According to Eagles long snapper Rick Lovato, the Birds were very carefully about the looks they showed while practicing in Minnesota leading up to the big game. He specifically mentioned they did not rep the Philly Special that week.
“We had run that play during a walk-through like two weeks ago,” Lovato said, adding that the Eagles purposefully did not run the play in Minnesota due to concerns that the Patriots may be watching.
“I believe our whole walk-through was just a complete fake walk-through,” Lovato said. “We did it at the stadium. There were certain people walking around. . . . I believe I overheard someone say a lot of the plays we were running weren’t even in the playbook for the Super Bowl.”
But why not take advantage of the opportunity to practice the actual plays in the stadium where the game was going to be played, one day beforehand?
“We already had our game plan set all week for the last two weeks,” Lovato said. “We had two weeks to prepare for that game. A measly walk-through the day before the game, we weren’t going to show anything to anyone, especially being at the stadium.”
Leading up to Super Bowl LII, I asked a number of Eagles players if the Patriots’ history of cheating was something that was on their minds heading into Sunday’s game. While a number of them downplayed that angle, it’s now clear the Eagles didn’t entirely discount the possibility.
Good job by the Eagles to take some extra precaution here. You can never be too careful.