The reigning NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles enter the 2023 season as one of the few heavyweights in the conference.
With Jalen Hurts sporting a massive new contract, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, and one of the best offensive lines in football, the offense is set to continue rolling. On defense, Philly still sports a deep defensive line and retained veterans James Bradberry and Darius Slay in the secondary.
The Eagles own one of the best rosters in the NFL and, coming off their Super Bowl trip, will face every opponent's best effort.
Second-year linebacker Nakobe Dean, however, said Friday on NFL Network's Good Morning Football that the Eagles will remain on the prowl.
"We've got a lot of underdogs on the team, a lot of people who play with a lot of chips on their shoulders, so we'll never sit back and act like we're the one with the targets on our backs," he said. "We don't look at it like we've got the target on our back. We look at it like we're the ones out there hunting."
During their 2017 Super Bowl run, Philly players embraced their underdog status, often donning dog masks during their epic Lombardi run. After steamrolling through the NFC in 2022, the Eagles won't be sneaking up on anyone.
General manager Howie Roseman has compiled more than underdogs on his roster. He's spent the past two drafts adding Bulldogs. Dean is one of five former Georgia defenders on the current Eagles squad, along with Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith and Kelee Ringo.
Dean said he doesn't think Roseman, a Florida Gator grad, explicitly targeted Georgia players but just added the best talent possible.
"I think our GM, Howie Roseman, did a good job drafting those guys this year. I think he picked the best available guys," Dean said. "I don't think he's got a thing for Georgia [players], especially being from Florida. I think he picked the best available guys. He called me a lot asking about those guys -- Kelee, Jalen and Nolan. I want to feel like I had something to do with it. … After the draft, I sent him a little 'Go Dawgs.'"
Philly is counting on those Dawgs to help them keep hunting as it seeks back-to-back NFC East titles.