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Santoliquito: Adding Winners Like Blount And Long Will Pay Dividends For Eagles

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Malcolm Jenkins knows what it's like. Now, he has two other Eagle teammates that can relate to the same feeling—and what it takes and how much time and discipline will need to be applied to regain that winning feeling again.

Winning Super Bowls not only stems from the collective talent of a team, it's deeply rooted in an overall group psyche.

Jenkins won a Super Bowl ring his rookie season with the New Orleans Saints. See how meticulous he has his locker and how he keeps a running tab of everything he does on the field. The dedication to detail began in New Orleans. It began by following the lead of players like Drew Brees, Darren Sharper and Roman Harper.

Free agent newcomers Chris Long and LeGarrette Blount won one last year with the New England Patriots. For Blount, it was his second Super Bowl. They, too, followed.

"Winning is contagious," Jenkins said. "If you want to stay in this league, if you want to win, then you watch and take in what winners do, how they prepare, how serious they take things and what things to leave out. I learned a lot my rookie year with the Saints. I walked into a great situation with established veterans who knew what they were doing, and who you respected.

"It's what I see more and more of with this team."

Adding and Blount and Long only speeds up that process.

Blount not only brings 18 touchdowns and 1,161 yards rushing from last season, he also brings a mentality that hopefully will be infectious among his new teammates. Same with Long, who for the first eight years of his career was mired in a mind-numbing, losing situation with the then-St. Louis Rams. One step into Bill Belichick land is enough to transform anyone into a winner.

Now, depending on how comfortable Blount and Long feel about speaking up, they can have a big impact on what is a fairly young Eagles team.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson is for the most part a "player's coach," a page of the coaching manual he tore out from his mentor Andy Reid's book. Pederson and the Eagles know the importance of having savvy, workaholic veterans like Blount and Long.

The Eagles are a team still searching for an identity. Blount and Long may nudge it in the direction it needs to go.

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