In the NFL, there is a schedule for everything, so Doug Pederson has set the time for his team to stop basking in its first-ever Super Bowl triumph and begin completely devoting itself to winning another one.
“Twelve-o-one a.m., June 15,” Pederson said Tuesday, when asked about turning the page.
That would be the start of the day after the Eagles’ private Super Bowl ring ceremony, and the beginning of their final break before 2018 training camp, which the coach referenced as starting July 25, though no date has been announced.
“Honestly, after the ring ceremony, to me, we’ve put that to bed. We’ve put that to rest, and we move on to 2018,” Pederson said. “Listen, we always are going to remember. It’s going to be every time we’re in the city — I was at two events [Monday] and the city’s on fire. It’s great. I love it. Fans are excited, and they should be.
“But for us, we’ve got focus on 2018 and get ready for training camp. When we come back July 25, two weeks we’re playing a football [preseason] game [Aug. 9 vs. the Steelers]. So that’s our focus.”
Pederson said he has memorabilia from Super Bowl XXXI, when he backed up Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre, and the game will always be a fond memory, but he and the Packers had to move on.
“I think as each day passes, it gets a little more into the past. It’s going to be part of our fabric, part of our history here in Philadelphia, part of the Eagles organization, obviously,” Pederson said. “I want guys to remember. I think it’s the journey that we took to see a Super Bowl 52 logo on the wall. You know?
“It means something different to Jason Peters than it does Big V [Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Peters’ injury replacement at left tackle], right? So I want those guys to remember it. I want those guys to embrace it. It’s a great opportunity for us this season. Great motivating factor for us to sort of rip off the dog masks and no longer be the underdog, but now be the hunted. Have the target on our back.
“So a fine line, maybe? But at the same time, we have to embrace it and use it as sort of motivation to get back to that game and to do it for the guys that didn’t have an opportunity to play in that game last year.”
Second-year cornerback Sidney Jones, who missed his rookie season after Achilles’ tendon surgery, is sitting out minicamp because of “body soreness,” he said Tuesday. He won’t take the field again until training camp.
This is at least mildly concerning. Teams don’t have to provide injury reports in June, so we don’t know whether this problem is related to his Achilles’. Also among those watching Tuesday were linebacker LaRon Reynolds, who has switched to Mychal Kendricks’ old No. 95 jersey, running back Josh Adams, and safety Ryan Neal. Of course, Brandon Graham, who underwent ankle surgery and is on crutches, also is not practicing.