Eagles center Jason Kelce said this week that “it’s going to be even harder to have a really, really good season” after winning the NFC title because other teams are going to be keying on stopping the things that they did well during that run.
Kelce’s comments fit the notion that the Eagles will enter the 2023 season with targets on their backs, but one of his teammates took issue with that idea during a Friday appearance on NFL Network. Linebacker Nakobe Dean said the team still sees itself as chasing rather than the one being chased.
“We’ve got a lot of underdogs on the team, a lot of people who play with a lot of chips on their shoulders, so we’ll never sit back and act like we’re the one with the targets on our backs. . . . We don’t look at it like we’ve got the target on our back. We look at it like we’re the ones out there hunting,” Dean said.
Dean will be more primed for the hunt than some of his older teammates. The 2022 third-rounder played sparingly on defense as a rookie, but is ticketed for a bigger role after offseason changes to the linebacking corps and that will position him for a bigger impact on how things play out for the Eagles this time around.