Shockey Is Eagles' No. 1 Enemy

Move over Michael Strahan, New York Giants rookie tight end Jeremy Shockey is now Public Enemy No. 1 among the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans.

This latest change at the top has very little to do with talent.

Strahan is disliked because he's a great player. The Eagles and their fans have a little problem with Shockey's constant talking and his antics on the field.

Forget that Shockey caught a team-high six passes for 69 yards. He was overly animated every time he touched the ball, going once so far as to drawing a taunting penalty late in the first quarter.

``He was doing a lot of talking out there,'' Eagles cornerback Bobby Taylor said after Philadelphia took a two-game lead in the NFC East with a 17-3 victory over the Giants on Monday night.

``His teammates probably didn't like it more than we did,'' Taylor added. ``He's a young hot head coming out of Miami.''

Shockey did more than talk, actually. Despite playing with a very sore turf toe, he was one of the few Giants who contributed anything on offense.

``Like every game, I want to win and earlier in the week I said some things to get the team pumped up and get myself pumped up and ready to play,'' Shockey said, referring to comments earlier this week that the Eagles were overrated.

``We got out there and played hard and just didn't come up with the W,'' he said.

Shockey insisted he didn't do anything wrong in drawing the taunting penalty after his 21-yard catch.

``I don't know what I did wrong,'' Shockey said. ``I play this game with emotion. If I lose it, that's when I won't play it.''

Giants coach Jim Fassel had to speak with Shockey in the first half.

``He has to watch what he says and be careful,'' Fassel said.

The referees seemed to have an eye on Shockey. He was called for a holding penalty early in the third quarter and an offensive pass interference later in the period on a play in which an Eagles linebacker earlier was called for holding him.

As the game progressed, the Eagles fans booed Shockey every time he touched the ball or chanted something unprintable when something went against him.

``That's football,'' Shockey said with a laugh. ``It's better than what they said in Arizona.''

Not all the Eagles were turned off by Shockey, however.

``He's a great competitor,'' cornerback Troy Vincent said. ``I have a lot of respect for him. He's going to be a fine, fine football player. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Today, we had the better football team, the better secondary.''

Shockey is learning about those things since leaving Miami.

Unlike a year ago when he won a national championship on an undefeated team, he has lost four times in seven games with the Giants.

``I just wanted to win the game and we didn't do that,'' Shockey said. ``That's all I know.''
Oct. 29, 2002