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.

Paul Domowitch of the Daily News caught up with Evan Mathis at the Super Bowl, to talk about his time in Philadelphia and his first season in Denver.

Evan Mathis has made it to the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, but in a touch of irony, the credential that he was wearing around his neck Monday at “Super Bowl Opening Night” still had his Eagles head shot on it.

“When I first got there (to Denver), they Photoshopped this picture for all the Broncos’ use,” Mathis said. “And it had me with an orange jersey. But for some reason, in this one, I’m still wearing (Eagle green).”

Things have worked out very well for the 34-year-old guard. Released by Chip Kelly last June after skipping the Eagles’ voluntary OTAs when the team wouldn’t renegotiate his contract, Mathis signed a one-year deal with the Broncos and finds himself in his first Super Bowl.

He lost $3 million in the move. He would have made $5.5 million with the Eagles this season. The Broncos gave him just $2.5 million. But Mathis said he has “zero regrets.”

“Look where we are right now,” he told a group of Philadelphia reporters during Monday’s interview session on the floor of the SAP Center. “What the hell would I do differently? The opportunity to do this is much more valuable than that ($3 million) could ever be.”

The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane spoke with Sean McDermott at Super Bowl Opening Night about the contact he had with the Eagles during their coaching search.

“We did talk,” McDermott said Monday during Super Bowl media night. “We had some preliminary talks. It was clear from the beginning they wanted to go offense.”

McDermott said he spoke to Howie Roseman, the team’s vice president of football operations, the day after the regular season ended.

The Eagles interviewed only offensive-minded coaches and eventually hired Chiefs coordinator Doug Pederson. McDermott and Pederson worked together for two seasons as Eagles assistants on different sides of the ball.

“I really feel good for Doug and the direction [the Eagles are] heading,” McDermott said. “Doug’s a good person. It’s got to be the right fit at the right time. Them looking for an offensive coach, obviously, my defensive background apparently didn’t fit.”

ESPN’s Phil Sheridan writes that the Eagles are hoping Doug Pederson can follow Gary Kubiak‘s path from backup quarterback to Super Bowl coach.

Gary Kubiak spent nine seasons in the NFL. He started five games at quarterback in his entire career.

This week, Kubiak is preparing the Denver Broncos to play the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl. There isn’t a direct line from backup quarterback to NFL head coach, but the Philadelphia Eagles hope there is at least a path that Doug Pederson can follow.

The Eagles’ new head coach spent 11 seasons in the NFL. He started a total of 17 games at quarterback. That sounds like a lot more than Kubiak, but Pederson started all 17 of those games between 1999 and 2000. Those were the seasons he was signed by the Eagles and the Cleveland Browns to play while young quarterbacks learned the ropes.

In his other nine seasons, Pederson never got the call to start in place of Dan Marino or Brett Favre. Kubiak spent his years in Denver watching John Elway.

CSN Philadelphia’s Paul Hudrick eyes realistic options for the Eagles’ No. 13 overall pick, including at offensive line.

Offensive lineman

This position was ignored during the Chip Kelly era save for his very first draft pick, tackle Lane Johnson. Unless Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley really slips, the options here are likely Michigan State tackle Jack Conklin, Ohio State tackle Eric Decker or Kansas State’s Cody Whitehair.

Conklin is coming out early and played a big role as the Spartans’ starting left tackle. If Jason Peters is retained, it’s not out of the question to move Conklin inside but that is not something he did in college. Decker is way too big to play on the inside, so it’d be tough to get him on the field if Peters is still here. Whitehair offers more versatility and experience, but Conklin and Decker may have the higher ceiling.

MMQB’s Peter King examines former Eagles wideout Terrell Owens‘ chances of reaching the Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Owens, obviously, was irrepressible as a player, a physical force at 225 pounds, with nine seasons of over 1,000 yards. He never led the league in receptions or receiving yards, but he retired second all-time in yards and third in touchdowns among receivers, and he’s not close to being passed in either category. He’s going to get into the Hall. The question is: Will it be this year, and will it be at [Marvin] Harrison’s expense?

Now, many of you will say, and have said to me, If both are so deserving, why don’t you put them both in? Well it’s possible that both will make it.

The way the system works is that after presentations of the candidates and the debating, voters cut the list by secret ballot from 15 to 10, and then when the list of 10 is disclosed inside the room, that list is cut by secret ballot again to five. After that, the five candidates, one by one, are voted on, yea or nay, by secret ballot again. There are other factors, of course, including Owens coming back from injury to play gallantly and productively in the Eagles’ Super Bowl loss to New England … and Owens’ penchant for drops.