Eagles Roundup: Evan Mathis’ Super Bowl Shot

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

With Super Bowl 50 just five days away, there’s plenty being written about the Panthers and Broncos, but there’s also a bevy of reading about a few former Eagles getting ready to do battle out in California. We’ve put together a compilation of the best reading you may have missed.

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Eagles Wake-Up Call: Doug Pederson’s Beginning

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports Images)

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports Images)

AT THE TURN of the century, a plot of dirty grass sat next to Calvary Baptist Academy, surrounded by chain link fencing threaded with barbed wire at the top. Abandoned baseball backstops stood in the corners.

The Christian school’s enrollment floated around 200 kids, depending on the year, putt-putting along since 1970 as just another school in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The area was a hotbed for young football talent, especially quarterbacks. The high school scene at the time was dominated by Evangel Christian Academy, led by a man named Johnny Booty. By 2007, Evangel was riding an 89-game win streak, one of the longest in the country.

Calvary never had the bodies or resources to cobble together a competitive football program, but around 2003, the men in charge decided they wanted to give it a shot, so they rang up Booty and asked if he would come help them get their program off the ground.

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Missanelli: 2020 Is Going to Be Like 1980 for Philly Sports

Ron Jaworski (Manny Rubio, USA Today Sports), Tug McGraw ("Tug McGraw Phillies" by Philadelphia Phillies / MLB - ebay.com, front of photo, back of photo. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.); Julius Erving ("JuliusErvingSlamDunk1981" by Jim Accordino. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.); Bobby Clarke ("Bobby Clarke 1983" by Bruce Bisping - ebay.com, front of photo, back of photo. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.)

Ron Jaworski (Manny Rubio, USA Today Sports), Tug McGraw (Philadelphia Phillies / MLB); Julius Erving (Jim AccordinoCC BY 2.0 via commons.); Bobby Clarke (Bruce Bisping, public domain via commons.)

If you can wait four more years until we get to 2020, sports in Philadelphia is going to be pretty good.

That’s what my crystal ball says. My theory is this: All four teams in Philadelphia right now are at the bottom rung of a ladder, but all four are on a plan to build up from scratch until they get to a championship level. By my estimation, that’s going to take four years for the Eagles, Flyers, Sixers and Phillies. But it’s going to be worth the wait. We’re going to wake up one day, and the year 2020 is going to be just like 1980.

Remember then?

The Phillies won the World Series over the Royals; the 76ers faced the Lakers in the NBA finals (where they came up painfully short, but set the stage for their eventual triumph in ’83); the Eagles were in the Super Bowl (though they painfully lost to the Raiders); and the Flyers were in the Stanley Cup finals (where they just as painfully lost to the Islanders). All four teams played for a championship that year. That was Philadelphia sports’ highest peak.

Let’s look at the state of Philly sports right now: Read more »

Eagles Sign Brent Celek To Three-Year Deal

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The Eagles and veteran tight end Brent Celek have agreed to a three-year deal worth $13 million, including $6 million in guaranteed money. The deal, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Caplan, was confirmed by the Eagles.

This news comes a day after the Eagles announced a five-year deal with Zach Ertz, a deal that is reportedly worth $42.5 million, with $20 million guaranteed.

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Missanelli: In Doug We Trust?

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo | USA Today Sports Images

Doug Pederson and Jeffrey Lurie were fashionably late to the press conference that would announce Pederson as the latest “Eagle fixer.” After hearing Pederson speak, I imagined that backstage he had been kicking a screaming and saying things like, “Please Jeff, don’t let me face that smelly mob!”

Pederson didn’t slay the presser. He appeared nervous, he talked in clichés and he unfurled a terribly panicky response to a question about his time management in last week’s Kansas City Chiefs playoff game, where they lost to the New England Patriots. The Chiefs were slow on their attack because they “didn’t want to give the ball back to Tom Brady?” Uh, Skip, you were down 14 points. Seems to me that you want to score as quickly as possible, and preserve more time on the clock for perhaps another offensive series that could get a touchdown to tie the game. But that’s just me.

Lurie said he had identified 25 candidates (he and his posse of selectors, which apparently included Bill Polian and Ron Jaworski; Jaworski said there were only 22 candidates, which means perhaps that Lurie rounded up to make himself look better). How Pederson emerged as the best of 25 candidates is a mystery to me, considering that just a few years ago, he was coaching Calvary Baptist High in Louisiana. Read more »

Eagles Hire Frank Reich As OC

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

According to CBS’s Jason La Canfora, the Eagles have hired former Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich as offensive coordinator. Birds 24/7’s Tim McManus has since confirmed that Reich has the job.

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Report: John DeFilippo To Be Quarterbacks Coach

Mike DeFilippo

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Another day, another hire for Doug Pederson‘s staff.

According to a report last night from FOX’s Mike Garafolo, the Eagles will hire John DeFilippo as the team’s new quarterbacks coach.

Garafolo’s follow-up tweet makes it seem that Pederson snared a popular young coach for his staff in the 37-year-old DeFilippo.

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Three Leftovers From Doug Pederson’s Introduction

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

So much information came out of Doug Pederson‘s introductory press conference, Jeffrey Lurie‘s comments, and Howie Roseman‘s first public address in over a year on Tuesday that there was bound to be a few loose ends left on the cutting floor.

Luckily, we have tape recorders and notebooks to make sure no stone goes unturned. Here are a few noteworthy leftovers from a busy day in South Philadelphia.

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Roseman: ‘I Had No Idea’ What The Future Held

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

There was a point in time, during the past year, when Howie Roseman admits he didn’t know what his future held.

Roseman, then 39, had been removed by owner Jeffrey Lurie from his position as the Eagles’ general manager after the 2014 season, a step backward into a nebulous position within the organization.

“I had no idea what was going to go,” Roseman said Tuesday, speaking publicly for the first time since Chip Kelly took over personnel control during that offseason.

His back to a white wall, Roseman spoke at length about his year away from personnel decisions, what he learned, and how he dealt with the demotion, which could have derailed his career, both with the Eagles and in the league as a whole.

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