Good morning, Eagles fans. The Eagles will practice on Thursday afternoon at the University of Minnesota. Pay attention to whether defensive tackle Tim Jernigan returns after missing Wednesday’s session with an illness.
All players and coaches on the Eagles will meet with reporters Thursday morning for the final time before the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson has an 11:15 a.m. news conference, and Nick Foles will follow at 11:30 a.m. The rest of the team will then be available for 45 minutes.
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— Zach Berman
Why did Fletcher Cox wear that mask?
You might have seen the picture on Wednesday of Fletcher Cox wearing a wrestling mask during his media interviews. And if you’re like me, you might have wondered why Cox wore the mask.
The answer is somebody gave it to him. A reporter from Mexico asked Cox to wear it, and he obliged.
“Is it going to fit?” Cox asked about the Kelly green, skin-tight mask with an Eagles logo on the sides and the NFL’s shield between the eyes. He was told it would give him superpowers, and Cox “bought in 100 percent.”
“So much power right now, can’t be touched,” Cox said. “Stronger, faster than ever right now.”
Cox said it was part of “having fun” with all of the media obligations. He used it as an example of how the team is loose heading into the Super Bowl.
“We all know football is serious, but I’m just having fun right now and being professional at the same time,” Cox said. “We know why we’re here. We’re here to a play a football game. We can’t come into this game all uptight. Because we’ve played football games before. The thing about having fun is you have fun when it’s time to have fun, and you get serious and homed-in and locked-in on your job when it’s time to do that.”
There was football, too
The Eagles practiced for the first time this week on Wednesday. It was a typical Wednesday practice, focusing on first and second down. (The Eagles practice third downs on Thursdays and red zone on Fridays.) However, they took a 30-minute break in the middle of practice to simulate the long halftime that they’ll experience on Sunday, which will be twice as long as normal.
According to a pool report, the break had its desired effect because the Eagles were sloppy in the second half of practice.
“I thought it was a little sloppy, which is good, because this is something that I can address in our meetings tonight,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said, per the report. “Again, it’s another teachable moment so we’re not doing it on Sunday.”
The Eagles were not in pads for practice, and they won’t be for the rest of the week. Much was made about the benefit of the pads leading up to the two playoff games, although what’s different this week is that the Eagles had a bye. They practiced in pads last week. Nonetheless, it’s something to watch.
Pederson turns 50
Pederson celebrated his 50th birthday on Wednesday, but he didn’t have any grand plans. He led the Eagles through practices and continued their game-week preparation at night.
“Obviously, it’s a great day not only because it’s my birthday; my wife is here, and my family will be here later in the week,” Pederson said. “To be able to celebrate this with them and the team, and to be in this game, is an honor. If somehow, we can pull off a victory, that would be the icing on the cake.”
The players and coaches sang “Happy Birthday” to Pederson at the end of Wednesday’s practice.
What you need to know about the Eagles
- Alshon Jeffery and Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore were college roommates. On Sunday, they’ll face each other in one of the Super Bowl’s marquee matchups.
- Jim Schwartz started his career working for Bill Belichick, Paul Domowitch explains in a good story on Schwartz’s coaching career.
- Starting defensive ends Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry took a long route to the Super Bowl, Bob Ford writes.
- Jalen Mills takes cornerback seriously, but not himself, Les Bowen reports.
- On Frank Fitzpatrick’s road trip to Minnesota, he stopped in Cincinnati to learn about Brent Celek.
- What did Roger Goodell say on Wednesday? Bob Brookover was there.
- Brett Favre will speak to the Eagles on Saturday.
- Rob Gronkowski was limited at practice, Marc Narducci writes.
- In the latest podcast, Jeff McLane and I heard from the Patriots’ side of the Super Bowl.
- Narducci has a video report from Day 3.
- If you missed Wednesday’s newsletter, it looked at what Nick Foles would have done if he retired.
The view from Boston via the Boston Globe
- Nick Foles’ feel-good story might not be good enough.
- Patriots owner Robert Kraft discussed tension in the organization.
- NFL headsets have come a long way.
From the mailbag
If you could pickup a current player from any of the 30 teams to put on the Eagles roster just for the SB, who would it be? For me, it would be to put Suh right next to Cox on Sunday night
— Chris Williams (@Cuzzy41) February 1, 2018
I’d go with Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson. The Eagles don’t have Carson Wentz, and though Nick Foles played well in the NFC championship game, imagine Rodgers or Wilson in this game with the Eagles. The Patriots’ biggest advantage is at quarterback. That’s not as pronounced if the Eagles turned to an all-pro.
Outside of a quarterback, I’d go with Von Miller. If you added his edge-rushing ability to the Eagles, it would make it even more difficult for Brady. The other player I’d mention is Dallas’ Tyron Smith to give the Eagles a better option at left tackle with Jason Peters out of the lineup.
It’s an interesting question. Honestly, if the Eagles could have one person for this game that’s not currently playing, the answer would probably be a healthy Wentz.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
— Kelly Davis (@KellyDa74763953) January 31, 2018
Philly.com is collecting photos from Eagles fans this week. Tag your photos #OurPhilly on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and we’ll pick one each day this week to feature in this newsletter.