Commanders’ locker room after upset of Eagles was quite a scene originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Everyone on the Commanders’ side played their on-field role to perfection in Monday’s 32-21 upset of the Eagles — and that cohesion carried over into the visitors locker room at Lincoln Financial Field once the contest concluded and the celebration began.
Jeremy Reaves was the hype man in a setting packed with hyped men, as the safety and special teams savant stood on a stool and punctuated the gaps in the opening portion of Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” by screaming, “What else!?” Each ad-lib was more emphatic than its predecessor, and the rapping below Reaves ascended in assuredness, too.
Jon Bostic, meanwhile, took it upon himself to improve the already excellent vibes by flicking the lights off and on before leaving them off for good at the music’s height. The veteran linebacker did eventually return the switch to its upright position when his peers resumed their postgame rituals, a move that the media members who were holding TV cameras undoubtedly appreciated.
Then there were the contributions of players like Benjamin St-Juste, who ensured that the many who weren’t there could act like they were by his filming the pandemonium on his phone. He then shared the footage on his Instagram, which allowed the footage to make its way to Twitter and who knows what other platforms, where thousands of Washington fans could virtually join in on the fun.
The one letter says it all pic.twitter.com/SFF6ATWKg0
— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) November 15, 2022
“My adrenaline done spiked already,” Reaves said in a scrum with reporters once he sat on the stool he was previously perched on. “That’s a huge win.”
When reviewing what’s transpired recently for Washington, the all-out nature of the enjoyment of the victory becomes understandable.
In the past couple of weeks, Ron Rivera‘s squad has had to endure questions regarding the organization potentially getting sold — news that prompted a helicopter to circle a Wednesday practice! — as well as discuss one of his players being included in an inflammatory and embarrassing public statement.
For a sport that places a premium on minimizing distractions, the Commanders encounter a ton of distractions.
That drama, plus the overall assumption that improving from 8-0 to 9-0 was a mere formality for Philadelphia, made for a cathartic release of emotions inside of Washington’s temporary residence at their rival’s stadium.
“It means a lot just because the guys were able to stay focused on what’s important,” Rivera said in his press conference, which slowly grew harder to hear as the volume of the tracks being played next door increased. “It resonates with those guys and you hear them in the locker room right now.”
“Can’t get much better than that,” Taylor Heinicke said in his own presser.
Not everyone was choosing to add to the party’s noise, though. Tight ends coach Juan Castillo, who held various roles on the Eagles’ sideline from 1995 to 2012, opted to sit on the floor just beyond the madness and simply bask in the glow of the triumph. The look on his face was that of pure contentment.
As for Casey Toohill, the defensive end who capped the evening with a fumble recovery and touchdown, his main objective in the chaos was introspectively doing a detailed deep dive on his post-score execution of the Griddy. Toohill, who also hit the widely-popular dance during the club’s Week 8 win in Indianapolis, expressed a bit of sadness about how his adoption of the Griddy was being received by outsiders.
Fortunately, Montez Sweat was there to look out for his linemate.
“It’s getting a lot better,” Sweat said to Toohill. “It’s progress.”
Sweat’s assessment of Toohill’s dancing could also be applied to the 2022 Commanders, who have captured four out of five after opening the year by dropping four out of five. And for that to continue, Sweat, Toohill and the rest of Washington’s roster will need to quickly process the shocking result in Philly and prepare for Sunday’s meeting with the Texans in Houston.
But for roughly 20 minutes when midnight was approaching and Monday was about to hand it off to Tuesday, no one associated with the Commanders was thinking that far ahead.
Instead, they were focused solely on making sure that they rollicked enough ahead of boarding their quick flight home (where the rollicking lived on).
“We’re starting to see it come together,” Rivera said.
On Monday, the hearing and feeling of that growth was equally as palpable as the seeing.