Brett Favre

Favre 'honored' to give Eagles Super Bowl advice

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Favre 'honored' to give Eagles Super Bowl advice

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Brett Favre thought Doug Pederson was joking when he asked him to speak with his Eagles team the day before Super Bowl LII. 

He wasn't. 

"But when I realized he was serious," Favre said, "I was honored." 

NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark caught up with Favre after the 48-year-old Hall of Famer addressed the Eagles at their team hotel, the Radisson Blu, on Saturday morning. 

Favre said he started his speech by letting the players know he wasn't going to tell them things they didn't already know. He just wanted to offer words of encouragement. He said he thought it was a good way to break the tension. 

"They're a tremendous team," Favre told Clark, recalling what he told the Eagles. "Their quarterback is the greatest to ever play, Bill Belichick is the greatest coach to ever coach. You know what they're about. They're going to play the whole game. Don't ever say ... like last year, we have it won and we're going to go through the drive-thru, that's not a good idea." 

Several Eagles, including Nick Foles and Lane Johnson, were excited to hear Favre speak (see story). Foles loved Favre's "gunslinger" mentality and Johnson grew up as a Packers fan. 

Favre won Super Bowl XXXI with the Packers against the Patriots in 1997 at the Superdome in New Orleans. 

"I congratulated them on the year they've had; it's a wonderful year," Favre said. "And just encouraged them to enjoy the moment. You think you're always going to come back after you've gotten a chance to go but it's such an honor to play in the Super Bowl. And to just embrace that. And I told them, 'this is probably something I should have told you two weeks ago, but this is the longest two weeks of your life and it's going to be the longest 24 hours plus of your life. The game at this point can not get here quick enough. But it's going to slow down even more.'" 

Incredible Eagles fans, Favre's failures vs. Birds, more in Roob's observations

Incredible Eagles fans, Favre's failures vs. Birds, more in Roob's observations

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — We start out this edition of Roob's 10 Random Eagles Super Bowl Observations with Eagles fans, who never cease to amaze me with the intensity of their support. They could put the Super Bowl on Jupiter, and Eagles fans would find their way there. And they'd find the only open bar on the planet, too.

We also touch on Tim Jernigan's health, Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement in the receiving game, Brett Favre's performance against the Eagles, Jason Kelce's T-shirt and the obligatory Nick Foles Mind-Boggling Stat of the Day.

Dive in!

1. Eagles fans began arriving in Minnesota in earnest Friday, and by mid-day the Mall of America, the center of most Super Bowl activities during the week, was jammed with jubilant packs of Carson Wentz, Brian Dawkins and Brian Westbrook jerseys, soaking in the moment. There were reports mall security threatened to kick some of the more enthusiastic fans out of the mall (see story), which is absurd. If you have a Super Bowl, you can't be surprised if fans show up. But I didn't see any of that. I just saw Eagles fans everywhere, and it was surreal walking around the mall and hearing choruses of "Fly Eagles Fly" and E-A-G-L-E-S chants echoing from near and far in the massive five million square-foot shopping center. Every team has rabid fans. Nobody has this.

2. I was doing a radio interview Friday and the guy asked about the huge disparity between quarterbacks, and I said, "Yeah, I know Nick Foles has a higher career postseason passer rating, a better career postseason completion percentage and a superior postseason TD-to-INT ratio, but that doesn't mean Tom Brady isn't a really good quarterback."

3. The best news out of Friday was the Eagles' injury report, which revealed that defensive tackle Jernigan not only practiced but was a full participant (see story). Jernigan hadn't practiced since the previous Thursday back at the NovaCare Complex, so this is big. The Eagles' defensive line is the heart of the team. If the Eagles are going to win Sunday, they're going to need a monster performance out of the D-line both against the run and pressuring Brady. Without Jernigan, this is still a formidable group. But with him, they go a legit seven deep, and Jim Schwartz has the flexibility to rotate everybody, keep them fresh and attack in waves.

4. I have this hunch Clement and Ajayi are going to have a significant role in the passing game Sunday. I find it curious that the two running backs combined for only 20 catches during the regular season but they have 12 in two playoff games. Of course Ajayi wasn't with the Eagles the first half of the season, but with each passing week you saw the Eagles use the backs as receivers more and more. Several backs had big receiving games against the Pats this year, including Matt Forte (8-59), Kenyan Drake (5-79), Kareem Hunt (5-98), LeSean McCoy (5-76), D'Onta Foreman (2-65) and Le'Veon Bell (5-48). I expect that to continue Sunday.

