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An Inside Look As The Media Frenzy Begins

Posted Jan 16, 2018

This is not quite business as usual, not with an increased media presence that will only continue to grow as the week gets long, but the way the Eagles' players and coaches seemed on Tuesday, maybe it is just that ...

This is not quite business as usual, not with an increased media presence that will only continue to grow as the week gets long, but the way the Eagles' players and coaches seemed on Tuesday, maybe it is just that.

Business as usual. Really? For the week of the first NFC Championship Game for the Eagles since the 2008 season?

“I mean, that’s what it is,” guard Brandon Brooks said. “It was great to win on Saturday and we know what’s at stake on Sunday, but the ultimate goal is to win it all. Saturday was a big step. Sunday is going to be another big win.

“We all know what’s at stake.”

The Eagles are keeping their schedule the same as they would for any Sunday. Monday was a day off, although many players reported to the NovaCare Complex for treatment and workouts. Tuesday was another light day with meetings and conditioning and treatment.

And media.

Tuesday was the first day the media showed up, and it was a large contingent. In Philadelphia, where more media members cover the Eagles on a daily basis than any team in the NFL, it was similar to the first day of Organized Team Activities. Maybe the first day of Training Camp. Large, but not unmanageable.

“You know the media is going to be here and you just have to handle it,” cornerback Patrick Robinson said. “It’s part of the outside noise that you have to block out. We’ve all been around the media so it’s not a distraction. We see a lot of reporters every day.”

While the City of Philadelphia is still on high-anxiety alert after the nail-biting win on Saturday, the Eagles are, truly, trying to keep everything in perspective. It’s high-stakes football, yes, but it’s still just football.

About the only thing really different on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex was a small handful of league-sent media-relations folks present to assist with the anticipated flood of media that will be in town from this day through Sunday.

Otherwise, sorry if this is boring for you, it was pretty much another day at the office.

“That’s the way we approach every day of every week,” defensive tackle Beau Allen said. “We’ve all been in big games and I think everyone knows that the best way to get off track is to lose your focus and get caught up in all of the outside stories. We’re not going to let that happen.”

Allen was surrounded by reporters because, drumroll please, he grew up in Minnesota. Minnetonka, Minnesota, to be exact. Attended Minnetonka High School.

“But I wasn’t a Vikings fan,” he said. “I still have a lot of friends and family there. It’s a great place to grow up.”

That’s the kind of media frenzy this week is going to be.

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Media members have 45 minutes of access to the players from Tuesday through Friday, with some press conferences thrown in. Coordinators Jim Schwartz and Frank Reich had their turns on Tuesday. Head coach Doug Pederson has a morning presser on Wednesday and quarterback Nick Foles along with a few other players meet the reporters in the NovaCare Complex auditorium after practice on Wednesday.

Pederson comes back for more on Thursday and Friday morning.

Once the media finish in the locker room on Friday after practice, at approximately 2:05 p.m., the masses of reporters are on their own. Only a lengthy production meeting with the FOX television broadcast team of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and the production team that takes place for most of the rest of Friday afternoon remains.

There are a lot of questions, and there are usually some crazy ones mixed in.

“You just have to keep it about business, have fun with it, and know that it comes with the territory,” Brooks said. “We know what we need to focus on and prepare for. We have a great team coming in here. Our motivation is just like theirs – to win and reach the Super Bowl. That’s demanding our attention.”

“I don’t think there is any additional motivation needed,” cornerback Jalen Mills said. “I mean, we have a lot riding on this game. It’s pretty clear.”

Everything that is being said on television and on sports radio and in social media and in the newspapers, it’s meaningless. The players block it out. There are going to be a lot of unfamiliar faces in the locker room this week asking, truly, the same questions over and over again.

“The media is going to be the media. They have jobs to do,” Robinson said. “You handle them the way you want to handle them. And what they say, or what they want you to say, it doesn’t matter. It’s not going to impact our preparation for the biggest game of our season. That is where our focus is.”

It’s not quite zany yet, but it will be. Reporters who hadn’t stepped foot in the NovaCare Complex locker room all season began trickling in on Tuesday. It will be a full-force flood in the next day or two, and the Eagles are ready to ignore the frenzy.

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