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Eagles held 'fake walkthrough' pre-Super Bowl in case Patriots spied

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Eagles held 'fake walkthrough' pre-Super Bowl in case Patriots spied

While the Patriots claim their spying days are behind them, the Eagles weren’t taking any chances. Apparently, they ran a "fake" practice before the Super Bowl, just in case anybody was watching.

At least that’s what Eagles long snapper Rick Lovato told a Tampa radio station this week, via ProFootballTalk. When the team convened for its Saturday walkthrough at U.S. Bank Stadium, there were a few too many unfamiliar faces around the building for Pederson’s liking.

So the Eagles ran a dummy practice instead.

“I believe our whole walkthrough was just a complete fake walkthrough,” Lovato said. “We did it at the stadium. There were certain people walking around.

“I believe I overheard someone say a lot of the plays we were running weren’t even in the playbook for the Super Bowl.”

Interesting if true. First, a bit of history.

The Patriots notoriously got into hot water in 2007 for illegally videotaping their opponents’ defensive signals over a period of eight years as part of a scandal known as Spygate. However, there are also allegations New England filmed opponents’ practices and/or walkthroughs prior to at least two Super Bowls during that period. If true, that’s a much larger breach, as such videos would reveal huge aspects of a opponent's otherwise secret game plan beforehand. It's not implausible due to the teams working at neutral sites.

The NFL destroyed all evidence after its investigation, so we may never know. Regardless, between Spygate and the more recent Deflategate controversy, the Patriots have been branded as cheaters.

The Eagles practiced at the University of Minnesota for most of the week leading up to Super Bowl LII, naturally with the assurance of complete discretion. Yet, it’s not uncommon for teams to take the field at the sight of the big game at least once before kickoff. Given the Patriots also had access to the same stadium, taking every caution was probably wise.

Lovato’s choice of words should be noted here. As a specialist, he wasn’t necessarily alerted to the entire team’s practice details, and admits to overhearing the walkthrough was fake.

Then again, years after losing in Super Bowl XXXIX, the 2004-05 Eagles were one of those teams that claimed the Patriots may have known more than Spygate suggests.

Whether or not double agents were crawling all over the place in Minnesota last weekend, nobody would blame the Eagles for taking the extra step to ensure no such controversy would happen again.

The Eagles won the Super Bowl! So how come I’m not happy?

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The Eagles won the Super Bowl! So how come I’m not happy?

It’s now been two weeks since the Eagles finally won their first Super Bowl. In that time, I’ve re-watched the game five times, re-watched the parade 15 times, and purchased six Super Bowl champions t-shirts, four sweatshirts and five hats. And that’s just from the next morning.

We won, like I’ve always wanted. We’re Super Bowl champs. It wasn’t a dream. I was led to believe that once the impossible happened and we reached the promised land, I'd have nothing more to worry about, ever again. 

So how come I’m still not happy?

I’ll tell you why: It’s because of Cris Collinsworth’s bias. And the unfair coverage of our celebrations; the national media won’t tell you this, but once the Super Bowl was over, not a single Eagles fan punched a horse.

There were the ridiculous crowd-size estimates. And Mike Francesa objecting to Jason Kelce’s language and calling for him to be cut. And the oddsmakers putting our Super Bowl odds below the Patriots’.  And Duracell, for that tweet about Philly fans throwing batteries. Disgraceful. From now on, I’m only throwing Energizers. I’ve also yet to hear an apology from Donovan McNabb, Andy Reid or Joe Banner for not winning us a Super Bowl before now.

At the parade, as we all remember, Jason Kelce sang “no one likes us, we don’t care!” But he was wrong. I care.

Maybe I’m not used to the feeling yet. Maybe it’s because I’ve been chasing this my whole life, and at this point, what else is there to chase? Maybe this sort of existential despair is what I’ve been fearing all along.

Nah, who am I kidding. It’s Cris Collinsworth.

Anyway, here’s my solution for the quarterback thing: Play Carson Wentz, AND Nick Foles. At the same time. Defenses won’t know what hit them, and besides, I’ve got a feeling if it comes down to it, Foles would make a hell of a wide receiver.

So don’t trade Foles. But DO trade Nate Sudfeld. I bet Cleveland would give up a 1 and a 4.

Other Philly sports takes:

- I’ll tell you what, Markelle Fultz caught a break. If not for the Eagles making a Super Bowl run and winning, he’d be all we had to talk about for the past month.

- The Michael Carter-Williams trade was three years ago this week, and let me tell you, I’m still mad about that.

- Jason Kelce appeared in Clearwater for the start of the Phillies’ spring training this week. I just wish he’d go through the entire Phils roster and list everyone’s faults and weaknesses.

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Mike Francesa admits to not really knowing what he was talking about with Kelce's speech

Mike Francesa admits to not really knowing what he was talking about with Kelce's speech

Mike Francesa probably wears flip flops in the city in the middle of winter.

The former radio host absolutely tore into Jason Kelce last week for his legendary speech on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Francesa even went so far as to say Jeff Lurie should cut Kelce for it.

Now, Francesa did a total 180 on it. 

Just to refresh, here's what he said last week:

“Should have stayed home, the jerk," Francesa begins on Kelce. "Why is that I have to be in my car when these guys win championships, and they decide that they are going to grace the audience with this profanity-laced stupidity. You gotta turn it off, your kids can’t even listen it. He sounded like a total moron. How about going up there and acting like a champion and not acting like a total moron? I turn that stuff off. I’ve seen LeBron James do that, now I’ve seen him do that. You know what? It’s not the time or place. You ever heard of winning like a champion? Somebody should have taken a hook and pulled him off.”

And here's what he had to say today as a guest on Angelo Cataldi's morning show on 94 WIP:

Bottom line is, I went back last night and watched the thing in its entirety, and I have to say, it was not as bad as I thought it was when I watched it and got to see it. I wish he hadn’t used any profanity because it would have been a classic, it was really well done, he did a great job. I thought it was one that would last and could be used a long time. I know it’s popular in Philly even with the profanity but to me those are such special moments that I wish they would raise their level. I’d like to see them do it so they can be used time and time again. Take the profanity out of it.

No. 1, I overreacted. I wouldn’t cut him. I take that back, I apologize to Kelce for that. No. 2, it was not as bad as I thought. I just wish he had raised his vocabulary a little. That was a great speech. He did a great job. 

"Should have stayed home, the jerk!" to "That was a great speech. He did a great job." Okay.

I guess the first step is admitting you have a problem.

You can listen to the full interview here.