Eagles

Patriots' dynasty? 'That s--- don't matter' to Alshon Jeffery

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Patriots' dynasty? 'That s--- don't matter' to Alshon Jeffery

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Some of the Eagles enjoyed the media circus of Super Bowl week in Minnesota. Some of them rode roller coasters in the mall and shopped and played along as wacky "reporters" asked wacky questions. 

Alshon Jeffery wasn't one of them. 

"I'm only here for one thing," Jeffery said this week. "I don't care about the fun stuff."

The 27-year-old receiver has waited six years in the NFL to get to this point. Heck, he waited six years just to get into the playoffs. Eventually, he'll take some time to reflect and probably appreciate it more. But for now, he has a laser focus. 

He doesn't care about how many catches he has or if he scores a touchdown; he just wants to win one more game. 

And even though he respects them, Jeffery is not intimidated by Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots' dynasty. 

"That's what we're trying to start in Philly," Jeffery said. "At the same time, they in the way of what we're trying to get. We're trying to get a trophy, man. We're trying to bring this trophy back to Philly for the first time. We're trying to win the Super Bowl. All that dynasty stuff, that s--- don't matter to me.

"S---. It's time to go get it man. I feel like, s---, [Brady] in the way of where we're trying to get. We came here for one reason. That's to bring that trophy home."

Jeffery has been in Philly for just one season, but it's pretty clear he gets what bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Philly would mean to the city. It would mean a ton for him too. From a couple weeks before the playoffs began, Jeffery has ratcheted up his intensity and focus. He's been selfless all season and he really means it. He doesn't care if he catches a single pass on Sunday, as long as they're celebrating afterward. 

He once predicted a Super Bowl championship before he even became a free agent, before he joined the Eagles and he's now one win way from making it happen. Jeffery said he believed it into existence. 

As far as the Patriots go, they've won five Super Bowls since 2002 and have been the most consistently dominant team of the past 20 years. Of course, in Super Bowl LI, they looked beatable. The Falcons went up 28-3 before Brady and the Pats stormed back for an incredible comeback win. Jeffery saw it. 

"Every year is a new year," he said. "I just know we got our foot on the gas and we're going at they neck. We ain't taking it off."

Jeffery said he doesn't think the Patriots' experience advantage in the big game will matter as much as "want-to." He wants it bad. 

On Sunday, there's a good chance Jeffery will be lined up against Stephon Gilmore, who was his college roommate at South Carolina. He said Gilmore was a good roommate who respected his personal space. The two are still friends but haven't talked this week. As you might imagine, Jeffery wasn't ready for a trip down memory lane this week; he's looking forward to facing Gilmore, but doesn't really care who covers him. 

He doesn't care about anything except getting to hold the Lombardi Trophy late on Sunday night. 

During the week, he played along just a little bit. He was asked to name his favorite Hispanic comedian and couldn't think of George Lopez's name. A couple days later, he seemed to regret that he just couldn't get the answer out. 

Not that he cares that much. 

"Honestly, I just want to play football," Jeffery said. "This is pretty cool, it's a great moment. I probably won't reflect back on all this until after it's over. But I just want to play football." 

Greg Ward still learning wide receiver position after great college career at quarterback

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Greg Ward still learning wide receiver position after great college career at quarterback

Greg Ward threw more touchdown passes in college than Carson Wentz and had a higher career passer rating than Nick Foles. 

These days, his job is catching passes, not throwing them. 

It’s quite a transition from big-time NCAA Division 1 quarterback to NFL wide receiver, but at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, the former Houston Cougar knows where his future is.

Ward spent all of last year on the Eagles’ practice squad, learning the nuances of a new position and figuring out how to think like a receiver instead of a quarterback. 

He looked surprisingly polished at wide out in training camp, caught nine passes for 63 yards in the preseason and then spent the season focusing on getting better.

“I still haven’t 100 percent gotten the position,” Ward said after a recent rookie camp practice. “I always feel like I can get better, always feel like I can learn something new, feel like there’ll always be something to improve on. 

“Last year was a big year for me. Just learning a new position, learning football period, learning from Alshon (Jeffery), Torrey (Smith) and Nelson (Agholor), it was a very important year for me.

“Just gathering every bit of information I could watching those guys practice and watching them in games and then learning how to apply what you’ve learned to your game.”

Ward never did get a chance to play, but he said he felt himself getting better as the year went along.

“Everybody wants to play,” said Ward, who led Houston to a Peach Bowl win over No. 9 Florida State in Atlanta at the end of his junior year. 

“You’re a competitor, that’s why we all do this. But I was humbled and thankful just to be on a Super Bowl team. Just to be in the NFL period. Some guys aren’t able to play football at all. I’m just grateful to be on a football team. 

“But this is not the end of my story. I am going to get out there and I am going to play.”

Ward was with the Eagles during their postseason run and he was there in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl.

He used every moment, every day, as an opportunity to improve. Even if nobody could see it happening.

“The biggest thing I learned was just being patient, just being humble,” he said. “Our team last year, there was nobody that was selfish. Nobody who thought they were bigger than anybody else. I learned patience and the importance of doing extra. Getting extra work, studying more, watching more film. That’s what it takes to win a championship.”

The Eagles have quite a crowd at wide receiver, with Jeffery, Agholor and Mack Hollins back, Wallace and Markus Wheaton in the fold and guys like Bryce Treggs, Shelton Gibson and Rashard Davis all also in the mix.

But Ward doesn’t concern himself with the numbers.

“The next step for me is to separate myself,” he said. "As a competitor, especially coming from being undrafted, you have to separate yourself. You have to be different. 

“You have to catch whoever’s eye it is, head coach, position coach, catch everybody’s eyes. They have to see value in you. That’s where I am right now. Trying to separate myself.”

How long will it take?

“I’m leaving that up to God,” he said. “I know I’m putting in the hard work and I know one day it will pay off. I know that day will come.”

Jay Ajayi's publicist denies Eagles' RB trashed an L.A. mansion

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Jay Ajayi's publicist denies Eagles' RB trashed an L.A. mansion

Eagles running back Jay Ajayi is strongly denying accusations made in a lawsuit that he trashed a Los Angeles house after the Super Bowl (see story)

The lawsuit, as reported by TMZ earlier this week, accuses Ajayi of throwing three parties at the L.A. mansion he was renting even after the owner told him not to. Ajayi is being charged $25,000 by the owner. 

Shortly after the story broke on Monday, a representative for Ajayi claimed the lawsuit was bogus. 

Now, we have an even stronger detail from Ajayi’s camp. 

Ajayi’s publicist Melanie Wadden told the Miami Herald that Ajayi didn’t throw any parties and caused no damage to the property. 

Additionally, Wadden denied the home owner’s claim that Ajayi pushed him in a menacing manner after confronting him.

“Jay was not involved in any physical altercations,” she said. 

Ajayi’s publicist also told the Herald that Ajayi was a guest and not the renter and the owner wanted the group to pay cash instead of through Airbnb. 

"The entire group voluntarily left the property several days early — no security or police were ever involved or on-site," Wadden said. "They filed a complaint against the owner through Airbnb back in February that included screenshots of the owner asking for cash and trying to communicate outside of their platform [against Airbnb policy]."

Ajayi, who came to the Eagles in the middle of last season in a trade, has one year left on his current contract.