Eagles' skid leaves Joyner speechless

November 26, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

How bad are things for the Philadelphia Eagles these days? They're so bad they've left linebacker Seth Joyner virtually speechless.

Joyner still is talking, but with none of the bite that made him a symbol of the outspoken Eagles in the past when they were known for their swagger.

Just last year, Joyner said coach Rich Kotite was a puppet, owner Norman Braman a cheapskate and Randall Cunningham's 1991 knee injury was punishment from God for not supporting former coach Buddy Ryan.

Now that the Eagles have lost six straight and have been decimated by injuries, Joyner is taking a different tack.

"When we're undermanned as we are this year and you lose as many players as we have, you've kind of got to be realistic about things," he said. "That's why I'm not raising so much hell these days."

When he was asked about his current view of the organization, he ducked the question.

"It really doesn't do anybody any good for me to say anything or try to make a big deal about everything."

Joyner's not into making a big deal about anything these days.

"The reason why I was so emphatic about things last year is that I knew we had the weapons in place. I knew that we had the team to get to the Super Bowl. For some reason, we just weren't getting it done. That's why I was a little more outspoken," he said.

Now he can only look back at the way the Eagles used to be.

"It's very frustrating [that we don't have] the ability in some instances and some cases the smarts to win certain games."

Since he's a free agent at the end of the season, it's assumed he'll follow so many other former Eagles such as Reggie White, Keith Jackson, Keith Byars, Ron Heller and John Booty out the door.

If he's leaving, though, he won't talk about it now.

"I'm really not dealing with those types of questions until the season is over," he said.

What Joyner is doing is sending the team a message that Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins could be their last stand. At 4-6, they're technically still in the playoff race.

"I think the guys have to make a decision right now," Joyner said. "Either you want to play or you're going to lay down and that's going to be the end of the season."

The Redskins already are out of the playoff picture at 2-8. They

didn't have the cushion of the 4-0 start the Eagles had before Cunningham was injured.

Both teams are having trouble scoring, combining for three field goals last week.

"It's very tough to lose six games in a row," Joyner said. "It's not a good feeling when you don't see things improving. It's just very difficult to stay up emotionally."

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