The Eagles are in mid championship celebration. The parade — the one the city has been waiting for for more than half a century — kicks off tomorrow. Players have been seen all over the city and all over social media and national television, from appearances on CNN to guests spots on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
NFL football has become nearly a year-round league, with mini-camp in April literally less than two months away. Think about that. From the time the Eagles march down Broad Street to the time they report to work out in mid-April the players have just two months off. And that's without even acknowledging the start of the NFL year in March — with free agent signings, extensions and trades expected to run rampant.
Eagles players, as Doug Pederson says, deserve to celebrate however they want. Even if it drags on into the new NFL year.
"These guys are well-deserving of everything now that they are going to be exposed to in the coming weeks and coming months," the coach said. "There's a side of success that's not the glamorous side and it's the side that [includes questions like] who is going to hold out in OTAs? Who is going to want the next big contract? Who is going to miss ‘this’ or ‘that’ for an endorsement deal or an autograph signing? It's the not-so-glamorous side of success. That was a little bit of the messaging this morning to the guys.
I told them, 'You know, if you want — get used to this. This is the new norm in Philadelphia, hopefully playing into February every year. It's the new norm, so get used to it. Short off-seasons and let's do that.'"
The team had some team meetings, joyous ones, as they packed their lockers, exchanged gifts and got ready for Thursday's parade. It was the first time the team was all together since the Super Bowl.
"This team is inked in NFL history and Philadelphia Eagles history, forever," Pederson said. "That will never be the same again. It will change as of, probably after the parade tomorrow, everything, dynamics change. So just having that moment today with the guys and just kind of revisiting it is a pretty special thing."
Pederson is probably correct. Things will never be the same for any of the players, coaches or employees ever again.
"My wife and I were at dinner last night and just the people keep coming up and just saying, ‘Congratulations,'" he recalled. "Just listening to the stories of people and their families and how they have wanted and waited for this for so many years, for us to be responsible for that joy in their lives, I mean, that's part of what we do this for and that's exciting."