While Everyone Else Looks Back the Eagles are Moving Forward
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles are desperately trying to leave the past in the rear-view mirror but that is becoming difficult again as the season-opener approaches.
A couple examples of that were unveiled on Wednesday, a statue of Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles discussing the now famous "Philly Special" was unveiled Wednesday morning in front of Lincoln Financial Field.
Meanwhile, if you turn right on Broad Street and head toward Center City a “Bringing It Home” mural on the Sansom Street side of the historic Hale Building was also unveiled to commemorate the Eagles Super Bowl LII championship.
Finally, before the game on Thursday night, the first Super Bowl banner in franchise history will surely ignite the 70,000 in attendance.
"Quite honestly, it's going to be a great night," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. "The fans are going to be crazy and they're going to be excited. It's going to be exciting. But at the end of the day, there's going to be a football game at the end of it, and we have to make sure we're ready."
The players have also had enough.
Recently Malcolm Jenkins advocated taking the Super Bowl LII champions sign down in the team's locker room, something that happened over the weekend.
"I hate it, personally,” Jenkins said last week. “My focus is all on adding another ‘I’ to the end of that. And so it’s great. But I’m well beyond celebrating last year’s accomplishments because they don’t mean anything this year, they don’t get us anything. I said it earlier this offseason, it’s not boxing where we get to hold the belt and somebody has to come beat us and take it."
When asked why the sign did come down, Chris Long told 973espn.com that the decision was family business and will stay in-house but the result tells the story.
"I can't talk about that but it's not here anymore," Long said.
In other words, it's time to turn the page even if everyone else still wants to look back.
"It's a different football team. It's a different vibe. It's a different year," Pederson said. "I don't compare last year to this year. We have a 0-and-0 record. We’ve got a great opportunity to compete Thursday night. We'll find out a lot about our football team this week.
"But it's different. It’s different. The whole thing is different. And that's a good thing. That's positive, because you're moving forward. You're progressive. You're never staying the same. This team is moving forward. I'm excited about this team Thursday night."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen