1 - Breakfast of (future Super Bowl) champions
I left the media hotel on Wednesday morning in order to make it to the Mall of America in time for the Eagles’ 10:15 AM Central Time press availability. Before making it over to the press conference room, however, I made a pit stop at the media lounge for breakfast.
I like to think that a Minnesotan baker had to make these. Poor Vikings fans.
In any case, these were some good doughnuts. They also had a maple bacon doughnut that was top notch. I typically like a good Boston cream (and by cream I mean the yellow custard, not actually white cream) but that’s clearly not appropriate for this week’s game.
2 - Fletcher Cox’s mask highlights Eagles media availability
Pederson’s press conference began at 10:15 AM CT. Nothing really stuck out as particularly noteworthy. A number of reporters wished the Eagles head coach a happy birthday. You can watch the entire presser below or by CLICKING HERE.
SUPER BOWL PRESS CONFERENCE: Doug Pederson talking now! #EaglesPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Nick Foles came up to the podium right after Pederson wrapped up. This was the third time Foles spoke in three days, so again, not a lot of new and interesting insight here. You can watch the entire presser below or by CLICKING HERE. Still weird to think Nick Foles actually had a Super Bowl press conference.
Nick Foles doing his Super Bowl press conference! #FlyEaglesFlyPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Once Foles wrapped up, a select group of Eagles players and coaches were available at podiums once again. There was also a separate area where the rest of the roster was seated at tables.
One of the podium players was Fletcher Cox, who was wearing a wrestling mask.
Just another example of Eagles players feeling loose.
Cox said someone gave the mask to him during the press conference and he instantly put it on. Cox said he felt like wearing the mask gave him super powers. When I asked him what kind of powers he had, he told me that he couldn’t tell or else they would disappear.
Torrey Smith was another one of the players I caught up with on Wednesday. Torrey’s a pretty honest/thoughtful guy, so I wanted to get his take on how Doug Pederson has fostered such a tight-knit culture in the Eagles locker room. As Vinny Curry did, Smith talked about the importance of Pederson being a former player. He stressed that other head coaches he’s been around just aren’t as available to players as Doug is. Lane Johnson echoed similar thoughts. I hope to have all their quotes posted in a column on Friday.
Alshon Jeffery isn’t much of a talker but I wanted to ask him about something that was brought to my attention by a BGN reader. You may have noticed that the Eagles haven’t really been celebrating touchdowns as much in the post-season like they were in the regular season. You’re not seeing the group celebrations that were mainly orchestrated by Jeffery. When I asked Jeffery if the Eagles have a special Super Bowl touchdown celebration planned, the wide receiver paused, gave a big smile, and told me: “We’ll see.”
I’m the BLG of BGN, but did you know there was a BLG on the Eagles? I’ve always seen “Lee” listed as Brandon Graham’s middle name on Wikipedia but I figured that could be wrong. I asked Graham to confirm that on Wednesday and he did. Upon realizing we have the same initials, he gave me a fist bump. #TeamBLG.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was among those available at the podiums. I wanted to ask him about his relationship with Doug Pederson for the column I’m working on. His first response was that he didn’t want to get into the Eagles’ day-to-day operations, so he deflected the question and just talked about how Pederson has done a great job this season. I followed up by saying I wasn’t trying to pry at any secret information, I just wanted to know if Pederson and Schwartz actually communicate directly. Like, if they actually talk to each other. Schwartz said he didn’t want to answer that question. So I found that odd and interesting.
Here’s a video that features that Schwartz clip and other interviews. Watch below or CLICK HERE if you can’t see it.
Super Bowl press conferences: Eagles players speakingPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
After media availability ended, I headed over to the media center for lunch. They were serving Juicy Lucy burgers from 5-8 Club. That was pretty convenient since, after watching Man v. Food years ago, I’ve always wanted to try them out.
My review: the best part about the burger is obviously the cheese filling. That was really good. The edges of the burger, though, where it was just meat and no cheese — that was just OK. Kind of thought the meat quality was mediocre, but it’s probably unfair to judge off of this experience alone since the burgers were being kept in a catering pan and not served fresh off the grill. I might hit up 5-8 Club’s location to see how they are there. I also want to try Matt’s Bar, which serves the “Jucy Lucy” as opposed to the “Juicy Lucy.”
3 - Eagles fans are smart
After lunch was over, I met up with SB Nation’s video team to shoot a video. The concept involved me holding up a picture of Jon Heder and a picture of Prince Harry to see if we could trick people walking around in the Mall into thinking they were Nick Foles and Carson Wentz. I couldn’t trick the Eagles fans we talked too, obviously, since they’re smart. I did trick some fans of other teams, however. So I wonder if anyone unfamiliar with the Eagles will get those guys mixed up on Sunday.
4 - First practice report emerges
I returned to the media hotel around 5:00 PM CT to get some work done since I had been busy doing other stuff all day. The Eagles held their first place on Wednesday and pool reporter Kimberley A. Martin was there to report on it.
Here are some scenes from the Eagles’ practice at the University of Minnesota.
#Eagles first official practice today at University of Minnesota— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 31, 2018
Dont sleep on this Birds underdog team!
Rookie @mackhollins catchin up on busy week#FlyEaglesFly
From @NateSudfeld pic.twitter.com/f34y3Seg4E
With the Super Bowl craziness catching up to me, I stayed in for the rest of the night in order to relax and get some work done.
That does it for Wednesday’s diary. The Eagles will hold their final media availability prior to Sunday’s big game starting at 10:15 AM CT today. The Eagles will also hold their second practice of the week.
As always, stay tuned to BGN for more updates!