Both Rodney McLeod and Zach Ertz on Wednesday defended their efforts for the Eagles in Sunday's 32-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
McLeod did not dive toward Bengals running back Jeremy Hill at the goal line on Hill's 2-yard touchdown. He explained that he thought the play was going elsewhere, and by the time he could react, Hill had already crossed the plane and McLeod was "caught flat-footed." He did not want to be charged with a personal foul, and he believes the criticism of him this week is unfair.
"It definitely hurts," McLeod said. "I know what type of player I am and take pride in that. I feel like effort, hard things are all things that got me where I am. That's what my game is built on. When somebody questions or has doubt, it does hurt. … I really don't see [why the play drew criticism]. If you look maybe a play before then, any game, any practice film, I'm probably one of the guys that's giving his all out there. … I'm a prideful guy. I take pride in that."
Ertz was criticized for sidestepping Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a first-quarter scramble by quarterback Carson Wentz. Ertz did not want to discuss the "minute details" going through his head during the play, but he defended his effort.
"I think I could have gotten in his way to maybe impede his progress a little more to ensure he didn't get near Carson by any means, but like I said, there were a thousand things going through my mind on that play and there's a million reasons why I do stuff on each and every play," Ertz said. "… I did give my all. That one play has come under a lot of scrutiny, but if you watch that game for four quarters, I was cramping up during the game and battling each and every play. All I'm worried about is what my teammates and coaches think of me."