Safety

Sean Considine

has been among the Eagles' most bashed players, and it's unlikely he'll ever be among the most beloved.

Right now, he's just happy to be on top of a little-known leader board.

"That's one of the fun things about special teams," Considine said Friday. "Every day we walk in there, and you know right off the bat who's doing well by looking at the tackles and the blocks. It's right there on the points chart, and we have a good time with that on this team. I'm on top of it, so I take a lot of pride in that."

With 298 points going into tonight's game against the Cleveland Browns, Considine is indeed on top of the special-teams chart, which awards points to players in categories such as tackles and blocks. He is two points ahead of linebacker Akeem Jordan and 10 ahead of rookie kick returner Quintin Demps.

"We spend a lot of time on special teams here, so it's a close group of guys," Considine said. "We're all competing for that points lead. You have a young guy like Quintin Demps who's competing, too, and you never want to get beat by a rookie."

Considine, once the starting strong safety, leads special teams with 29 tackles and 111 blocks. He said it wasn't easy to lose his starting job to Quintin Mikell, but he knew his focus had to turn to helping the Eagles on special teams.

"I think when you're a good football team, guys who are role players have to take ownership for that role," Considine said. "You have to put your individual goals aside to better the team. Right now, I'm on special teams, and I take pride in what I do."

As for the abuse Considine took from the fans as a starter, he doesn't believe it was entirely fair.

"A lot of abuse I've taken is unjust," he said. "I feel like a lot of people don't understand what the scenario was on certain plays that happened, but that's for another time and another place. The bottom line is I take my job seriously, and when I walk in this door every day, it doesn't matter if I'm a starting safety or I'm on the kickoff team - I'm going to come in here and do my job and do it to the best of my ability."

Right now, Considine is playing special teams as well as anyone on the roster.

Playoff update

The Falcons' 13-10 overtime win against the Buccaneers yesterday means the Eagles will find themselves cheering for former offensive coordinator

Brad Childress'

Vikings on Sunday. Atlanta (9-5) will play Minnesota (9-5) at the Metrodome. The good news for the Eagles (7-5-1) is that the game is every bit as important for the Vikings as it is for the Falcons.

Tampa Bay slipped to 9-5, but still looks like a good bet to make the playoffs, with home games against San Diego and Oakland left.

Extra points

If you're not worried about the Eagles winning tonight, this might scare you a little. The NFC East has gone just 6-7-1 against the AFC North this season, and the Eagles' offense has scored just two offensive touchdowns in going 1-1-1 against Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Baltimore. . . . The Browns have four former Eagles on their roster: center

Hank Fraley

, wide receiver

Donté Stallworth

, fullback

Jed Collins

and guard

Scott Young

. . . . The Eagles have lost six of their last eight on

Monday Night Football,

including the 41-37 loss to Dallas this season. Two of the Browns' four wins this season have come on

MNF

.

- Bob Brookover