5. How stupid are the Redskins?

6. Five things you need to know about the Mall of America, the NFL's headquarters during Super Bowl week: 1) There are three Starbucks inside the Mall, 2) There's a store in the mall that sells only cookie dough. Not cookies … just cookie dough, 3) There is an actual amusement park with 28 rides in the middle of the mall, 4) The parking lot has 12,287 spots and 5) The whole place smells like a Cinnabon.

7. I really liked what Doug Pederson said in our chat earlier this week about the challenges he faced as the Eagles' quarterback in 1999 and how that season — which was so hard for him and his family — helped shaped the man he is today. My story is here and I hope you have a chance to read it.

8. Hey, how about Jason Kelce's T-shirt! What a great tribute to his legendary teammate of seven years who's unable to play Sunday.

9. Interesting that Favre will be speaking to the Eagles Saturday morning considering no team gave him more trouble in his career than the Eagles. As a matter of fact, Pederson actually had a higher passer rating playing quarterback in Philly than Favre — 59.3 for Pederson, 53.3 for Favre. Playing at the Vet or the Linc, Favre completed fewer than half his passes (49.6 percent) and had just four touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He tried six times but never won a game in Philadelphia. 

10. And the Mind-Boggling Nick Foles Stat of the Day: Foles has thrown 96 career postseason passes, the second most in NFL history in the playoffs without an interception. Only Jeff Hostetler (115) has more postseason attempts without getting picked off.

Nick Foles, Eagles have 'heck of a practice'

Nick Foles, Eagles have 'heck of a practice'

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said he expects ailing defensive tackle Tim Jernigan to play in Super Bowl LII Sunday.

Jernigan missed practice back in Philadelphia last Friday and has missed both practices in Minnesota since the Eagles arrived here. The Eagles are scheduled to practice again on Friday.

“Because of the position and he’s one of our veteran guys, I do feel comfortable that he’ll be ready,” Pederson told NFL-designated pool reporter Kimberley A. Martin of the Washington Post.

Jernigan was not present during the hour-long media availability earlier in the day. Cornerback Ronald Darby was also missing and is also sick, but he was a full participant at practice. 

The pool report said the Eagles plan to keep Jernigan “as hydrated as possible.”

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (calf), running back Jay Ajayi (ankle) and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe were also full participants.

According to the pool report, defensive end Vinny Curry left practice briefly and was examined by trainers after getting several fingers on his left hand caught in a teammate’s facemask.

“He’s fine,” Pederson said. “He shook it off. He’s good.” 

The Eagles practiced indoors Thursday  at the Gibson-Nagurski Complex on the campus of the University of Minnesota, about 12 miles from their hotel in Bloomington.

“Had a heck of a practice today,” Pederson said. “Guys were flying around. Definitely picked it up. We had three days off before we got on the field [Wednesday], so this is what typically we would see in practice.”

The Eagles worked on short yardage, goal line and third down during the one-hour, 45-minute practice, according to the pool report. 

According to the pool report, quarterback Nick Foles “was in a groove, firing off intermediate passes and deep balls downfield with confidence and ease.”

Foles, Carson Wentz’s backup most of the year, will start at quarterback for the Eagles in Super Bowl LII Sunday against the Patriots.

“Nick was really sharp again,” Pederson said. “Real sharp. He was accurate with his passes, smart in the run game. 

“And Nate just seems to sort of always impress. Every day he comes out here, he’s ready to work. I know it’s service team stuff, but he makes our defense work.”

Pederson also singled out cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Darby.

“They really focused in on their assignments,” Pederson said. “They’ve got a tough task with the Patriots, some of these small, quicker receivers. But they both had really good days today.”

Mike Holmgren, Pederson’s coach with the Packers from 1996 through 1998, attended practice. The Packers won Super Bowl XXXI after the 1996 season with Pederson backing up Brett Favre. Favre is scheduled to speak to the Eagles Saturday morning (see story).

“It’s fun to have him out there,” Pederson said.