How Eagles' trip to L.A. prepared them for Super Bowl hype

How Eagles' trip to L.A. prepared them for Super Bowl hype

The Eagles are going to try to keep everything normal for the next two weeks. 

There's just nothing normal about this. 

This week, the Eagles will be insulated in Philadelphia, preparing from the NovaCare Complex. But next week, they'll go to Minnesota and into a circus-like environment. They won't play in Super Bowl LII until Feb. 4. 

So how will Doug Pederson try to keep things normal? 

"I've got to just communicate and keep things on a rigid, tight schedule, make sure guys are focused on the job at hand," Pederson said. "They even said it after the game, last night in the locker room, that there's a lot of unfinished business still to do. There's one game left. One game left in this season. We've come this far and want to make sure we stay focused. 

"We've got a great locker room, as you guys know. I trust my leaders of the team. I trust they will keep this group focused and grounded. It's an all-hands-on-deck mentality. They'll come to work this week ready to go, eager to go. They've been able to do it all season."

For the most part, this week will be like a typical week of practice. Pederson hinted the Eagles will install most of their game plan this week without the distractions of the Super Bowl circus. They can then fine-tune things in Minnesota. 

Leading up to the NFC Championship Game, the Eagles seemed remarkably loose, so they'll probably try to keep it that way for the next two weeks. The team was so loose that the final team meeting Saturday featured a singalong to the Meek Mill song "Dreams and Nightmares," which has seemingly become an anthem of sorts for the Eagles. 

"It's probably one of the calmest I've seen our guys, the most relaxed I've seen our guys," Pederson said. "I do want them to feel relaxed. If I'm tight and uptight, they're going to feel it and probably react the same way. And so I want them to let their personalities show and have fun. Enjoy the moment. This is why we coach and play, is for these opportunities and these moments right here." 

A week on the road isn't exactly a whole new experience for the Eagles either. They were on the road for a week in Los Angeles in December between the Seahawks and Rams games. Pederson said that even back then they thought that experience could pay off in the long run. 

After they lost in Seattle, the Eagles flew south and stayed in Orange County for the week before pulling off the win over the Rams that clinched the NFC East on Dec. 10. 

"We talked back then that this was sort of a precursor for hopefully this opportunity," Pederson said. "And kind of going through it a little bit with the team hotel, the meeting, the travel to a practice site, the media obligations and things like that. And now having been through it, it makes it a little bit easier going up to Minneapolis, but now it's just on a bigger, grander stage, obviously, so the attention will be a lot more.

"There will be a lot more distractions, a lot more pulling on coaches, players, personnel. Having gone through it in L.A. has really given us a leg up going up there in a week." 

Eagles Mailbag: Biggest concern on 2018 roster

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Eagles Mailbag: Biggest concern on 2018 roster

We’ve officially reached the only sort of dead period on the NFL calendar. The Eagles are through their spring practices and won’t be back at the NovaCare Complex until July 25 for the start of training camp. 

That sounds far away, but it’ll be here before you know it. 

You guys were great and gave me a ton of questions, so I’ll answer half today and half Sunday. Let’s go: 

I’m tempted to say defensive tackle just for health concerns surrounding Tim Jernigan, but I have to answer linebacker. Jordan Hicks appears to be healthy after tearing his Achilles last year, but as good as he is when healthy, it’s just tough to count on him. Two years ago, he was able to play a full season and things were looking good, but then he suffered another serious injury. If Hicks and Bradham stay healthy, linebackers aren’t a concern. The Eagles will have either Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry or Corey Nelson take the weakside spot on base downs and they’ll be OK. 

But without Mychal Kendricks, it’s fair to be concerned about their depth at the position, especially after veteran pickup Paul Worrilow was already lost for the year. Kendricks came up huge last year as a fill-in; not sure the Eagles have that kind of depth this year. 

Not sure yet. What I can tell you about De’Vante Bausby is that he was impressive this spring and the coaching staff seems to love him. I remain very, very skeptical that he’s good enough to keep Sidney Jones off the field. With that said, I do think he’s talented enough to make the 53-man roster. We’ll get a better sense at camp when the pads go on, but I have him penciled in to make the team. 

Yes on both. The Nate Sudfeld hype is real. In our first extended looks at the young quarterback, he’s been incredibly impressive. It’s starting to make sense why the Eagles snatched him from Washington and then blocked the Colts from signing him last season. They kept him on the 53 in the second half of last year, so they’re completely prepared to keep three QBs on this year’s roster if Foles is still on the team. 

This is going to be the summer of Nate Sudfeld. We’re going to see him play a ton in those preseason games and that will let us know if he’s ready to be QB2 behind Carson Wentz. But the fact that the Eagles didn’t bring in a more experienced veteran after Wentz went down last year pretty much tells you all you need to know about what the Eagles think of him. 

We tried that. Didn’t work out well. We’re up for suggestions. 

You have no idea how out of water this fish is. This is like taking a fish from the ocean and dropping it in Kansas. 

How about Portugal? I’ll go with them because of Ronaldo. 

Where should Carson Wentz land on NFL's top 10 list?

Where should Carson Wentz land on NFL's top 10 list?

We now officially know Carson Wentz will be somewhere in the top 10 of the NFL Network’s top 100 players of 2018. 

We just don’t know where he’ll land. 

As far as the other Eagles on the list, the Super Bowl champions weren’t extremely well-represented: 68. Zach Ertz, 69. Fletcher Cox, 95. Lane Johnson, 96. Malcolm Jenkins. 

Before tearing his ACL and LCL on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles, it seemed like Wentz was on his way to an MVP season. In 13 games, Wentz threw for over 3,200 yards and a franchise-record 33 touchdown passes. 

Wentz is the only player in the top 10 who has never been anywhere on the top 100 list before. Can he go from off the list to No. 1?

Here’s the list of players (in alphabetical order) who will be unveiled in the top 10 on Monday night. 

  • Le'Veon Bell 
  • Tom Brady 
  • Drew Brees 
  • Antonio Brown
  • Aaron Donald 
  • Todd Gurley
  • Julio Jones 
  • Von Miller 
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Carson Wentz

In the comments below, leave your top 10 in order. We’ll see how close everyone can get. 

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