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Super Bowl LVII | Eagles Daily Roundup | February 4, 2023

A.J. Brown
A.J. Brown

There is still a week to go before the Super Bowl and wide receiver A.J. Brown plans to maximize every minute of that time preparing for the game mentally and physically. He's treating it like every other week, but he thinks he has an idea of what it's going to be like when the Eagles arrive in Arizona – they leave from Philadelphia late Sunday morning.

"I pretty much think it's going to be a circus, to be honest with you," he said, laughing. "So much going on, you've just got to lock in and keep the main thing, the main thing. We're going out there to get ready for a football game. I've told my marketing people, who ask me to do this, to do that, I'm like, 'No. I'm there to play football.'"

Players have an opportunity to make appearances while in Arizona, do autograph sessions, and make as many media sessions as they can handle. Brown isn't biting.

"I'm going to be at my best for the Super Bowl – going to be with my team, practice great every day, get my body right, and when my family comes in, spend some time with them and then go play," he said. "I'm going to chill when I can, and then focus. We're there to win the game, to keep the main thing, the main thing.

"I'm a football player. Somebody told me it will be the biggest game of my life and it will be. But I'm going to treat it like every other game and stay locked in and go out and play my best football."

The latest addition to the gallery is a look at the Super Bowl Media Day with FOX in preparation for the network's broadcast of the big game.

There was no real celebration for offensive tackle Jordan Mailata when the Eagles won the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. He went straight home, he rolled out his body to alleviate soreness, and he just relaxed and recovered.

Now it's on to the Super Bowl, and Mailata will relish the role of being told he can't accomplish the next step because that's what he heard in the week leading up to the game against the 49ers.

"I don't like being told I can't do something," he said. "That's probably the reason I'm here in America in the first place. I can't help but prove people wrong. I hate when people tell me I can't do something and that's what we heard all week – 'This is the No. 1 defense in league' – and we took that as a challenge and we accepted it fully and gave it everything we have."

Mailata figures to be in the spotlight at the Super Bowl, given his remarkable story coming from Australia, but he figures the best approach he's going to take is to do what he's done all season.

"I'm going to be a broken record and just say the same thing, but because that's what I've been doing all year," he said. "I just want to do what I've done all season, what's gotten me to this point."

Jake Elliott
Jake Elliott

Placekicker Jake Elliott had himself quite a Super Bowl LII – he made three field goals, including a 46-yarder with 1 minute, 4 seconds remaining on the clock to give the Eagles a 41-33 lead, the final score, eventually, of course.

His second time around is charted territory, and there is comfort with having that experience.

"It's definitely nice knowing what to expect a little bit," he said. "There is a lot of uncertainty and distractions in the week leading up to the game, but I think knowing that there will be uncertainty and distractions involved offers some calm. Being through it, you just know what to expect that lets me breathe easy."

It is a long, long week and as Elliott said, "you just have to remember that ball is the most important part of this trip. You have to lock in like every other week."

One of the uncertainties involves the holder on Elliott's kicks. Will it be Brett Kern, who has handled the punting and holding duties since Arryn Siposs was injured late in the season, or will Siposs return now that his 21-day practice window is open and he says he feels great?

That's not an issue for Elliott.

"Luckily for me, I've had an operation with both of them for quite some time, so I'm real comfortable with either decision and I know both of those guys will be ready to go," Elliott said.

Could it come down to another late-game kick? Is this something Elliott thinks about, dreams about?

"Obviously, that's a dream situation, but I don't ever think about a game that way," he said. "I just let a game come to me, whatever kicks present themselves, present themselves. We'll just play it like every other week."

Eagles fans know where they were on February 4, 2018.

Brandon Graham delivered a play for the ages when he stripped the ball from quarterback Tom Brady that was recovered by Derek Barnett in the fourth quarter of the 41-33 win over the Patriots that brought home the Eagles' first Super Bowl Championship.

"It's definitely a life-changer, man. It changed my life because nobody can take that one away, going against Brady in the Super Bowl, somebody who you know put daggers in people's hearts," Graham said.

"If anything, I'm happy cause it was another Michigan guy. It's always something if I go back to Michigan and see Brady, we can always have good conversation about that one. I'm happy I was able to do that in my career, especially with how it went in the beginning and to be able to make a play like that in the town that never had a (Super Bowl) championship.

"It changed my trajectory of how people viewed me as a player and it's just gotten better ever since."

With 2:16 remaining in the game, the Patriots lined up for a 2nd-and-2 play at the Patriots' 33-yard line. The Eagles were holding onto a 38-33 lead. Graham got in his stance as the 4i technique, inside of right tackle Cam Fleming. At the snap, Graham rushed against right guard Shaq Mason and used a hand swipe to get leverage. As Brady, who took the snap out of shotgun, went to throw the ball, Graham reached out with his left arm and pushed the ball away.

Barnett, a rookie at the time, recovered. Jake Elliott tacked on a 46-yard field goal and the rest was history.

