Grugier-Hill says he’s sorry for having fun
The real Kamu Grugier-Hill, 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.”
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 circumstances.
“He understands,” GrugierHill 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, which you can take any way you want. 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 to the bulletin board ramifications of Grugier-Hill’s not-so-politically-correct quotes. But he tried to dismiss that, as well.
“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 (6-6) 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 game-time 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.
Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill enjoys a light moment after being asked what got into him Friday when he called the Cowboys chokers.