking with the Philadelphia media this week. He said he always looks forward to going back to Detroit.
"I appreciate that place because it changed my life," Slay said.
6. Speaking of Slay, Sirianni said he was voted a captain by his fellow players this year, and loves how he's become a leader on the team. He said Slay was a big reason for Philly's success last season.
7. Eagles running back Miles Sanders is dealing with a hamstring injury this week, but Sirianni told Eagles beat writers Wednesday, via the Inquirer's Jeff McLane, that his concern level is "not high" with the injury.