Eagles

Why have the Eagles been watching the Super Bowl?

Why have the Eagles been watching the Super Bowl?

If you’re an Eagles fan and you watch the Super Bowl, you’re going to be emotional. How can you not be?

If you’re Zach Ertz? It’s a little different.

Ertz found himself watching Super Bowl LII this week. Just like every Eagles fan has probably done 1,000 times.

Not to watch his 4th-down catch on the game-winning drive with 5 ½ minutes left or his 11-yard game-winning TD with 2 ½ minutes left.

He watched it to try to better prepare for the Eagles-Patriots game on Sunday.

At least that’s what he claims. With a straight face.

I view it as a game, I don’t view it as the Super Bowl,” Ertz said. “I just view it as more film on them to see what worked for us and see what didn’t. But the awe and mystique of that game isn’t on my mind.

I honestly don’t know how it's possible to take the awe and mystique out of that game. Especially when you were such a huge part of it.

Ertz has the only 4th-down reception on a 4th-quarter game-winning drive in Super Bowl history. And one of only four game-winning catches in the final three minutes of a Super Bowl.

And he doesn’t get emotional?

I just don’t reminisce about things,” Ertz said this week. “The reminiscing will come when I’m done playing. It’s still too early in my career, still have too many good years left, to start thinking about that.

How can you have a pulse and watch that game and not feel SOMETHING?

“Obviously, there’s history there and it was a special year but we’re two years away from that now, much different teams, it’s not something that’s going to be beneficial to us this week,” Jason Kelce said.

The Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 on Feb. 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium, and Sunday’s game will be the first rematch since.

The Eagles also beat the Patriots in Foxboro late in the 2015 season with Sam Bradford at quarterback 23 days before Chip Kelly was fired.

The last team to beat the Patriots three times in a row was the Giants -- in the 2011 regular season and in the Super Bowls following the 2007 and 2011 seasons.

There are 28 players still on the Eagles who were with the team in 2017.

It’s the last thing on their mind right now.

“That game is so far in the past,” Ertz said. “I’ve played so many games since then. That game is not even on my register.”

So why watch it? Ertz said he watched a lot of tape of the Eagles-Lions game, since Lions coach Matt Patricia was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator in 2017, but he also watched the Super Bowl just for a refresher on the Patriots’ defensive backs and defensive scheme.

There are plays in the Super Bowl (you can learn from),” he said. “Most of the safeties are the same players that are there now, (Stephon) Gilmore’s still there, so there are things you can take away, but you can’t watch it in light of, ‘This was the Super Bowl.’ It’s more just drawing plays and matchups based off the game. Not, ‘Let’s go watch the Super Bowl and how we won.’ No, let’s go watch how we took advantage of certain things we do and not let’s go back and reminisce.

Twelve of the Eagles’ projected starters Sunday, including seven on defense, started in the Super Bowl.

You have to feel something watching it. No?

“It was two years ago,” Fletcher Cox said. “To me it’s like old war stories. It’s two different locker rooms. This locker room is very different than two years, their locker room is very different. It comes down to good football teams playing each other Sunday.”

If the Eagles really are this focused, it’s a good sign. If they leave the reminiscing to the fans, maybe they’ll have a chance of beating the Patriots again.

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5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

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USA Today Sports Images/@SirRobin83/Twitter

5-year-old Eagles impersonator gets Boston Scott's stamp of approval

With professional sports on pause around the world, fans are looking for anything - video games, simulations, classic games - to satisfy that live sports itch.

We may have found the ultimate placeholder: a five-year-old imitating Boston Scott's infamous spin-o-rama.

On Saturday afternoon, Twitter user Robin Stanley tagged Scott in a quick video of his son, Beckett, pretending to be the Eagles running back:

I mean, c'mon: the likeness to Scott's spin move against the Giants is kind of uncanny.

In case you need to jog your memory, here is Scott's spin:

Scott, of course, made fun of himself for the move at the time, admitting that when he saw the clip after the game, it "looked pretty silly".

I'd say Beckett's spin had a little more swag.

Stanley's dad, a Philly native, told NBC Sports Philadelphia his son was expecting to play his first season of flag football this spring down in Nashville, but the league was postponed because of social distancing mandates, so he's making do.

On Saturday, Scott saw Stanley's video and gave the little man a nod of approval:

That's just good, clean fun. Thank you, Beckett, for the sports-related smile.

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Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Four years ago, when Rodney McLeod became a free agent for the first time in his NFL career, one of the reasons he wanted to join the Eagles was for the chance to play next to Malcolm Jenkins. 

And for the last four years, he did. The two formed a safety tandem that played 49 regular season games and four playoff games, including Super Bowl LII, together. 

But now Jenkins is back in New Orleans with the Saints and the Eagles are preparing to play without him for the first time since 2013. Meanwhile, McLeod signed a two-year deal to return to Philly. 

On a conference call with reporters on Thursday, McLeod said he learned a lot from Jenkins over the past four seasons. 

What were some of those lessons? 

Just as a competitor,” McLeod said. “And then the ability to get the most out of guys, whether it’s on the defensive side or from an entire team standpoint. I think as a leader, that’s your kind of job. How can you get guys to play at the highest level and get the most out of your players. I think he was one of the best at doing that and understanding everyone … I learned a lot from him. 

“Not just on the field but off the field, the way he handled himself and what he did in the community for the city. I’ll always admire him. It’s hard to match. But like I said, his legacy will live on. The Saints are getting a good guy. Now, us as Eagles, playing with a new group of guys and we’re ready to move forward.

There’s no question that the Eagles are going to miss Jenkins’ contributions on the field. They will use some combination of Jalen Mills and Will Parks to replace him at that position and that won’t be easy. 

But the Eagles will also miss the leadership Jenkins brought to the locker room. He wasn’t just the leader of the secondary or even just the defense; Jenkins was oftentimes the key leader for the entire team. That’s hard to replace too. 

It’s not that McLeod, 29, hasn’t been a leader during his first four years in Philly. But now that role might need to expand and will become more important with the absence of Jenkins. 

“I think it’s important for me to be myself and be who I’ve always been,” McLeod said. “And that’s a guy that leads by his actions and leads by example. I think if you ask a lot of guys on the team, that’s what they’ll tell you most. Actions sometimes speak louder than words. I think there will be times for me to speak up when needed. When my teammates need me most, I’ll be ready to do that.”

For the most part, McLeod has been the quieter of the two safeties and Jim Schwartz has previously called him the calming presence in the defensive backfield.

But McLeod can speak up too. 

It’s really just about finding a balance between his two sides and putting the lessons from Jenkins into practice in 2020. 

“Myself, being a leader on this team for some time, will of course be asked to step up as well as other guys from a defensive standpoint and on the team,” McLeod said. “I think we’re prepared for that. And guys will be willing to step up to the plate and accept the challenge. Myself first and foremost.”

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