Leave it to the Philadelphia Eagles fans to take the smallest grain of sand and turn it into a pyramid. Also the largest pyramid. The NFL released a nifty twitter graphics features stars from all 14 playoff teams staring into the abyss of the Lombardi Trophy, which towers over SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, home of Super Bowl LVI.
It was a innocent image That put the likes of Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Donald, Derrick Henry and TJ Watt in line looking at the championship goal in front of them. Jalen Hurts, of course, was the Eagles’ representative. That wasn’t surprising. What got Philly fans talking was how close the graphic designers had positioned it to the trophy. Hurts stood in the front row, front and center. Technically the closet player to it.
Brady was the tallest, towering over the group like the seven-time champion that he is. But several people pointed out that Hurts was closer, using it as evidence that even the NFL saw a surprise on the horizon. The Eagles play Brady’s Buccaneers in the wild card round at 1 p.m. Sunday
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Head coach Nick Sirianni has received a ton of credit for developing Hurts as a quarterback in their first year together. He matched the Eagles’ offense to the quarterback’s strengths by going for the run and letting Hurt’s RPOs conjure up. He hit all the right buttons, on and off the field.
“I think you’re just seeing him growing closer and closer to his ceiling,” Sirianni said. “Yeah, he’s definitely better and he’s just going to keep getting better because of who he is as a person and as a player. Jalen wants to get better and longs to get better.”
Sirianni also started meeting Hurts every Friday so the two could get together not only as coaches and players but also as men outside of football.
“I appreciate the relationship I have with Jalen and all the players on our team,” Sirianni said. “But there’s always something special about a head coach/quarterback relationship that I appreciate because good organizations that I’ve been with have that good, strong relationship between the two.”
The Eagles’ marketing and social media teams are among the best in the NFL. They understand the fan base and the passion they have for the hometown team. Everyone is waiting with bated breath for their weekly hype videos to hit the web. This week’s version did not disappoint.
Lane Johnson narrates a video dedicated to their scrappy fight only to make an unlikely playoff run. The Eagles didn’t get as far as to lose in the first round. “Now let’s buckle up,” says Johnson. The video includes root growth references, boxing analogies, and lots of “dawg mentality.” The Eagles took Sirianni’s message to heart to get one percent better every day.
“What did Coach say we’re angry? Yes, we are,” Johnson said. “We are. We’re evil. I can dig this. Why did you all come here? You want to make fires, right? Do you want me to tell you why you should be freaking excited? Because it’s the f***ing playoffs, that’s why.”