Doug Pederson remembers Andy Reid's bye week magic

USA Today Images

Doug Pederson remembers Andy Reid's bye week magic

This week, Doug Pederson is using one of the lessons he learned from Andy Reid. 

He's telling his players to get away. 

The Eagles are sitting at 8-1, the best record in the NFL, at the bye week. And Pederson is telling his players to take a break from football for the next week. 

"Get away from it, clear their minds," Pederson said Monday. "Understand that, yeah, we've started something special, but we want to make sure we finish it the right way."

While Pederson said he wants his players to get away from football, he wants them to stay in shape. That means lifting weights or doing conditioning work. Certainly, any player who stays in the area is welcome to head to the NovaCare Complex to work out or get treatment. 

Pederson said Reid was always "great" about giving his players and coaches some time off during the bye week. And it's hard to argue with Reid's post-bye-week success. Reid is 16-2 all-time coming off a bye week. The Eagles are 0-1 coming off the bye under Pederson. They lost in Week 5 to Detroit last season, but it was a game they should have won. 

The Eagles will have an extra week to prepare for the Cowboys, but Pederson doesn't want to overcomplicate things, either. 

"Keep it familiar with the guys," Pederson said. "You don't come out and recreate and do a lot of things that's not in your schemes. [Reid] was able to do that. I think just being able to refocus the guys was the biggest thing and keeping them on task and not changing a lot of stuff and letting the guys go play again." 

While players will be away from the facility all week, Pederson and his coaches will use some extra time to self scout. On Monday, they watched the film from the Broncos game and made some corrections. They'll use the next few days to go back and watch the first nine games to search for some strong tendencies they might have put on film. 

Later in the week, Pederson's coaches will have some time to spend with their families and rest up for the final seven games of the regular season before what he and the staff hope will be a long playoff run. 

Pederson was asked if it's important for his team to enjoy its success so far. After all, the Eagles have put together an extremely impressive first nine games. 

"We get four, five hours on a Sunday afternoon after a game to enjoy one, and then we're back in the office cranking on the next week," he said. "So I want the coaches and players to enjoy and to look back and reflect on what we've accomplished so far. As great as it is, we still have half a season and seven ballgames left. 

"We've got to come out and enjoy this time this week, reflect on what we've done, but we've got to come back ready to go next week. If you don't take care of business from here on out, it's all for nothing."

Mr. Popularity Brent Celek finally living Super Bowl dream

AP Images

Mr. Popularity Brent Celek finally living Super Bowl dream

In his 11th season, Brent Celek is finally on his way to a Super Bowl.

The most popular guy in the Eagles' locker room ended his personal eight-year wait to win a playoff game last weekend and on Sunday, in his 183rd career game, he walked off the field at the Linc knowing the Super Bowl was next.

"He’s one of my closest friends on the team," Jason Kelce said. "What he’s been through in his career — he’s the ultimate unselfish guy and he really represents what this team is about, maybe better than anybody.

"For a guy to have been with an organization this long and finally get an opportunity like we’re going to get in the next two weeks, I’m very happy for him."

Celek isn't a big-time receiving tight end anymore, but he is still solid at the point of attack and can catch a ball here or there when he has to. He's also one of this team's most passionate leaders and hardest workers. He's really an icon in this organization.

"It means a lot, but honestly, we’re not done yet," Celek said. “We’ve got to keep this thing going. We’ve got another game to play and I think everyone in that locker room understands that.

"This is not like we’ve reached our destination. We’re getting there but we’ve got to finish what we started."

The Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons 15-10 last weekend and the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 on Sunday to advance to their third Super Bowl. They'll face the New England Patriots in Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

Celek said he never doubted that one day he would get a chance to play on the biggest stage in sports.

“I’ve always been a positive guy, always thinking positive," Celek said. "The chemistry that we’ve had on this team this entire season has been absolutely phenomenal. Things have been going our way.

"And when you have fans like that who have your back — this is a tough place to play. This is a tough place to play."

In Celek's only previous NFC Championship Game, the Eagles lost an excruciating 32-25 game to the Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz., in 2008.

Celek caught 10 passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns in that game, which the Eagles led until late in the fourth quarter. He hasn't been the Eagles' primary tight end since Zach Ertz was drafted in the second round back in 2013.

Ertz had eight grabs for 93 yards on Sunday in the win over the Vikings, the most yards by an Eagles tight end in a playoff game since Keith Jackson had 116 against the Redskins in a 1990 wild-card loss at the Vet.

“Brent's been huge for my development as a tight end," Ertz said. "You hear horror stories as a rookie about veteran guys being mean to high draft picks and never helping them.

"Nothing could have been farther from the case with Brent. I owe a lot of my success to him and I’m very grateful for that. He brings a different kind of energy to our the room. It wouldn’t be the same without him.

"I love playing with him," Ertz said. "I hope he never retires. I think he’s got a few more good years left in him, but that’s his decision."

Celek was originally a fifth-round pick out of Cincinnati back in 2007.

Only three players in franchise history have played more games in an Eagles uniform: David Akers, Brian Dawkins and Harold Carmichael.

“Brent Celek – one of the classiest human beings you’ll ever have on a team or in an organization no matter what he’s doing," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said. "I’m really glad he’s a part of this.”

Few arrests in Philly after Eagles' surreal win

USA Today Images

Few arrests in Philly after Eagles' surreal win

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia police say few arrests have been made amid celebrations following the Eagles' NFC Championship Game victory.

The arrests came as thousands of fans took to the streets following the Eagles' 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night. The Eagles advanced to their first Super Bowl since 2005, against the AFC champion New England Patriots.

After Sunday's game, huge crowds gathered in neighborhoods around the city. Police reported two arrests for disorderly conduct and one for assault on police. They also reported three arrests for counterfeit ticket sales.

Earlier in the day, workers who jokingly called themselves the "Crisco Cops" greased light poles to prevent fans from climbing them.