Safety Julian Love
Q: What happened on that (Eagles wide receiver) DeVonta Smith touchdown?
A: Made a great break on the ball. (I) thought I had it. And in that situation, either I take him out or just highpoint it. I judged it, I thought, well. And I (said), 'I got to go up and get it.'
Q: Is that on your mind when you're in that situation? I know that's a split-second thing, but you've seen penalties called in that situation where if you try to take him out, that may be a penalty. Do you factor that in in that split-second, or is it just 'make the play in that moment'?
A: Yeah, I read it perfectly I thought. Ball was in the air. I thought it was slightly overthrown, so I thought I had an easy 'catch it' opportunity. I didn't realize his positioning. I just misjudged. So, in that situation I've got to make contact and go up and get it.
Q: This team has exceeded expectations this season, but obviously facing a team like the Eagles serves as a test. What does the result say about the team?
A: Sometimes, you get your ass beat. That's as simple as it is. But we can't let this fester really. We got to go in tomorrow, make corrections. And then our morale has to stay high because it's been high all year. That's what has brought close games home for us. So, that's kind of the story. That's the message: We got to correct this. It sucks. You're going to feel a little bit hurt, but you got to bounce back because we got important stuff in front of us still.
Q: Have you ever played against a team so close? You played Washington last week. You got them coming up next week. And what does that do for you preparation-wise?
A: I can't remember if I've ever had it this close together – especially division games. But I think they're fresh on your mind. So, we left some stuff out there last week that we had to make opportunities on this week. So, it's a big week of prep for us.
Q: This being the first time you've seen the Eagles live, how good are they in your estimation – just watching them up close and personal?
A: They're a good team. They're pretty balanced across the board. There were opportunities for plays from a few of us early in the game, and that's kind of been the story of that Eagles team. So, we got to make the plays because when that happens, then they get a lead. And we're stressing to make plays at that point. So, we got to keep the offense on the field. Defense has to get off the field much sooner. And they're a good team.
Q: You played against (Eagles quarterback) Jalen (Hurts) last year. Comparing him from last year to this year, it seems like he's made a huge step forward.
A: Yeah, I think their play calling has really stepped up and allowed him (to make) some good reads. When it's time to run, he's dangerous with his legs. They have a good (running) back to complement the run game, and then you add a guy like (Eagles wide receiver) A.J. Brown, it changes things. So, their team is pretty balanced. And thankfully, we have another shot at them.
Q: You said, obviously, you know what's in front of you. You guys know what's at stake next week in Washington – at least you do. As a locker room, is there an emotional component to this right now that if it's not overnight into tomorrow, where you said last week, there are leaders in this locker room that kind of make sure everybody knows what's at stake here?
A: Yeah, this is an emotional game. You work your ass off. You put your heart out there, and sometimes a result isn't what you want. That's life, and it's a good depiction in the game of football. For us, we prepared hard all week, and we fell very much short today. But that's the life of an NFL player; that's the life of an NFL team. So, for next week, you got to pick yourself up, fill the tank back up and go at it again. That's why we're out there – not only for what we do on the field, how physical we are, all that stuff, all the talents, all the gifts we have – but (for) the mental fortitude that we have as well. So, that's what this team is. So, that's what you're going to see next week.
Q: Back in September, you had high praise for (head coach Brian) Daboll and the culture that he had created in the building. What did he say to you after that play with (DeVonta) Smith or anything at all?
A: (Laughs) He said, 'What happened?' I told him I thought I had it, and he said, 'Okay.' That's pretty much it. I've said it before: The best players have to play the best. In that situation, yeah, I got to make the play. That helps out our team. That changes things drastically. You don't know where the game could be (if I'd made the play). There's a few plays out there that if we make the play, things change. And I wish I could be perfect. I misjudged it. I'm going to be working on that in practice this next week.
Q: Do you think that the deficit in the first half was just too much to overcome?
A: It's tough. When you're playing, by a lot of people('s standard), the best team in the league, yeah. You can't get down. You got to keep the game close. We've been doing that all year – keeping games close. And we didn't. We let up some big plays early on in all three phases of the game, really, to let that thing get out of hand. So, that's what it is. We have to start much faster next week.
Q: I know you guys aren't using injuries as an excuse, but we know you don't have Leo (defensive lineman Leonard Williams). You haven't had (cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson). You haven't had (safety) Xavier (McKinney), so this isn't the same defense that was together a month ago. Is there any sense that you guys can find something, maybe get a couple of those guys back in the stretch run to make a difference?
A: I'm not sure. I try to be available and be out there. It's the game of football, it's violent. And so, we took some tough breaks these past few weeks. We hope these guys can get back out there. We can't bank on that. The mentality really is 'help isn't on its way.' Everyone who's up, everyone who's playing, needs to play because you're not going to get bailed out. So, that's kind of the energy and the mindset we have: Yeah, we want some guys to come back – we want some guys to get healthy – but you got to do it yourself. So, that's what we're preaching right now in the locker room.
Q: Is this still a playoff team in your mind?
A: Yeah, without a doubt. Listen, I haven't been in this position. Four games left – I haven't been in this position to control my destiny, to control our destiny. And that juice has remained in the building. That energy has remained in the building, which is great. We're not depleted there. We got to shake this one off. But we have four games in front of us, starting with this next one against Washington, which is what you want. When you grow up, as a kid, you want games that are 'everything's on the line.' So, that's how we're treating it.