Jason Kelce’s speech at the Eagles Super Bowl parade was legendary, a roll call of all the criticisms, both ridiculous and legit, of his team, teammates, and coaches. Training camp is weeks away, but should the Eagles repeat as Super Bowl winners, he’s already been given some material to work with.
Their peers are disrespecting them
NFL Network’s Top 100 Players is silly. It’s an odd popularity contest that’s not getting worked up over. But since the ratings are voted on by players, it’s a decent gauge of what your peers think of you. The Eagles peers weren’t impressed. Carson Wentz ranked 3rd, which is right, had he not gotten hurt he would have been an MVP candidate. The rest of the Eagles roster is overlooked.
Zach Ertz (68th), Fletcher Cox (69th), Lane Johnson (95th). and Malcolm Jenkins (96th) are all insulting rankings. (Even more insulting is that Brandon Graham made the list last year but didn’t this year.) The following teams had as many or more players ranked higher than those four: the Chargers, Jaguars, Saints, Steelers, and Vikings. The Eagles were better than all of them last year. They were better than everyone.
If you want to get specific, Lane Johnson’s peers said that David Bakhtiari (91st), Andrew Whitworth (87th), Taylor Lewan (78th), Trent Williams (57th), and Tyron Smith (39th) are better. If you want to take Tyron Smith over Johnson, or Trent Williams, fine. But Andrew Whitworth? David Bakhitaii? They’re good players, but Lane is one of the best in the game.
Fletcher Cox’s peers said that Linval Joseph (83rd), Jurrell Casey (66th), Geno Atkins (63rd), Ndamukong Suh (61st) are better. (Aaron Donald was 7th, duh, he’s sublime.) He dropped in ranking 31 spots from 2017.
The Top 100 Players is pretty much a waste of time. But it could make for good material on the steps of the Art Museum.
Doug Pederson still can’t get the respect he deserves
A year ago, Bill Belichick lap dog Michael Lombardi called Doug Pederson the most unqualified coach he’d ever seen and that the team should fire him before it’s too late. This was particularly ridiculous because Pederson was coming off a respectable first season as a head coach, it was too late to complain about qualifications. Kelce deservedly trashed Lombardi, but it seems some haven’t taken heed.
BLG touched on this earlier in the week, but NFL.com ranked head coaches and put Pederson 8th. Bill Belichick is 1st, and even though Doug Pederson stole his lunch in Super Bowl 52, I’ll defer to his longevity of greatness. After that, it’s some really curious logic to put some other coaches ahead of him. Sean Payton won a Super Bowl a decade ago, got suspended for a year for it. Last season the Saints finally got some players who can play defense and a good running game, for that Payton was credited for changing the team’s philosophy. Pederson revised his playbook during the playoff bye week, to say nothing of the constant adjustments he had to make as key players got hurt, and won the damn Super Bowl.
Mike McCarthy ranks higher despite being one of the biggest reasons why Aaron Rodgers has only one Super Bowl ring. Andy Reid ranks higher. Since Pederson joined the NFL as a coach in 2009, Andy Reid has won one (1) playoff game. Pederson won that many in February. But the best worst reasoning was “for whatever reason, [John] Harbaugh is never mentioned among the NFL’s elite head coaches.” That’s because he’s not.
The federal government hates them
The Eagles weren’t the first Super Bowl winner to not get to go to the White House, the 1985 Bears were never rescheduled by the Reagan administration after the Challenger space shuttle disaster happened a day after their parade. They would eventually get to go in 2011. But they were the first to be disinvited, and that means that they are now essentially enemies of the state in the eyes of the federal government. (Doug Pederson as Hannibal, Carson Wentz as Face, Jason Kelce as Murdoch, Jason Peters as B.A. Baracus, you’re welcome.) To their credit, the Eagles players didn’t really care, which is good since the whole thing is a silly tradition anyway, as evidenced by nobody caring that the legendary ‘85 Bears never went.
Defying authority figures has always worked in movies, television, and music; with commissioners constantly getting booed, we’ve seen it can work in sports too. If the Eagles win the Super Bowl again, they should continue to take the high road, but it’s there if they want it/are drunk enough.