Grugier-Hill says he’s sorry for hav­ing fun

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Bob Grotz [email protected]­tu­ry­ @bobgrotz on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA » The real Kamu GrugierHill, not the im­poster from the pre­vi­ous day, walked the gaunt­let to reach his spot near the far end of the Ea­gles’ locker room Fri­day.

Grugier-Hill looked at the crowd en­camped there, took a deep breath and de­clared “Let’s get this over with.”

While he didn’t call the Dal­las Cow­boys chok­ers, as he did ear­lier in the week, he didn’t take it back, ei­ther.

“I mean, it’s a ri­valry game,” Grugier-Hill said. “I didn’t re­ally think too much about it. Ob­vi­ously, I didn’t mean to dis­re­spect this or­ga­ni­za­tion or Coach Ped­er­son. But I’ve just got a lot of con­fi­dence in our guys, con­fi­dence in my­self go­ing into this game.”

Grugier-Hill said he apol­o­gized to Ea­gles head coach Doug Ped­er­son for cre­at­ing the dis­trac­tion. But he also made it clear he wasn’t seek­ing ab­so­lu­tion. The in­ci­dent stemmed from an in­ter­view Grugier-Hill did with a tele­vi­sion re­porter Wed­nes­day, say­ing, “Look at Dal­las’ his­tory. They al­ways choke. So we’ll go down there and make them choke.”

That was enough to get ev­ery­thing stirred up. By Thurs­day, Cow­boys quar­ter­back Dak Prescott re­sponded by ask­ing “who?” when told of Grugier-Hill’s com­ments. Then, Prescott added, “Coach (Ja­son) Gar­rett has a great say­ing, and I don’t know where he got it from, but win­ners worry about win­ning and losers worry about win­ners.”

Mean­while Ea­gles wide re­ceiver Shel­ton Gib­son slipped into Grugier-Hill’s jer­sey, hid his face in a hoodie and tow­els and walked slowly to Grugier-Hill’s locker Thurs­day. When re­porters swarmed Gib­son, think­ing he was the real thing, he got up and left amid laugh­ter from his team­mates.

“I heard about it but I had noth­ing to do with it,” Grugier-Hill said. Sure. But there is some pretty com­pelling ev­i­dence to sug­gest the Cow­boys (7-5), who lead the NFC East, are in­deed ... chok­ers.

If there was any jus­tice in this world, Tony Romo would have been do­ing the TV Sun­day, not Troy Aik­man, and the game would come down to a bob­bled field goal snap.

Ped­er­son was as sym­pa­thetic as he could be, given the cur­rent cir­cum­stances.

“He un­der­stands,” Grugier-Hill said. “It’s a big ri­valry. We all know that. And it’s go­ing to be a great game. It’s a big week. We’ve got a lot go­ing on go­ing into this week­end. We’re just con­fi­dent in our­selves and con­fi­dent in the way we play.”

Ped­er­son said the Ea­gles have “a ton of re­spect” for the Cow­boys. The re­al­ity is that there is no love lost in the ri­varly. For­mer Birds kicker David Ak­ers trashed Dal­las at the NFL Draft last spring, crack­ing up the the crowd with, among other punch­lines, “Hey Dal­las, the last time you won the Super Bowl, these draft picks weren’t born.”

Ped­er­son ob­jected most to the bul­letin board ram­i­fi­ca­tions of Grugier-Hill’s notso-po­lit­i­cally-cor­rect quotes.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate that the com­ments were made,” Ped­er­son said. “I talk to the team a lot about how we don’t need to post any­thing that can be used on other teams’ web­sites or bul­letin boards. It’s un­for­tu­nate that hap­pened. We still have to go play. They have to play. It’s go­ing to be a good foot­ball game.”

If the Cow­boys go af­ter Grugier-Hill, he’ll be ready. But he’s not go­ing to worry about it.

It might be worth it, since the Ea­gles (66) would move into first place in the di­vi­sion with a vic­tory.

“We’re con­fi­dent in our guys, con­fi­dent in this team and our abil­ity to win this game,” Grugier-Hill said. Noth­ing wrong with say­ing that, right?


Not much change on the Ea­gles’ in­jury re­port.

Out of ac­tion this week­end are line­backer Jor­dan Hicks (calf) and cor­ner­back Jalen Mills (foot).

De­fen­sive back Avonte Mad­dox (knee, an­kle) is ques­tion­able, al­though he’s a ga­me­time de­ci­sion. Ea­gles lead­ing pass rusher Michael Ben­net (6.5 sacks) is ques­tion­able with a foot is­sue, as is de­fen­sive tackle Timmy Jerni­gan, with a back in­jury.


Ea­gles rookie run­ning back Josh Adams has seven rushes of 15 or more yards since Week 8. Ac­cord­ing to the Ea­gles, that’s tied for fifth-most in the league over that stretch (with a min­i­mum of 60 at­tempts).

Tight end Zach Ertz has 93 catches. He’s on pace for 124 re­cep­tions.

Ertz needs just seven grabs to be­come the fourth tight end in league his­tory with 100 catches in a sea­son. The oth­ers are Ja­son Wit­ten, Tony Gon­za­lez and Dal­las Clark.


NOTES » Ea­gles pivot Ja­son Kelce has started 69 straight reg­u­lar-sea­son games, the sec­ond-longest ac­tive streak for a cen­ter be­hind Ben Jones (77) of the Ti­tans . ... Kelce (sixth round) and run­ning back Dion Lewis (fifth), now with the Ti­tans, are the only ac­tive picks from a 2011 Ea­gles draft headed by Danny Watkins and Jai­quawn Jar­rett . ... The Ea­gles ear­lier this sea­son of­fered the Raiders a sec­ond-round draft pick for Amari Cooper, who in his last two games for Dal­las has 16 re­cep­tions for 255 yards (127.5 per game) and two TDs. The Cow­boys gave up their first-round pick this year for Cooper in an Oc­to­ber trade. The As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.


Ea­gles line­backer Kamu Grugier-Hill en­joys a mo­ment af­ter be­ing asked what got into him when he called the Cow­boys chok­ers.

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