Blown away, Jeff Lurie says this is for YOU

Blown away, Jeff Lurie says this is for YOU

MINNEAPOLIS — All these years later, the Eagles truly are the gold standard.

Jeff Lurie was right. It just took a little longer than he wanted.

In his 24th season as owner of the Eagles, Lurie finally got to hold the Lombardi Trophy high over his head Sunday night after his Eagles beat the Patriots — a team he once tried to buy — 41-33 in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium (see breakdown).

Lurie said this championship was extra special to him because of how much this team was doubted outside Philadelphia and how much adversity it overcame, including the loss of Carson Wentz (see story).

“When I talked to the team on Friday, the first thing I said was, 'I’m so proud of the men who are part of this,'" Lurie said. 

"This is the most unique and impressive groups of young men, whether it’s the players, the coaches, [the scouting] staff, just incredibly resilient.

"In life today, it’s so polarized. To have people who can actually work together and solve big issues, like how to win a world championship, it’s impressive what caring and trust and camaraderie and high energy and focus and discipline can do, and that’s what this team was all about."

The Eagles have been very competitive during most of Lurie's tenure, reaching the playoffs 13 times in the last 23 years and going 206-160-2 during those 23 seasons, the sixth-best record in the NFL during that span and second best in the NFC.

But all those seasons ended in losses.

This one will end in a parade (see Roob's observations).

“For me, when I picture moments when we were about to win a world championship, I think first of all the generations of fans," Lurie said.

"People want to be buried in Eagles paraphernalia, Eagles uniforms, Eagles flags, and [you think of] all the players who came before, you think about that. In that moment.

"The heart and tears that have gone into it for so long. I’m just so happy for our fans. I have to keep saying that.

“To be able to do that with the adversity that we had, basically doubted the whole season, yet we were the best team in football really wire to wire, it’s a credit to all these people. An incredible group of young men.”

Lurie hasn't always been treated the best by Eagles fans, who saw him in earlier years as just a rich guy from Boston who had deep pockets but didn't know how to win.

The reality is that Lurie has spent an incredible amount of money on free agents over the years, he got the Linc and NovaCare Complex built, and most importantly he saw qualities in Doug Pederson that maybe few others saw, and he built a culture in which someone like Pederson, who preaches teamwork and team-first concepts, could come in and have tremendous success.

Maybe now those fans will see Lurie for what he really is. A good man and exceptional owner, who wanted nothing more than to win a championship for his adopted hometown.

"I'm just so happy for our fans," Lurie said. "It's been something that I live every single day for. When I bought the team, all I wanted was to bring a championship to the most deserving fans in sports."

Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity


Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity

Jeff Lurie has turned into Willy Wonka for a good cause. 

The Eagles on Wednesday announced that they’re going to raffle off a Super Bowl ring and all the proceeds will go to the Eagles Autism Challenge, Inc. 

This is pretty cool. 

Click here to donate and enter.  

The coolest part is that the ring the Eagles will give away on Dec. 3 before Monday Night Football against Washington at the Linc, is the real deal ring. The one the players got, with all 219 diamonds and 17 green sapphires. And it'll be personalized. 

The contest is underway and runs through Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m. Fans can enter the contest by making a donation to the Eagles Autism Challenge, starting at $10 for 100 entries. The fan who wins will also get 50-yard line seats to that Dec. 3 game. 

There are also other incentives for fans who submit 2,500 entries or more. 

The Eagles have already done incredible work through their autism challenge, raising over $2.5 million at the inaugural event in May. This is a pretty cool way to raise even more money for a good cause.

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On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

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On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

Generally speaking, running backs either begin to decline or hit a wall around the time they turn 30. 

That hasn’t happened to Darren Sproles. 

In fact, today is Sproles’ birthday. He turns 35 and after rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL and a broken forearm, he still hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. That, in itself, is pretty incredible. 

Since it’s Sproles’ birthday, it seems like a good time to look into the elite company he can join this year as a productive 35-plus-year-old in the NFL. 

Sproles will enter the 2018 season with 19,155 all-purpose yards. He’s already eighth in NFL history and has a chance to surpass quite a few names on this list with a productive season. There are just seven players in front of him and five of them are already Hall of Famers: 

Jerry Rice: 23,546
Brian Mitchell: 23,330
Walter Payton: 21,803
Emmit Smith: 21,564
Tim Brown: 19,682
Marshall Faulk: 19,190
Steve Smith Jr.: 19,180

It’s impossible to know just how productive Sproles will be in 2018, especially as he’s coming off a significant knee injury. Last year, he had only two healthy games and he had just 88 all-purpose yards in them, putting him on pace for 704. That would have been significantly lower than his three previous seasons with the Eagles. 

In those three previous seasons, we saw a very slight decline from 1,237 in 2014 to 1,171 in 2015 to 1,108 in 2016. 

But if Sproles can return to form and is able to eclipse 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2018, he’d become just the eighth running back in NFL history to do it at age 35 or older. A search of Pro Football Reference shows the top mark ever for a running back over 35 (must be 35 or older on Dec. 31 of that year) was Herschel Walker’s season in 1997 (1,336). 

If Sproles eclipses that 1,000-yard mark, he’d also become just the second Eagles player (any position) to do it at 35 or older. The only other Eagle to do it was Irving Fryar, who had 1,316 back in 1997 too. 

He’d also move past Smith, Faulk and Brown into fifth all-time in all-purpose yards, becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to surpass the 20,000-yard mark. 

Even in 2016, when he had a down year as a punt returner, Sproles still had 224 punt return yards. If he surpasses the 200-yard mark this season, he’d be just the third player in NFL history to do it at 35 or older. The other three are Michael Lewis (336 in 2007), Leo Lewis (225 in 1991) and Mel Gray (205 in 1996). 

And this year, with the new kickoff rules, there’s a chance the Eagles might use him as a kick returner too. More chances to pile up yards. 

The man himself doesn’t care too much about individual achievements; he’d rather win another Super Bowl. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy tracking his progress. 

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