Extra Points: Eagles Receive Virtual Visit from Legendary Coach
Just in case the Eagles are headed toward a "Last Dance" season, they brought in a guest speaker for their Microsoft Teams virtual meeting Thursday who knows a little something about doing that tango.
"It was cool because that's a legend right there," Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said Thursday on a Zoom interview.
Jackson, now 74, won 11 NBA championships as coach of the Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. In addition to coaching Jordan to six titles, he guided the late Kobe Bryant to five titles.
Bryant, who was among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in January, was an avid Eagles fan. Pederson occasionally likes to have guest speakers talk to the team just as Jackson did Thursday. In December of 2017, Bryant visited their hotel in Costa Mesa, California prior to their game against the Los Angeles Rams and spoke to them. Two months later, his wife, Vanessa, published a video showing him dancing and cheering at their home while celebrating the Eagles' 41-33 victory in Super Bowl LII.
Jackson was taken with the way the Eagles hung together amid a slew of injuries last season to make the playoffs.
"He just talked about how we persevered last year and pretty much, you gotta have those moments where you stay in games," Graham said Thursday. "When things go wrong, you gotta be able to keep the spirit up. He was just talking about some of the guys that kind of went unnoticed on the team that kind of kept them together."
The Eagles relied on a number of unknown players to mount a late-season charge that carried them to the NFC East championship last season.
Running back Boston Scott, wide receiver Greg Ward, tight end Josh Perkins, and linebacker T.J. Edwards were among the players who stepped up down the stretch. When quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a concussion early in their playoff game against Seattle, Josh McCown took over and kept the team in contention.
"Everybody's gotta know their role and enjoy your role because if we're a team, everybody has a place and everybody has a job," Graham said Jackson told them. "Whatever job is issued to you, that's what you gotta accept because injuries happen, all kinds of things happen. How you handle yourself as a teammate is very important."