Eagles

Press Taylor breaks down how he brought 'Philly Special' to Eagles

Press Taylor breaks down how he brought 'Philly Special' to Eagles

You’re never going to forget the “Philly Special.” 

Never. 

Perhaps the gutsiest call in NFL history, the trick play the Eagles pulled off late in the second quarter of Super Bowl LII helped the franchise hold the Lombardi Trophy for the first time.

Go ahead and thank Press Taylor for that. 

Taylor is now the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach, but last season as an offensive quality control assistant, part of his job was to mine plays — often specifically gadget plays — from around the rest of the NFL and college. So it was actually a newly-turned 30-year-old who made a bunch of grown men cry tears of joy in February. 

But what was it like for Taylor to see the play he mined get used in the Super Bowl? 

“It was awesome,” Taylor said with a smile Monday morning, just over four months since the game. “I don’t think I ever could have imagined it being a 4th-and-2 call in the Super Bowl. I don’t think anybody would have.” 

During the Super Bowl, Taylor was upstairs in the coaching booth when he heard the play call come over his headset. Down on the field, it was Nick Foles who approached Doug Pederson with the suggestion “Philly Philly” in one of the most memorable moments from the incredible game. 

Taylor tried to downplay the credit he’s received from Pederson and former offensive coordinator Frank Reich for bringing the play to the Eagles. But there he was during the Super Bowl, watching the play he found, get used in an incredibly pivotal moment. 

“We were all just kind of holding on, hoping it turned out well,” Taylor said. “And it did. It was a great call. I think, for us, if you’re not the play-caller and you’re not on the field executing, you’re kind of just a fan that happens to know the play being called and knows what to look for when we line up.”

During last season, Taylor collected gadget plays in a folder until Reich came to him and asked for his five best ideas. It included the Philly Special. Taylor saw it from a Bears-Vikings game in the 2016 season. Then WRs coach Mike Groh and Alshon Jeffery, having both come from Chicago, were familiar with it and helped install it and help it fit with the Eagles. 

The Bears actually called the play “Clemson Special” because they found it from watching college tape. (See the tape breakdown and the play’s origins here.)

Taylor had seen the play at the college level before too, at Oklahoma, West Virginia, South Alabama, but said the play needs to be different in the NFL, where a quarterback can’t catch a pass after being lined up under center. So Foles had to be in the shotgun. 

After the Eagles called the play, Taylor watched it work to perfection, just as he envisioned. 

“Watching as Nick moves, how the defense reacts,” he said, “ you just get more and more excited as the play goes on.”

Back with Eagles, Vinny Curry had other offers, but ‘home is home’

Back with Eagles, Vinny Curry had other offers, but ‘home is home’

It’s safe to say Vinny Curry is pretty happy to be back in Philadelphia. 

Right? 

“Hell yeah,” said a giddy Curry on a conference call with Philly reporters Thursday afternoon. “Super excited!” 

After one year in Tampa Bay, the 30-year-old Curry on Thursday signed a one-year contract to return to the Eagles. According to a league source, his one-year deal is worth $2.25 million and he can earn another $1.25 million in incentives. It’s quite a different contract than the last one he signed with the Eagles and the three-year, $23 million deal he signed to join the Bucs last offseason. 

But this wasn’t all about money for Curry. 

He wanted to come back. You could feel his excitement on the other end of Thursday’s conference call. 

In fact, Curry was reportedly offered more money to join the Giants, but came back to the Eagles instead. 

Definitely had a couple different offers on the table, but home is home. This just felt right. This felt like the right situation. I think it was just time for me to be back in Philadelphia.

Curry was drafted by the Eagles in the second round back in 2012 after he grew up in Neptune, N.J. as an Eagles fan. But the real reason he wanted to come back to Philly was because of his teammates. Even though he said he had a good time during his one season in Tampa, he missed his teammates in the Eagles’ locker room. He said they’re like brothers. Curry, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham — minus last year — have played together since 2012. 

But things changed during Curry’s year away. He started every game during the 2017 Super Bowl season, but it is expected that he will come back to the Eagles this year as a rotational player, playing both defensive end and defensive tackle. Graham and Derek Barnett will be the starters at defensive end. 

“When it comes to the role, whatever the team needs me to do, I’ve always been that guy,” Curry said. “You guys know that. Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m going to do it. I don’t have an ego at all.” 

Curry even joked he would play receiver if the Eagles asked. When he was told the Eagles likely won’t ask him to do that, Curry agreed and joked he has “feet for hands.” 

The Eagles cut Curry after the 2017 season because of his contract and Curry on Thursday said he understood why they did it. It’s in the past, he said. Curry was cut for the second straight year when the Bucs parted ways with him this offseason to save $8 million in cap space. (This also means the Eagles won’t lose out on a comp pick by signing him.) 

Last season, Curry played in just 12 games thanks to a high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 6 that left him in a hard cast. But Curry is healthy now and is ready for spring practices. 

Was it a good decision to bring him back? 

Sure, why not. Curry is 30 now and maybe he’s never really lived up to his potential, but he’s a solid player who knows the defense and isn’t making a lot of money. For a rotational piece along the line, Curry makes plenty of sense. 

And he’s really happy to be back. Now, he just hopes he can figure out a way to get his No. 75 back from Josh Sweat. 

“We’re working on that,” he said. “We’re definitely working on that. Hopefully, I’m back in the 75.”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Source: Eagles bringing back Vinny Curry on 1-year deal

Source: Eagles bringing back Vinny Curry on 1-year deal

The Eagles are bringing back defensive end Vinny Curry, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Philly.com first reported a deal was close. 

The one-year deal is worth $2.25 million and Curry can earn an extra $1.25 million in incentives, a league source said.  

Curry, 30, played six years for the Eagles before joining the Bucs last offseason. But Curry made it just one year into his three-year, $23 million contract before he was cut by Tampa Bay. The move saved the Bucs $8 million in 2019 cap space. Since Curry was cut, he won't affect the Eagles' compensatory pick formula. 

Bringing back Curry will help provide the Eagles some depth at defensive end. The plan is to start Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett, but then there isn’t much depth. Second-year player Josh Sweat is unproven. At least Curry will give the Eagles a veteran defensive end for the rotation. 

Chris Long, 34, is under contract, but has been non-committal about his future. The Eagles would still like to have him back. 

In his six seasons with the Eagles, Curry played in 84 games with 23 starts. He had 22 sacks in an Eagles uniform, with nine of them coming during the 2014 season. He never had more than four sacks in any other season. 

Curry, who grew up as an Eagles fan, was taken by the Eagles in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles