After ring ceremony, Eagles will be done celebrating Super Bowl

After ring ceremony, Eagles will be done celebrating Super Bowl

On Thursday night, the Eagles will finally receive their Super Bowl rings, a culmination of four months of celebrating their victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. 

By Friday morning, they’ll be ready for the celebration to be over. 

More specifically, head coach Doug Pederson says he’ll be ready to turn the page at 12:01 a.m. on June 15, the morning players and coaches will wake up with new gaudy rings on their fingers. 

“Honestly, after the ring ceremony,” Pederson said, “to me, we’ve put that to bed, we’ve put that to rest and we move on to 2018.”

The Eagles obviously had a shorter-than-usual offseason this year and have already gone through their OTAs and start their mandatory minicamp today. But during the spring workouts, the celebration has been ongoing. Pederson noted that “the city is on fire.” 

Well, yeah, that’s what happened when a hungry dog isn’t being starved for a championship anymore.  

“It’s a great opportunity for us, great motivating factor for us, to sort of rip off the dog masks and no longer be the underdog, but now be the hunted,” Pederson said. “Have the target on our back.”

Even if they’re not celebrating, the Eagles won’t have to look far to find reminders of their Super Bowl victory. If they’re not wearing a huge ring on their fingers, they will probably be wearing some Super Bowl LII gear. Either way, it’s now impossible to walk through the hallways or locker room at the NovaCare Complex without seeing a Super Bowl LII logo. 

Remembering and using it as motivation is much different than becoming complacent. That’s what has become important to Pederson, who was on a Super Bowl-winning team as a player with the Packers in the 90s. 

“I still remember the one I won in Green Bay,” he said. “I still have shirts and hats and stuff at the house. I remember my teammates. I think as each day passes, it gets more into the past. It’s going to be a part of our fabric, part of our history here in Philadelphia, part of the Eagles’ organization, obviously. I want guys to remember. I think it’s the journey we took to see a Super Bowl LII logo on the wall. It means something different to Jason Peters than it does to Big V, right? I want those guys to remember it, I want them to embrace it.”

Pederson noted that when the team gets back together on July 25 for training camp, after the upcoming break, they’ll be just a couple of weeks away from playing in a preseason game. If they don’t flip the page to 2018, the rest of the league isn’t going to wait. 

No one can ever take Super Bowl LII away from them. But no one’s gonna give them the next one either. 

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Former Eagle Connor Barwin hired as special assistant to the general manager

Former Eagle Connor Barwin hired as special assistant to the general manager

Connor Barwin spent a lot of time at the Eagles’ complex the last couple months of the season, and now we know exactly why.

The Eagles on Friday afternoon announced that Barwin, who spent four years playing for the Eagles, has joined the team's front office in the role of special assistant to the general manager.

I'm done playing football, but my football career is not over," Barwin said in an interview on the team’s web site. "I want to stay involved. I want to help this team wherever I can and also learn the other side of the game from the coaches and the personnel side. There's still a lot that I can learn about the on-field part of the game, as well. I love being around the game. I still want to win a Super Bowl, multiple Super Bowls.

According to the Eagles’ web site, Barwin will work with the player personnel staff during the offseason and work on player development during the season, with an emphasis on mentoring players making the challenging transition from college to the NFL.

Barwin, 33, retired after spending last year with the Giants. He began his career with the Texans before signing a six-year, $36 million deal with the Eagles before the 2013 season.

He spent four of those seasons here and made his only Pro Bowl in 2014, when he had a career-high 14 1/2 sacks - the most by any Eagle over the last eight seasons.

Despite playing only four years here, Barwin ranks 15th in franchise history with 31 1/2 sacks, tied with Mike Mamula.

When Chip Kelly and his staff were fired after the 2015 season and new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz switched from a 3-4 defense under Bill Davis to a 4-3, Barwin moved from outside linebacker to defensive end. He had five sacks in 2016 and was released after the season.

Barwin spent 2017 with the Rams and 2018 with the Giants. He had 56 1/2 sacks in 10 seasons.

"I got to play for a bunch of really great coaches and look inside how other organizations are run," Barwin said. "That's some insight that I can bring to the Eagles."

Even after he left the Eagles, Barwin always considered Philadelphia home. He has made a huge impact in the community with his Make the World a Better Place foundation, which refurbishes and rebuilds parks and rec centers in Philadelphia.

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Eagles reportedly interviewing Graham Harrell for offensive coordinator job

Eagles reportedly interviewing Graham Harrell for offensive coordinator job

We have a new and interesting name in contention to be the Eagles’ next offensive coordinator.

The Eagles on Friday interviewed Southern California offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Graham Harrell, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.

This is an interesting approach from the Eagles and Harrell would certainly qualify as an outside-the-box hire. 

Harrell, 34, spent last season at USC but notably has an extensive history with Mike Leach and his Air Raid Offense. Harrell played for Leach at Texas Tech from 2004-08 before going to the CFL and NFL and then coached under Leach at Washington State from 2014-15. 

So Harrell would likely be able to bring some new and potentially exciting concepts to Doug Pederson’s offense. Remember, Jeff Stoutland is the Eagles’ run game coordinator, which meant that Mike Groh was pretty much the pass game coordinator for the last two seasons before he was fired. Since he wouldn’t call plays, that would basically be Harrell’s role if he got the job in Philly. 

At USC, Harrell was hired by head coach Clay Helton when Kliff Kingsbury left after a month to take the head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals. USC wanted to have an Air Raid style, so they turned to Harrell. 

In his one year as the offensive coordinator at USC, the Trojans improved drastically in major statistical categories on offense from 2018: 

Points per game: 26.1 to 32.5
Yards per game: 382.6 to 454.0 
Passing yards per game: 248.2 to 335.8  

Check out this interesting excerpt from an Aug. 1 story in Sports Illustrated about Harrell’s hire at USC and his thoughts on the offensive system he comes with:

“People hear Air Raid and they think five wide receivers, no tight ends, 60 pass attempts and 50 points a game. To Harrell, the Air Raid is something else. It is working to death a small number of plays, with shorter playcalls, perfecting those plays and out-executing — not out-scheming — the opponent. Option-based coaches, like former Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, operate under similar mentalities, but with a different focus: rushing the football. Leach does it through the air. “You can’t do everything. I think a lot of people try to take a little bit of everything offensively,” Harrell says. “If you do that, you don’t have much of an identity. You’re just O.K. at everything and not really good at something.”

At times over the last few seasons, the Eagles have found success after simplifying. They’ve also found success using an up-tempo pace to get Carson Wentz into a rhythm. These seem like concepts that would mesh with Harrell’s philosophy. 

And we also know that Pederson values coaches who, like himself, were once players. After he left Texas Tech, Harrell played one season (but was injured) for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and then was a backup quarterback in Green Bay for a few seasons and with the New York Jets for a season in 2013. Harrell’s only NFL game action came in 2012 as a member of the Packers. He played in four games and threw just four career passes. 

Since then, though, he’s been a quick riser in the coaching world. And he has some fresh ideas that might help an Eagles offense that has been far too stagnant at times over the last couple seasons. 

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