Veterans helping Jordan Mailata make transition from rugby to NFL

On Thursday night, the Eagles will finally receive their Super Bowl rings, a culmination of four months of celebrating their victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. 

By Friday morning, they’ll be ready for the celebration to be over. 

More specifically, head coach Doug Pederson says he’ll be ready to turn the page at 12:01 a.m. on June 15, the morning players and coaches will wake up with new gaudy rings on their fingers. 

“Honestly, after the ring ceremony,” Pederson said, “to me, we’ve put that to bed, we’ve put that to rest and we move on to 2018.”

The Eagles obviously had a shorter-than-usual offseason this year and have already gone through their OTAs and start their mandatory minicamp today. But during the spring workouts, the celebration has been ongoing. Pederson noted that “the city is on fire.” 

Well, yeah, that’s what happened when a hungry dog isn’t being starved for a championship anymore.  

“It’s a great opportunity for us, great motivating factor for us, to sort of rip off the dog masks and no longer be the underdog, but now be the hunted,” Pederson said. “Have the target on our back.”

Even if they’re not celebrating, the Eagles won’t have to look far to find reminders of their Super Bowl victory. If they’re not wearing a huge ring on their fingers, they will probably be wearing some Super Bowl LII gear. Either way, it’s now impossible to walk through the hallways or locker room at the NovaCare Complex without seeing a Super Bowl LII logo. 

Remembering and using it as motivation is much different than becoming complacent. That’s what has become important to Pederson, who was on a Super Bowl-winning team as a player with the Packers in the 90s. 

“I still remember the one I won in Green Bay,” he said. “I still have shirts and hats and stuff at the house. I remember my teammates. I think as each day passes, it gets more into the past. It’s going to be a part of our fabric, part of our history here in Philadelphia, part of the Eagles’ organization, obviously. I want guys to remember. I think it’s the journey we took to see a Super Bowl LII logo on the wall. It means something different to Jason Peters than it does to Big V, right? I want those guys to remember it, I want them to embrace it.”

Pederson noted that when the team gets back together on July 25 for training camp, after the upcoming break, they’ll be just a couple of weeks away from playing in a preseason game. If they don’t flip the page to 2018, the rest of the league isn’t going to wait. 

No one can ever take Super Bowl LII away from them. But no one’s gonna give them the next one either. 

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