PHILADELPHIA - Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant still wants to keep the team's bandwagon the size of a minivan.

After the Eagles' 34-7 victory over Dallas on Sunday, the sixth-year veteran suggested that it was too late for fans who were criticizing the team for its 1-4 start to suddenly become supportive after back-to-back wins.

"Let's get this clear," Avant said Thursday. "I will not apologize for what I said. What I am saying is that there are faithful fans - faithful Eagles fans - and we love those fans. And one thing I won't do is apologize. I am trying to motivate my teammates and keep focused. We are going to have an underdog mentality. And that's my opinion."

The Eagles entered the season perceived as Super Bowl contenders after loading up on talent during the offseason. Four consecutive losses after a season-opening win, however, put pressure on coach Andy Reid, defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and almost every player for the team's struggles.

After a 31-24 loss at Buffalo left the team 1-4, a pair of fans hung a banner across the street from the NovaCare Complex suggesting that Reid be fired.

Fans seemed to be behind the Eagles last Sunday. They treated the team to a standing ovation at halftime and after the convincing victory over the Cowboys.

"I'm all for the fans," defensive end Trent Cole said Thursday. "They were a little rough on us in the beginning, but things have changed. I think we're all on the same page now."

Alumni tribute Monday

Former Eagles coach and Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan and 10 former Eagles players will be honored at halftime of Monday's game.

Ryan coached the Eagles from 1986-90, compiling a 43-35-1 record. He will be joined by running back Keith Byars (1986-92), offensive lineman Gerry Feehery (1983-87), running back Mike Haddix (1983-88), linebacker Britt Hager (1989-94), tight end Keith Jackson (1988-91), wide receiver Ron Johnson (1985-89), linebacker Seth Joyner (1986-93), defensive tackle Mike Pitts (1986-92), defensive end Clyde Simmons (1986-93) and running back Anthony Toney (1986-90).

Bear-ing it all

Eagles rookie guard Danny Watkins was discussing the Bears' defense Thursday when he referred to their "erotic" blitzes.

Upon realizing what he said, Watkins blushed and immediately corrected it to "exotic," but that didn't prevent his fellow offensive linemen from razzing him for a few minutes in the locker room and via Twitter before practice.

Guard Evan Mathis mentioned a Bears blitz in which middle linebacker Brian Urlacher takes all his clothes off before rushing Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

Bumps and bruises

Running back LeSean McCoy, last week's NFC Offensive Player of the Week, was sent home before practice with a stomach flu. McCoy had attended a Jay Z-Kanye West concert at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

"I'm absolutely sure it wasn't related to the concert," Reid said. "He had a little bit of (the stomach flu) before the concert."

Ronnie Brown and rookie Dion Lewis split the reps with the first team offense. McCoy is expected back today and should play against the Bears.

Tight end Brent Celek (hip contusion) and linebacker Akeem Jordan (concussion) also did not practice. Celek should play against the Bears.

Lewis was back after being involved in a minor car accident before Sunday's game against Dallas. He said his car was rear-ended on I-95.

Contact David Weinberg:

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