Jason Peters says he'll 'be back better than ever'

Jason Peters says he'll 'be back better than ever'

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jason Peters is finally at the Super Bowl. 

He wants to play in it next year. 

The 36-year-old left tackle is in Minnesota this week but, because of a knee injury, has been relegated to spectator and support system for his teammates. But he's already rehabbing and plans to play again next season. 

"I'm definitely not going out like that," Peters said on Monday night. "I'll be back better than ever." 

Wearing cool shades inside the Xcel Energy Center and sporting his trademark clean beard for the media night circus, Peters spoke publicly for the first time since he tore his ACL and MCL against Washington on Oct. 23. 

The Eagles lost Peters back in October the same day they also lost middle linebacker Jordan Hicks. Since then, the team also lost Carson Wentz but has continued to roll and is now playing in the Super Bowl in just a few days. He's enjoyed watching his teammates find success and celebrate it. 

As for himself, Peters said he's never had any doubts about returning to play again. 

"That ain't how I'm built," Peters explained. "That ain't how I'm built and I just take it and anytime I get injured, I take it like it was meant to happen to me and I take it and roll with it."

Even though Peters can't play in Sunday's Super Bowl, he said getting to this point is still a "dream come true." Peters has played in three career playoff games and has suffered three losses. He spoke openly last season about hoping the Eagles would be able to play for a championship before his career was over. 

On Monday night, Peters called himself "year to year" but said he'll definitely be back for the 2018 season; he expects to be ready for the start of the season. Even though Halapoulivaati Vaitai has played well in his absence, Peters was playing at a Pro Bowl level before the injury and will likely one day be enshrined in Canton. He's under contract for two more seasons. 

Really, a lot of Vaitai's success can probably be attributed to Peters, who has been coaching him from the moment his own season ended in October. Peters said Vaitai is a great player who just needs to keep his confidence high. 

"I embraced [my new role] it as soon as I went down," Peters said. "I knew I was going to have to help Big V and Lane (Johnson) and everybody to stick together and that's what I've been doing. So far, so good."

When asked if coaching is in his future, Peters said he wasn't sure. He'll have to see when he gets to that point. 

For now, though, he's focused on his rehab and playing again next season. The Eagles' talent and success this season have certainly rejuvenated the 36-year-old.  

"Of course," he said. "We're in the Super Bowl and hopefully we can make another run for it. First we gotta take care of this one and get a W."

Gunn-on-One: Malcolm Jenkins pleasantly surprised with Avonte Maddox

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Gunn-on-One: Malcolm Jenkins pleasantly surprised with Avonte Maddox

Malcolm Jenkins is the jack-of-all-trades for an Eagles’ defense that is hurting on the back end. 

No. 27 is this week’s Gunn-on-One subject.

Gunn: Give me your assessment of this team after six games.

Jenkins: The real assessment is we’re 3-3. We’ve earned three wins and I think when you look at the three losses, most of them we felt like we gave those away. And so we’re coming off a big win on a short week in the division, but as we look out at the landscape in the NFC East, all of our goals are right in front of us. While it hadn’t started like we wanted to, it’s still very much alive, so we’re focusing on each week, making sure that we’re putting out the best performance we can to be successful, and nothing bigger than coming home against the Carolina Panthers. A team that has been to the playoffs. A really good running game, obviously a premiere quarterback, premiere tight end, premier receiver, premier running back, some great challenges, and a defense that can get after you with some linebackers that know how to make plays. So we’ve got a challenge and we’re excited about that opportunity to compete.

Gunn: You guys are nicked up on the back end. You have pieces moving all over the place. How much more responsibility falls on you to hold it together back there?

Jenkins: I think initially that’s kind of the reaction — that a lot of that falls on me, but it’s been a pleasant surprise for me to see Avonte Maddox step up the way he has. Not only is he playing a new position, but we’ve given him the responsibility to call the defense, set the defense, which takes a little bit off my plate. He’s really filling a role so that my role doesn’t change. We got other guys that we have to cross-train just because we’re so thin with depth as a contingency plan. One: it gives us better depth. Two: it gives us a little bit of an advantage as well. It’s my responsibility to make sure these guys are prepared.

To see the expanded version of my Gunn-on-One with Jenkins, go to the #MyTeams Philadelphia sports app, and also watch Eagles Pregame Live this Sunday between noon and 1 p.m.

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Get ready to see Eagles’ little-known DT Treyvon Hester take a bigger role

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Get ready to see Eagles’ little-known DT Treyvon Hester take a bigger role

Doug Pederson said Friday defensive tackle Treyvon Hester is “definitely going to be asked to do a little bit more this week” against the Panthers. 

Based on Hester’s performance last week, that’s a good thing. 

The Eagles added the 26-year-old defensive tackle to their practice squad in early September and promoted him to the active roster less than a month later. With Haloti Ngata’s lingering calf injury and Tim Jernigan’s return in question, the Eagles are probably going to ask more of Hester going forward. 

“Treyvon is an explosive player,” defensive line coach Chris Wilson said. “He has some similarities to Tim Jernigan in regards to how twitchy he is on the backside. A lot of times, Fletcher Cox gets a lot of attention and [Hester] has the ability to win some 1-on-1s. We need that.”

Although he played just 15 snaps in the game against the Giants, he showed more flashes than some other defensive tackles have shown all year. And he did it on back-to-back plays in the second quarter, when Cox was on the bench. 

On this 1st-and-10, Hester got through Giants right guard Patrick Omameh and puts a hit on Eli Manning as Manning’s pass goes incomplete. 

Then, on the very next snap, Hester made another play. 

On this one, Hester gets through a double-team and takes down Saquon Barkley for no gain. It was one of just two of Barkley’s runs that went for no gain Thursday. 

“Just being able to go out there and play feels good,” Hester said. “Anything I can do out there to help the team get a W, I’m just going to play my part.”

Hester was a seventh-round pick by the Raiders in 2017 and actually played in 14 games and started one as a rookie. So it was probably a little humbling to come to Philly and have to wait for his turn while on the practice squad. 

He used that time going against the Eagles’ very talented offensive line. He worked to get them prepared for each game, which also helped him grow as a player while on the practice squad. 

But now he has his chance. And the Eagles are counting on him to make the most of it.

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