Fantasy becomes reality as Eagles talk parade expectations

Fantasy becomes reality as Eagles talk parade expectations

For about the past month, every morning when Chris Long would drive to work, he would daydream a little bit. 

When he'd get down to Broad Street near the NovaCare Complex, he couldn't help but think about what the whole area would look like during an Eagles Super Bowl parade. 

Millions of people. Sea of green. Pure joy. 

It's all happening on Thursday. The Eagles' parade for winning Super Bowl LII starts at 11 a.m. and goes up Broad Street before finishing on the iconic steps of the art museum. 

What is it going to be like? 

"That's a great question," Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles said. "I don't think anyone really knows. We're really excited about it. I know there's supposed to be millions of people. I can't wait to go down Broad, go down to the art museum and just see everything. This is what you dream of, so it's really cool." 

Pretty much every Eagles player has been looking forward to the parade since they pulled off a 41-33 win in Super Bowl LII on Sunday night in Minneapolis. While they were celebrating on the field and in the locker room, Eagles fans took to the streets of Philadelphia to party. 

Jay Ajayi said the players saw all of that via social media and he knows it'll be nothing compared to the actual parade. 

Jordan Hicks, who has been with the Eagles since 2015, told a story on Wednesday from when he first arrived in Philadelphia. Merrill Reese told him that when the Eagles eventually won a Super Bowl, the city was "going to go nuts." In recent weeks, and especially in recent days, Hicks has thought a lot about that conversation. 

"I'm excited to get to this parade to just really put my eyes on the city and get to celebrate," Malcolm Jenkins said. "Obviously, everybody involved is having a really good time right now."

When asked how it feels to provide this level of joy for so many Eagles fans, Nelson Agholor had an interesting viewpoint. 

They didn't do it alone. 

"We're blessed. We all did it. They did it too," Agholor said. "The people that are smiling, they did it. Playing two games in the playoffs at home and taking over that and then going over to Minnesota and taking over that, the city of Philadelphia, everybody, we earned this. Let's go party. I'm going to try to not swear on air." 

No one really knows what to expect from Thursday's parade, other than it's going to be crazy. For Long, this is his second parade in two years after winning Super Bowl LI with the Patriots a year ago. 

How will this parade compare? 
"It'll be better because they've been waiting longer," Long said. "In my experience, these fans are unbelievable here in Philly." 

Pederson interviewing 2 for Eagles' OC job

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Pederson interviewing 2 for Eagles' OC job

While many folks are off for Presidents Day, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is hard at work trying to figure out how to replace Frank Reich. 

Pederson is spending his Monday interviewing running backs coach Duce Staley and wide receivers coach Mike Groh for the Eagles' vacant offensive coordinator position, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the news Monday. 

It's possible one or both coaches could take over in some sort of offensive coordinator role. 

Reich left his post as offensive coordinator earlier this month when he accepted the head coaching job in Indianapolis. While it might not seem like an OC who doesn't call the plays has a big role, Reich was a good sounding board for Pederson and seemed to be very-well trusted by the head coach. He also helped put the weekly gameplan together. 

It makes sense that the Eagles don't want to go outside the organization to hire an offensive coordinator. Pederson trusts Staley and Groh and the chemistry inside the NovaCare Complex was tremendous during the Eagles' run to Super Bowl LII. 

Either way, Pederson is going to oversee the offense and call plays. Staley or Groh, if one or both are promoted, will handle some extra responsibility, but it'll still all be on Pederson. 

While Staley has been with the Eagles as a coach since 2011, working his way up from a quality control coach to running backs coach in 2013, Groh is a newcomer. He was added to the staff before the 2017 season to take over for Greg Lewis after the Eagles fired him. Groh did an impressive job last season, particularly with helping transform Nelson Agholor from a bust to one of the team's more explosive weapons. 

LeGarrette Blount makes his desire to stay in Philly clear

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LeGarrette Blount makes his desire to stay in Philly clear

LeGarrette Blount is fresh off of his third Super Bowl title and second in two years with two different teams. 

It sounds like he doesn't really want to go to a third team in three years. 

Blount, 31, played on a one-year deal worth around $1.25 million with the Eagles in 2017, but is set to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts on March 14. He made it pretty clear on Sunday that he wouldn't mind coming back to Philly for another run. 

"It's early so we'll see," Blount said on NFL Network. 

"Obviously I like it a lot there. They like me a lot there. It's a mutual respect and a mutual agreement thing about how we feel about each other. Obviously, you guys know how I feel about the team, the guys; I love those guys. 

"I can't say enough about Duce (Staley), just for the simple fact for how well I was coached there and how good he helped me understand things. I feel like Duce is one of the best running back coaches, one of the best coaches I've ever had in my entire life. I obviously want to be a part of that for a while, so we'll see how it goes."

Blount began the year as the Eagles' top running back, but lost some of his role once the team traded for former Pro Bowler Jay Ajayi. But Blount still played a significant role in the Eagles' run to winning Super Bowl LII. 

During the season, he was the team's top rusher with 173 carries for 766 yards and two touchdowns. But then in Super Bowl LII, he had 14 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown, helping the Eagles to a 41-33 win over his former team, the Patriots. 

The Eagles are going to bring back Ajayi and second-year player Corey Clement. After that, things get murky. Blount and Darren Sproles (coming off injury) are both set to become free agents. 

Blount wasn't shy about his love for the Eagles during his interview on Sunday. He cited trust and how they handled the Ajayi trade with him as big reasons why. 

"They talked to me throughout the process of it happening," Blount said. "They were like, 'we're trading for Jay Ajayi, we just want to let you know.' Like I said, that's obviously another big thing for me, the honesty in that building and how open they are and how they don't keep any kind of secrets for you. They just tell you how it is. It's a big respect thing. Duce was the first person to reach out to me and be like, 'hey, we traded for Jay Ajayi. I just want to let you know.' Again, man, that's why it's a place that I love and I hope to stay there." 

Late in the six-and-a-half minute video, the crew brought out Clement while Blount was answering a question about the rookie. Blount laughed during the middle of his answer, but then got back on track and praised Clement. The two became very close during the 2017 season. 

After Blount's answer, Clement got to chat with his teammate and said getting to work with Blount was a "tremendous opportunity" and would clearly like to keep the core group together in the running back room next season. 

Obviously, it's not up to Clement, but Blount will play a big role and we already know what he thinks of the Eagles.