Eagles

Brandon Brooks caps incredible rehab by smashing pitch count in opener

Brandon Brooks caps incredible rehab by smashing pitch count in opener

Less than eight months removed from tearing his right Achilles tendon in the playoff game in New Orleans, Brandon Brooks knew he was going to be on a pitch count for Sunday’s season opener.

Brooks was supposed to play just 30 snaps; he ended up playing 55 before exiting the game prior to that 19-play drive in the fourth quarter.

He still wanted more.

“I was really getting in Doug’s ear and Stout’s ear about going back in,” Brooks said.

Eventually, the 30-year-old right guard got his wish. He got one more snap — he was back in at right guard as the Eagles lined up in victory formation to run out the final seconds of their 32-27 win at the Linc.

While Brooks was always on pace to play in Week 1 and while his absence on the injury report Friday let us know he was good to go, it doesn’t make what he just did any less remarkable. We’re talking about a 340-pound offensive lineman playing in an NFL game less than eight months after an Achilles tear … and doing it at a high level.

And he never had a doubt.

“I always knew I was going to be fine, man,” Brooks said. “I give credit to the training staff. Them doing their job, they were kind of up in the air as far as letting me play. I appreciate the organization and the trainers having faith in me knowing my body and allowing me to go out there and play.”

After Sunday’s win, Brooks said he felt fine and could’ve played the entire game if he wasn’t on a pitch count. He expects to play every snap next Sunday night in Atlanta.

Brooks said he felt like he was back to his usual self against the Redskins. That means back to being a two-time Pro Bowl guard. This was the first major injury of Brooks’ career and the way he approached his rehab was inspiring.

All that work paid off on Sunday night.

“You get to that fork in the road,” Brooks said. “You can either come back how you were or not come back at all. Hearing it was going to be kind of early and things like that, I just knew all the work I put in, that I was going to be fine and ready to go.”

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Nick Foles willing and ready to help Peyton Manning take down Tom Brady

Nick Foles willing and ready to help Peyton Manning take down Tom Brady

Anytime you put a microphone in front of Peyton Manning, it’s good TV. 

Today is no exception. 

Tiger Wood and Manning are golfing against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady today in a nationally televised showdown, Champions for Charity, to raise money to assist coronavirus relief efforts. 

Manning was trying to figure out who he could have gotten to caddy for him to rattle Brady and he landed on two names. 

“It’s hard to get to him,” Manning said. “So do you bring Eli? Could do that. Do you bring Nick Foles? Maybe.” 

That’s when Brady turned around: “That’s a cheap shot.”  

And Foles is ready! 

Could you imagine: It’s all tied up going into the final hole, Foles walks up next to Manning just before Brady’s tee shot … “You want Philly Philly?” 

Brady might be a six-time Super Bowl champion but he’s lost three times in the big game. To Eli Manning in 2008 and 2011 and to Foles in 2017. 

You might remember that game. You know, the one where Foles outplayed the greatest quarterback in NFL history, winning Super Bowl LII MVP, as the Eagles won 41-33 to kick off the greatest party in Philadelphia’s history. 

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Why Merrill Reese was afraid of blowing call of Eagles' Super Bowl LII win

Why Merrill Reese was afraid of blowing call of Eagles' Super Bowl LII win

Merrill Reese had been waiting 40 year for this moment.
 
And he was nervous.
 
After announcing Eagles games since 1977, including two Super Bowl losses, he was about to call one of the biggest plays in Eagles history.
 
Nine seconds left. 
 
Eagles 41, Patriots 33. 
 
Patriots near midfield. 
 
One play left.

People say, ‘Were you nervous before that last play,' and the answer is yes,” Reese recalled this week on the Eagle Eye podcast. “But my nervousness was not on whether or not the Eagles would win that game. Because Brady didn’t have an Aaron Rodgers arm, and I had a feeling he was going to have trouble getting it there at that point where a Rodgers gets it way up in the air. I thought the Eagles were going to hold on. I was worried because we were sitting in the exact opposite corner of the end zone in Minneapolis and I was 110 yards away from where that ball landed and I didn’t want to be known as the announcer who blew the Super Bowl call. That’s why I was nervous.

As the world watched, Tom Brady’s Hail Mary pass fell incomplete, the clock hit 0:00, the Eagles had their first Super Bowl championship and Reese didn’t blow the call.

As it went up there I followed it and I was able to see it, and I said, ‘It’s batted around and it’s … INCOMPLETE.’ Quickly, I looked up at the clock and I said, ‘The game is over and the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions, and then I said what I felt and I said, ‘Eagles fans everywhere, this one’s for you, let the celebration begin.’ That’s just what came out.

It was vintage Reese including the fans in his iconic call as the Eagles won their first NFL title in 57 years.
 
Reese appeared on the latest Eagle Eye podcast with Dave Zangaro and myself and spoke about how he prepared for the biggest moment of his professional career.
 
“There are broadcasters who will write out a paragraph to describe a championship if it occurs so they get it right,” he said. “We’ve been through this so many times - all of us - that I felt that I just wanted to let my emotion play out.”
 
Reese is a Philly guy, grew up in Overbrook Park, graduated from Overbrook High and Temple, spent all his life here.
 
Nobody connects with Eagles fans like Merrill.
 
And that synergy was fundamental in his impromptu call at the end of the Super Bowl.
 
“I want the Eagles to win the Super Bowl for the fans,” Reese said. “These are people, some of whom take second mortgages to buy their season tickets, people who spend their last dollars to buy their kids Carson Wentz jerseys for Christmas, these are the people who come out for wins and losses, ice, snow and rain, these are the people that I want that Super Bowl for. … That’s who deserved it more than anyone else. Best fans in the world. They’re great.”

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