No more media for Doug Pederson.
With only two days remaining before the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, Pederson had his final press conference on Friday and understands the importance of making sure he is on top of his game against the Vikings.
To do so, he and his team aren't looking ahead. Not even a little bit.
"The messaging is, we've got to focus on this game. We've got to focus on the Vikings. We've got to focus on our jobs and the schemes and the game plan and have good practices and win today," Pederson said at the NovaCare Complex. "Win Friday. Wednesday and Thursday, we've already put those two days to rest. Now it's about winning Friday and just kind of stacking the days. Doing the same things that we've done that got us in this spot. That's all we've been talking about."
In his second season as head coach of the Eagles, Pederson has made all the right calls on and off the field. Pederson, way back in the summer, felt good enough about the team to compare this Eagles team to the Green Bay teams of 1996 and 1997, when Pederson was a backup quarterback to Brett Favre. Those Packers teams won the Super Bowl (1996) and then reached it again the following season.
What Pederson said then, in July, has come to fruition.
"I did have a feeling back then when I made that statement that we could be, that we had the potential to be, a good football team," Pederson said, "because of the way we practiced and the talent that we brought to the roster in his second year and the progression of Carson (Wentz) in his second year. Defensively, the front, the way they performed and the back end … I saw a lot of the same similarities and so, you just have that gut feeling when I made that statement.
"I also followed that up by saying it takes great coaching, teaching, mentoring to also have our guys prepared each week to be in this position. All of that has kind of culminated and when you look back on it and you go, 'Wow, maybe it was a true-type of thing."
The message to quarterback Nick Foles remains the same: Pederson wants him to "feed off of last week. Don't have to force anything, just have to let the offense work for you and you'll be fine."
As for some perspective, Pederson understands the emotional side of the game and that he is "levelheaded and focused" on beating the Vikings.
"I've got to make sure my head is in the right spot. I'm blocking out the noise, just like I'm telling the players to block it out," Pederson said. "I'm focused on my job and helping this football team try to win a football game. I try not to get caught up in the magnitude of what this game really means, but at the same time when you have time away and you can really reflect not only on the season but where this team and the things we've faced all year, it does kind of put it into perspective.
"I'm excited about that."