BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — There have likely been thousands of football fans who have walked past Jake Elliott this week without giving so much as a second look.
They're trying to find the football players.
While Elliott's Eagles teammates have been stopped by excited fans as they've been wandering around the Mall of America this week, Elliott has gone unnoticed. At 5-9, 167 pounds, Elliott looks more like the kid who works at Cinnabon than a professional football player.
"Nobody stops me," he said. "It's great."
Little do all those football fans know that Elliott could very well end up winning the Super Bowl for the Eagles in just a few days. It's just something he doesn't think about all that often.
Of course, for a kicker, there's no higher peak than possibly nailing a game-winning kick in the Super Bowl. That's the Mount Everest of kicker accomplishments. You'd probably forgive Elliott if every once in a while he caught himself daydreaming about that exact type of scenario. Hasn't happened.
"I don't think about that a whole lot," the even-keeled rookie said. "I like to just go in the moment and go with the flow of the game. If that comes up, that comes up."
"Obviously, you kind of visualize kicks a day at a time, but you don't really think about those moments a whole lot until you get there."
During about a six-minute span on Tuesday afternoon, Elliott was asked multiple times about the pressures of kicking in the playoffs and in the Super Bowl and he answered the same way every time. He tries to approach a kick in Week 6 the same way he will in the Super Bowl. It's a boring answer, but it's probably the best one to hear if you're an Eagles fan.
Before this playoff run started, Elliott explained that the only nervousness he ever feels comes from the unknown. So he'll warm up while the offense is on the field, peeking over his shoulder to see their progress. He doesn't know if he'll get a chance to kick and where on the field that chance will come.
But once he gets on the field and starts to line up the kick, the nervousness is gone. Then, he said, he's just doing something he's done a million times before.
"I just take it one kick at a time," he said. "I don't think too much of them. I don't want to make the moment bigger than it needs to be."
This has been a pretty wild season for the 23-year-old rookie. Elliott was drafted in the fifth round out of Memphis by the Bengals in the spring, but lost a kicking competition to Randy Bullock. He joined the Cincinnati practice squad for a little over a week until Caleb Sturgis went down and the Eagles came calling.
Since taking over for the Birds, Elliott has done a pretty good job. His huge moment came in Week 3, when he nailed a 61-yard game-winning kick against the Giants.
Now, he'll get to kick in a Super Bowl.
"Hopefully I get a couple opportunities out there on Sunday," Elliott said, "and I look forward to it."
If he makes a game-winner, good luck not getting stopped in the mall next week.