Five years later, as the longest-tenured professional athlete in the city, Graham gets the rare opportunity at a second title.

"It's definitely a blessing because it took me eight to get to the first one," Graham said. "Just trying to enjoy these last two weeks of the season and trying to put my best foot forward like we been doing. I'm just trying to get the win."

A loose locker room is a good locker room and the general consensus, based on a large handful of interviews conducted at the NovaCare Complex, is that the Eagles are treating the moment in the moment and that, without question, the theme for this team at this very moment is "Keep the main thing, the main thing."

"It's just keeping it real," wide receiver A.J. Brown said. "That's just how it is here."

With that, we march on with our Eagles Daily Roundup ...

Jason Kelce has debated whether or not to hang up the cleats after the last few offseasons.

Will the result of Super Bowl LVII make it an easy decision?

No, says Kelce.

"From everybody I've been told about when you know it's time to retire or not, you just know when you know and it's going to be when you don't want to play football anymore," Kelce said. "I don't think that winning this game is going to determine whether I want to play football or not. I remember talking to Stout (Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland) maybe two years ago, I was like, 'I don't know when that time's going to come or how I'm going to know when to stop,' and he's like, 'You'll know.' He was like, 'You won't want to do it anymore.' I was like, 'I don't think that's ever going to happen.' He's like, 'No, it will happen. Trust me, it will happen.'

"(Former Eagles Offensive Line Coach) Howard Mudd, before he passed, gave me the advice, 'When in doubt, don't.' He said you can use that for anything, not just retirement. I don't know when that's going to happen. Obviously, I contemplate it every offseason at this point. I'm just going to appreciate the next week and a half with the guys in this room and all of the coaches and hopefully put together another special game for the season." – Chris McPherson

"Honestly, it hasn't hit me yet, to be honest with you," defensive end Josh Sweat said. "The craziness of it hasn't hit me. They're doing a good job of making it feel like it's regular workdays. I know that once we get there it will be different, but right now it's normal."

Sweat is a key member of the Eagles' defense, of course, and he knows there is zaniness ahead, particularly on Monday's Opening Night. He watched a clip of former Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and laughed out loud at some of the questions he received.

"I'm going to have fun with it," Sweat said. "That's the only way to approach it."

What he knows is that the Super Bowl will be the largest stage of his life and the prize is something he's always dreamed of winning. He wants this moment. He wants this spotlight.

"This is big time, and I'm excited to be part of it," Sweat said. "I know we're going against a great team and a quarterback (Patrick Mahomes) who can escape, who's smart, he can throw, and he is what you want in a quarterback. All I can say is that we have to get after him, put pressure on him, and try to bring him back to being average."

Then, and maybe then, in Sweat's eyes, the Eagles' defense will get the respect it deserves.

"It seems like every game we go into, people are talking about how the other defense is better than our defense," Sweat said. "Hopefully, after this one, we will prove to the world who we are and what we work for." – Dave Spadaro

Jalen Hurts was drafted to serve as the long-term backup to Carson Wentz. By the end of his rookie season, Hurts was thrust into the starting lineup. In his second season, Hurts was a team captain and the full-time starter, leading the Eagles to the playoffs. We've all seen how Year 3 has gone for the MVP finalist.

On the other side of the ball, Fletcher Cox has witnessed Hurts' transformation from rookie to an All-Pro at the game's premier position. The captain says that the quarterback's approach makes his teammates "want to go out there and play harder for him."

"His approach, number one. The way he approaches things, the way he approaches the team when he's speaking. He's always the same Jalen every time you see him. He don't get too high. He don't get too low. I respect a guy like that," Cox said. "Even at times when things aren't going our way or his way, you never see him really frustrated. You never see him screaming at each other on the sideline or screaming at a teammate for messing something up or it didn't go the way he wanted it to go. When your quarterback is like that, you definitely want to go out there and play harder for him." – Chris McPherson

Kyzir White wants to talk basketball, so that's what we're doing. He is mystified by the trade request put in earlier that day by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving – "Why doesn't he want to play with KD (Kevin Durant)? What is wrong with him?" – and then we're talking about who is the greatest basketball player of all time. My answer: Michael Jordan. His answer: LeBron James.


"What could Jordan do that LeBron can't do?" he says. "Plus, I never saw Michael Jordan. I'm too young."

Oh my goodness I'm on the floor ...

The point is, there is such a looseness here. The Eagles are treating things like normal.

"Nobody is uptight, we're treating it like business and I hate to say this, but it's just another game," White said. "We know we're here for a reason, so we aren't going to put more added stress on each other. Let's stay calm, cool, and collected."

White knows the Chiefs from his seasons with the Chargers.

"I'm real familiar with them and it's always a great challenge going against a quarterback (in Patrick Mahomes) like that, but we have a pretty good defense, too," he said. "It's going to be a great battle." – Dave Spadaro

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