Eagles

Super Bowl LIV: LeSean McCoy says, ‘We want to do this for Andy’

Super Bowl LIV: LeSean McCoy says, ‘We want to do this for Andy’

As LeSean McCoy prepares to play in his first Super Bowl, he said this week that he still speaks frequently with his former Eagles teammates, guys who played for Andy Reid. And Shady obviously talks with his Chiefs teammates every day. 

They all have one thing in common: They want to see Big Red get his first ring. 

“We want to do this for Andy,” McCoy said to reporters in Miami. 

Just within the last week, McCoy said he has spoken with Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson and he’s still in touch with Fletcher Cox and many of his former teammates from Philadelphia. 

For Shady, who had never won a playoff game before this season, winning a Super Bowl would be sweet. Winning it with Reid would be even sweeter. 

I’ll tell you what, that would mean the world to me and to a lot of guys on this team. But also to a lot of former players that played with Coach Reid, they really want him to win. We know how hard he works at this. 

“I remember when I was in Philly, the first time I ever saw a coach stay the night at the office. I thought that was crazy. He have a blowup bed, he’ll work, work, go to sleep, get up. And he’s always been like a father figure to a lot of players. We have a lot of respect for him. 

“I think the last two weeks, I’ve had so many former players who played under Coach Reid, even coaches from different teams, talk about ‘Dang, man, we want Andy to get a ring. He deserves it.’ And we feel that. I’m sure this Super Bowl, obviously a lot of Chief fans will be cheering for us, cheering for Coach Reid, but a lot of former players from different teams that’s retired even playing for other teams will be cheering for him as well.

McCoy, 31, notices plenty of differences in Reid now compared to when he was a rookie back in 2009. For one, Reid is still a big guy, but he’s slimmed down. Shady said when he got to Kansas City this year, he joked to Reid that he wasn’t as big as he was used to. 

And McCoy said Reid has been letting his personality loose a little more at this stage of his coaching career. 

“Even some of the clothes he wears now are a little more stylish,” McCoy said. “Some of the music we listen to at practice, he’ll bob his head.”

After McCoy was released by the Bills this summer, he had conversations with a few teams but the conversation with Reid was different. They didn’t really talk about football. It felt like home, so he went to Kansas City. 

It’s funny. McCoy played four seasons for Reid in Philadelphia and went to one Pro Bowl. He had two Pro Bowl appearances in two seasons under Chip Kelly. But there’s clearly no love lost between McCoy and Chip, who traded McCoy to Buffalo and broke up a group of Eagles who were close. 

“We’ve had tons of group chats about Chip,” McCoy said. “But we all stayed tight and we’re all good friends.” 

McCoy obviously doesn’t like Chip, but he loves Andy. In fact, most of his former players love him. 

And that’s why they’re all going to be rooting for him on Sunday, including the guys on the field. 

“Yeah, he deserves it,” McCoy said. “You talk about winning games, being a great coach. If you look at just his coaching tree that he’s been a part of. A lot of guys are getting jobs because of Coach Reid. So it’s only right for him to get a championship. He’s done a lot for this league, he really has.”

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Former Eagles kicker Tom Dempsey dies after battle with coronavirus

Former Eagles kicker Tom Dempsey dies after battle with coronavirus

Former Eagles kicker Tom Dempsey died on Saturday of complications from the coronavirus. Dempsey was 73.

Dempsey contracted the coronavirus in March at the Lambeth House, a retirement home in New Orleans, and is one of at least 15 residents to die from the virus, according to The Times-Picayune.

Dempsey was an Eagle from 1971-1974, but also played for the Saints, Rams, Oilers and Bills.

Born without fingers on his right hand and toes on his right foot, Dempsey was known for his small flat kicking shoe. That shoe now resides in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

“Tom's life spoke directly to the power of the human spirit and exemplified his resolute determination to not allow setbacks to impede following his dreams and aspirations,” Saints owner Gayle Benson said in a statement. “He exemplified the same fight and fortitude in recent years as he battled valiantly against illnesses but never wavered and kept his trademark sense of humor. He holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Saints family."

The year before he joined the Eagles, Dempsey gained fame by kicking a 63-yard field goal to give the Saints a last-second 19-17 win over the Lions at Tulane Stadium in 1970. It broke the previous NFL record for longest field goal by 7 yards.

That was the NFL record for 43 years until Matt Prater hit a 64-yarder in 2013. Others had tied the record but it took over four decades to beat it.

In his four seasons with the Eagles, for whom he played the longest, Dempsey kicked in 47 games and made 66 of 108 field goals (61.1%). He also made 84 of 90 point-after attempts. Dempsey is 18th on the Eagles’ list of all-time scorers with 282 points.

Dempsey retired to New Orleans where he began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent in 1969. He had been battling dementia since 2012. 

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Darius Slay explains why he’s wearing 24 to honor Kobe Bryant

Darius Slay explains why he’s wearing 24 to honor Kobe Bryant

You can still hear the giddiness in Darius Slay’s voice when he talks about Dec. 6, 2015. 

That was a special day for the Eagles’ new cornerback. 

That was the day he met the Kobe Bryant. 

The meeting between the late NBA superstar and the then-third-year NFL pro came after a Lakers-Pistons game at The Palace of Auburn Hills during the 2015 season. It’s a day and a moment Slay will never forget, getting the chance to meet his favorite basketball player and a personal idol. 

And now with the Eagles, Slay will honor Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, by wearing the No. 24 for the football team Bryant loved. 

“I was surprised that he even knew me,” Slay said. “I don’t know if the people told him, ‘You got Darius Slay out there waiting on you from the Detroit Lions’ or gave him a pre-talk about me or something. I don’t know. 

“But the fact that he came around the corner and (there) was like 20 to 30 reporters waiting on him, he kind of walked past all the reporters, everybody and came directly to me, like, ‘What’s up Slay? I love your game, man.’ He was talking about my style of play and we just chopped it up for a minute.”

Slay said he was so in shock that day he barely had any words to speak but he was able to hold a short conversation. Then Slay got Kobe’s autograph and they took a few photos together, including this one: 

Slay previously wore No. 23 in Detroit but that number is occupied by Rodney McLeod with the Eagles. And Jordan Howard, who wore 24 last year, left for Miami as a free agent. So things lined up perfectly for Slay to take the second of Kobe’s two retired numbers. 

When Bryant died in January, it became even more apparent how much he meant to his fellow athletes. When Bryant visited the Eagles in LA during the 2017 season, there was a similar giddiness with them. There’s a really good chance that Bryant was your favorite athlete’s favorite athlete. 

“I just love how much he competed,” Slay said. “He was a true competitor. He worked on his craft. I believe the work you put in is [what] you get out of it.” 

Slay said he also really admired that Bryant was always willing to seek out answers from others, most notably Michael Jordan. Even though Bryant was constantly being compared to Jordan, he was never hesitant to pick Jordan’s brain. 

Similarly, Slay said he loves talking to other cornerbacks and asking advice. He doesn’t care who that cornerback is; if he has a question about their technique or facing a particular receiver, he’s going to ask. 

“It’s just the part about doing anything and be willing to do anything to be good and be great,” Slay said. “That’s why I took out a lot of stuff that he did and that’s what I’ll continue to keep doing.”

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