November 15, 2017
I went out to California [for the bye week] and hung out by the beach. I was able to get on the NFL Network and experience stuff like that. But it was good. I rented a house on the beach and hung out at the house and barbecued. I took a week off to recharge the body, but mentally as well. You take time off, though at the same time you do an active recovery.
Although you’re not on the field every day, you’re still keeping active, riding a bike an hour a day, or [taking] a slight run. Something like that. I went out to Santa Monica. I wasn’t out all over the place like that. Between being at home and kind of going out to dinner, I took time to relax.
Your game against Denver was one of your best this year, but I know the work that you’ve done this season and it’s been excellent. I found it interesting that you had a group of media around you after the Denver game. I know you’re not someone who beats his chest. What was that like for you?
I take pride in what I do, week in and week out.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of bye week in the NFL?
Obviously, the benefits are what I mentioned before, you can relax and hang out by the beach. You can get your mind off of football and kind of recharge. Obviously, on the other side, guys get sluggish and lethargic [with the time off]. We came back on Monday and we had a practice. We had an extra day of practice getting ready for Dallas. Guys got to blow the pipes out, shake some rust off, and get back into form.
Brandon, this is your second year here in Philadelphia, coming from Houston. And help me out here, I know you’re a proud Miami of Ohio graduate, but who was the traditional rival of Miami of Ohio?
Ohio University, on the other side of Ohio. That’s the “Battle of the Bricks” game.
That obviously gets intense. Who was the Houston Texans’ rival?
Probably Indy [the Indianapolis Colts]. The [AFC South Division] would always come down to Houston and Indy at the end of the year. There was also a little rivalry between Houston and Dallas, just because they’re in the same state. It’s like the battle for Texas.
How different is this rivalry between Dallas and the Eagles?
This is super intense. Obviously not liking each other, guys get a little more hyped to play the game. It’s very intense. We go through it every year.
Is this more intense than other rivalries you’ve experienced?
For sure, for sure.
I’m sure you’ve had to have heard it during the bye week about how good the Eagles are. You can’t help but hear it: 8-1, seven-game winning streak and sitting atop everyone’s power rankings. You personally were getting a lot of love on ESPN last week as to how well you played against Denver. The team is getting praise from different places now. I’m sure the locker room is going to be filled in the coming weeks with a lot of different faces. How is this team dealing with it; what was the talk like the first day back at work?
How we’re dealing with it is taking it week-by-week. Obviously, 8-1 is great but we’re at the halfway point in the season, well, a little past the halfway point. Like I said, it’s great, but we have a lot more work to do. Obviously, we have Dallas this week — and no more needs to be said other than that. We’re not taking what we’ve done as finishing the job.
Half of the season is over, now we’re at 0-0. We’re taking it one week at a time trying to go 1-0. That’s been the talk and mentality and that’s how we look at it going forward.
What kind of problems does Dallas’ front seven pose?
You obviously have [DeMarcus] Lawrence outside and I think he’s leading the league in sacks [with 11.5]. You have [Tyrone] Crawford who’s been doing well for a long time. There are different guys, Taco Charlton over there, a first-round pick who makes plays as well. I don’t know whether Sean Lee is playing or not, but he’s the leader of that defense and he flows to the ball well. He diagnoses plays well.
That might be a completely different team if Lee doesn’t play.
We’re going into this with the same mentality that we have every week and go from there. We can’t sit here and think what are we going to do if [Lee] is playing, or what we are going to do if he’s not? It’s the game plan on what works best at attacking that defense.
What kind of looks will you see from the Dallas front?
They run games [on the defensive line], run different blitzes off the edge, nickel-end blitzes, and different things like that.
Someone passed along to me the reason why the Eagles are so good this season are the intense practices. How intense are these practices?
Guys are competing every day. Guys are trying to make plays, guys are challenging each other. They’re very intense.
You see Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan every day?
We’ll do one-on-one versus them. We’ll do a competition drill, where although we’ll do three or four periods versus [the] scout team, we’re also getting one period a day going back and forth with the defense in one-on-ones. It’s different than what I did at Ohio, but we did some one-versus-ones when I was down in Houston. Going back-and-forth, we look forward to it every day. We talk after about different things in helping each out.
What was the experience like for you being on the NFL Network?
It was cool. I got to see the headquarters and they brought me around to see the different sets. I did a few things live. I got to hang out and talk to different people, Reggie Wayne, Bucky Brooks. Guys like that. It was nice to talk to those guys and take it all in. It was definitely an experience. I enjoyed them having me out. It was a lot of fun. I loved it.
Were you nervous?
[Laughs] definitely, it was live TV with some of the things that I was doing. I never did anything like that before.
You’re playing in front 100,000 people and you got nervous?
I’ve been playing in front of large stadiums for a long time. It’s not like I’ve been doing TV for very long.
Do you toy with the idea of doing TV after your career?
I’ll probably go a different route.
What’s on your mind?
I’m looking forward to playing Dallas Sunday night. I know the team is. Though we came off the bye, it’s about just letting people know we’re definitely not sluggish and we’ll be ready to roll — and we’ll be ready to roll Sunday night. We’re looking forward to it.
In addition to reading Brandon's comments, each week we'll post audio of the full interview so you'll have a chance to hear Brandon's words in his own voice.