Eagles excited for pep talk from the ultimate gunslinger

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Eagles excited for pep talk from the ultimate gunslinger

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Eagles will be visited by a special guest the day before they face the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. 

Head coach Doug Pederson on Wednesday said his former teammate and NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre will stop by the Radisson Blu in the Mall of America on Saturday morning and speak to the Eagles in a team meeting. 

"I figure that since he was going to be in town, just asked him," Pederson said. 

Pederson was Favre's backup for seven seasons in Green Bay and the two have remained close friends. Pederson said he knew Favre would be in Minnesota for the Super Bowl and decided a talk from a former Super Bowl winner could help his team. Earlier in the season, in Los Angeles, Pederson and the Eagles brought in Kobe Bryant to speak to the team. 

While that Kobe talk was big for several guys, hearing Favre on Saturday will certainly be a thrill for others, including quarterback Nick Foles, who has referred to himself as a "gunslinger" in the past. Favre is the ultimate gunslinger. 

"He's one of the greatest to ever play the game," Foles said. "And just his style of play, his toughness. He is a true gunslinger. Rocket arm, can throw it from any angle, off his back foot, he can just throw it anywhere he wants. 

"And he's been there, he's won the big game, he's won big games, he's played a lot, a lot of football. So anytime you have an opportunity to listen to someone like him speak, it's huge. I can't wait to listen to what wisdom and knowledge he gives us and I know everyone on our team will be excited to hear him speak."

Favre, 48, last played for the Vikings in 2010 but obviously spent most of his Hall of Fame career in Green Bay. He won Super Bowl XXXI against the Patriots in 1997 in the Superdome in New Orleans. In that game, Favre completed 14 of 27 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. He had a passer rating of 107.9. 

You can bet 6-year-old Lane Johnson was back in his hometown in Texas watching that game. While Johnson grew up in Texas, he was a big Packers fan. He has never met Favre before, so he's obviously looking forward to Saturday morning. 

What does he want to get out of it?  

"Just his perspective," Johnson said. "You think you know what he's about. Just watching him, I liked how much passion he played the game (with), that gunslinger mentality. You throw an interception, who gives a damn? Keep it coming. Just growing up, I idolized that trait about him. I think that's what people loved about Brett and loved being a teammate of his. I think it's just going to be a lot of fun. I'm anxious to hear him."

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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