Eagles

Tim Jernigan is back to himself just in the nick of time

Tim Jernigan is back to himself just in the nick of time

Late in the second quarter in Week 1, Timmy Jernigan picked up his first full sack in nearly two years, started celebrating, realized the Redskins were in their hurry-up offense, got back across the line and then finished his celebration. 

He rotated his index fingers in circles around his ears. 

“Go loco,” Jernigan said smiling Thursday. “Go crazy.” 

Yeah, Timmy Jernigan is back. 

After an ankle injury late in 2017 and that scary back injury last year, Jernigan is now as healthy as he’s been in nearly two years. That comes just in the nick of time too, because Malik Jackson is out for the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury. Jernigan is a starting defensive tackle again. 

It might sound silly, but there’s one way his teammates know Jernigan is really back: He’s dancing again. 

After plays, during practice, on the sideline, Jernigan is always letting his unique personality fly. Jim Schwartz once said Jernigan meant something to the spirit of their defense. It’s pretty clear he brings the juice. 

“He’s just Timmy,” his battery mate Fletcher Cox said. “He’s always got his own vibe. He’s always smiling and having fun and just being Timmy. It always keeps the guys going.”

One of their young teammates on the practice squad, Bruce Hector, said when the defensive line huddles up on game days, it’s Jernigan who is always in the middle, dancing. “Then after that, he’s always on the sideline dancing,” Hector said. 

Jernigan is just being himself, but he said he knows it rubs off on his teammates. 

While Jernigan was still his fun-loving self last year, he wasn’t really all the way back. He was able to somehow play late in the 2018 season and in the playoffs, but did so after working out just a couple of times. This offseason, it’s been a lot different. And he’s worked hard to get to where he is. 

There’s no question the Eagles will miss Jackson, who was brought here to be a pass-rush specialist from the DT position. But having Jernigan definitely helps soften that blow. 

“Timmy’s flying around, he’s having fun,” Cox said. “He’s got a lot to prove, a lot of people counted him out. He worked his butt off all offseason, all training camp and everything. I’m excited for him. It sucks for Malik because we had a pretty good rotation going. But [Jernigan has] been in a position where he started the whole season, started the Super Bowl, he knows what it takes to win a football game.”

Hassan Ridgeway has been with the Eagles since late April, but he already knows that it’s Jernigan who gets his teammates going. Ridgeway explained that Jernigan works to amp himself up, but then it gets the rest of the defensive line going too. 

Without Jackson, it’s also possible Jernigan gets on the field for a few more pass-rushing situations. He’s never had more than five sacks in a season and he has just 3 1/2 since the Eagles traded for him before the 2017 season, but that was a big one he picked up on Sunday. Even though the Redskins were able to get a field goal out of that drive, Jernigan thinks it gave the Eagles’ defense some momentum. 

And it was his first full sack since Nov. 19, 2017, so you’ll understand why he wanted to celebrate. He’s been through a heckuva lot since then. 

“I had to snap out of it in the moment,” Jernigan said about realizing he needed to get onside. 

That meant we didn’t get to see the full “Timmy’s shimmy” as Schwartz called it, a term that left Jernigan near speechless. “Coach Schwartz,” he said, lowering his giggling face into his massive palm. 

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Nick Foles willing and ready to help Peyton Manning take down Tom Brady

Nick Foles willing and ready to help Peyton Manning take down Tom Brady

Anytime you put a microphone in front of Peyton Manning, it’s good TV. 

Today is no exception. 

Tiger Wood and Manning are golfing against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady today in a nationally televised showdown, Champions for Charity, to raise money to assist coronavirus relief efforts. 

Manning was trying to figure out who he could have gotten to caddy for him to rattle Brady and he landed on two names. 

“It’s hard to get to him,” Manning said. “So do you bring Eli? Could do that. Do you bring Nick Foles? Maybe.” 

That’s when Brady turned around: “That’s a cheap shot.”  

And Foles is ready! 

Could you imagine: It’s all tied up going into the final hole, Foles walks up next to Manning just before Brady’s tee shot … “You want Philly Philly?” 

Brady might be a six-time Super Bowl champion but he’s lost three times in the big game. To Eli Manning in 2008 and 2011 and to Foles in 2017. 

You might remember that game. You know, the one where Foles outplayed the greatest quarterback in NFL history, winning Super Bowl LII MVP, as the Eagles won 41-33 to kick off the greatest party in Philadelphia’s history. 

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Why Merrill Reese was afraid of blowing call of Eagles' Super Bowl LII win

Why Merrill Reese was afraid of blowing call of Eagles' Super Bowl LII win

Merrill Reese had been waiting 40 year for this moment.
 
And he was nervous.
 
After announcing Eagles games since 1977, including two Super Bowl losses, he was about to call one of the biggest plays in Eagles history.
 
Nine seconds left. 
 
Eagles 41, Patriots 33. 
 
Patriots near midfield. 
 
One play left.

People say, ‘Were you nervous before that last play,' and the answer is yes,” Reese recalled this week on the Eagle Eye podcast. “But my nervousness was not on whether or not the Eagles would win that game. Because Brady didn’t have an Aaron Rodgers arm, and I had a feeling he was going to have trouble getting it there at that point where a Rodgers gets it way up in the air. I thought the Eagles were going to hold on. I was worried because we were sitting in the exact opposite corner of the end zone in Minneapolis and I was 110 yards away from where that ball landed and I didn’t want to be known as the announcer who blew the Super Bowl call. That’s why I was nervous.

As the world watched, Tom Brady’s Hail Mary pass fell incomplete, the clock hit 0:00, the Eagles had their first Super Bowl championship and Reese didn’t blow the call.

As it went up there I followed it and I was able to see it, and I said, ‘It’s batted around and it’s … INCOMPLETE.’ Quickly, I looked up at the clock and I said, ‘The game is over and the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions, and then I said what I felt and I said, ‘Eagles fans everywhere, this one’s for you, let the celebration begin.’ That’s just what came out.

It was vintage Reese including the fans in his iconic call as the Eagles won their first NFL title in 57 years.
 
Reese appeared on the latest Eagle Eye podcast with Dave Zangaro and myself and spoke about how he prepared for the biggest moment of his professional career.
 
“There are broadcasters who will write out a paragraph to describe a championship if it occurs so they get it right,” he said. “We’ve been through this so many times - all of us - that I felt that I just wanted to let my emotion play out.”
 
Reese is a Philly guy, grew up in Overbrook Park, graduated from Overbrook High and Temple, spent all his life here.
 
Nobody connects with Eagles fans like Merrill.
 
And that synergy was fundamental in his impromptu call at the end of the Super Bowl.
 
“I want the Eagles to win the Super Bowl for the fans,” Reese said. “These are people, some of whom take second mortgages to buy their season tickets, people who spend their last dollars to buy their kids Carson Wentz jerseys for Christmas, these are the people who come out for wins and losses, ice, snow and rain, these are the people that I want that Super Bowl for. … That’s who deserved it more than anyone else. Best fans in the world. They’re great.”

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