Player Diary

Listening to what the critics have to say is useless I think these camps get easier and easier as you get more experience. But honestly, I think working out with Greg [Comella] so much during the off-season has been such a big help. My physical conditioning, beside the mental part, has been so high coming into camp that things flow a lot easier and I don't get as winded. I really don't dread camp as much as I used to.

There's just such a different feeling here now, from me to Greg to the whole team. That's the confidence that develops when you have success. There's really no substitute for it. You can't get it until you've earned it and experienced it. I had so much individual success last year that coming into camp this season, my mentality is a lot different. It's not so much to prove myself and show everyone how good I am. It's more to find ways to make my teammates and myself better so that we can keep winning.

Winning is infectious. Once you start winning, you don't want to go back to the old losing ways. I think we have a lot of team confidence. There are a lot of guys still in place so that gives us a lot of confidence. But we also know that it's going to be tough this year. We know there are going to be tough times. But like Coach Fassel told us, we know it's not going to be a smooth road. We have to survive the bumps and keep pushing forward.

I think the maturity we've developed the last three or four years is so much different, from the coach on down. I think we now know exactly how to approach things and how to prepare for a season.

We're kind of surprised that everyone's picking the Eagles to win the division this year. Last year in camp, I wrote that we would definitely make the playoffs. There's no need to make any guarantees now, but we definitely relish the fact that we're the NFC Champions and we're not even being predicted to win our division. We've always been considered an underdog. Even last year, when we were playing really good football, no one believed that we could do it and everyone thought we'd eventually drop off.

Being an underdog is something that we like. Let people keep labeling us that and we'll keep proving them wrong. All you do is play for respect in this league. The only way to gain respect is to win. So by listening to what all the critics have to say is useless. The only way to achieve success is to internalize everything. We were able to do that last year and that's why we were so successful.

I'm glad to see in the first week or so up here that we didn't lose any beats from our intensity level from last year. It's still all there. The momentum we took going into the playoffs and up until the Super Bowl, that intensity is still here and you can see it in the way that we're working and practicing. That's very encouraging.

Personally, I'm really looking to do much of the same I did last year. With Ron Dayne coming on, it's going to help everyone, especially me. He made such a commitment this off-season. He's in great shape, his body is physically sound and his mind is in the right place. He now knows what it takes to win on this level and what it takes to contribute. I think the better he gets, the better I'll be. Our versatility is something that really makes our offense a threat.

People always want to know if I set numerical goals. Honestly, I don't. It's not really something I think about; I just let it go. My numbers were high enough last year, that if I play well enough this season, I'll have good enough stats.

Needless to say, this has been a great off-season. Starting with the contract, that was just such a great feeling. You play for job security, even though in the NFL you never really have it because you're not going to get guaranteed contracts. You want to get to the NFL to make money and make a name for yourself. But you also want to win championships. I've really done all right with the first two. Now my primary goal is to win championships. Whatever it takes, I'm going to get there.

My life was a lot different since the Super Bowl. It was like everyone was my friend in New York City. People would come up to me to say Hi and congratulate me. Those things really make you feel good about what you've accomplished. So many people care about us so much. It's a big sports town, and when you're successful, there's nothing better than it.

I did a lot of cool things this off-season, but the highlight was definitely getting to compete in the SuperStars competition. I didn't place well, but my brother, Ronde, did much better. He finished second; I finished eighth. It was interesting to see how you fare against athletes from all the other sports. It was just cool to get to go to Jamaica.

I also moved right before camp. That goes along with the security thing. Ginny and I have wanted to buy a place for a while now. So we finally did and we're living in the Upper East Side. We're not renting and throwing money away any more, so that's a good feeling too.

Finally, on a personal note, I have to send my best to Howard and Pia Cross. Pia just had twins – Howard, Jr. and Isabella – and Ginny and I are fortunate to be the godparents for both of them. That really means a lot to us. It's quite an honor and a privilege.


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