Good morning, Eagles fans. This is a day many of you have anticipated for decades: An Eagles parade up Broad Street. The Eagles will start their parade at Broad Street and Pattison Ave. at 11 a.m. They'll make it to the Art Museum two hours later for a 1 p.m. ceremony. You'll find comprehensive coverage on Philly.com and in The Inquirer and Daily News.
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— Zach Berman
Jason Peters wants to continue playing next season. Doug Pederson believes he can still play. And the way it sounded Wednesday, Pederson plans to have Peters at left tackle for the Eagles for the 10th consecutive season. (He missed all of 2012 because of injury, though.)
"He's a Pro Bowl left tackle," Pederson said. "Guys like that, in my opinion, in my humble opinion, they can go out when they want to go out. I respect him and what he's done and how he's working right now through injury. If you had to hold a gun to my head, I'd say, 'Yeah, he's my starting left tackle.'"
Peters, 36, is recovering from a torn ACL and MCL suffered in October. He will count $10.667 million against the salary cap next season, so unless the Eagles renegotiated his contract, they must be confident that he'll be healthy in time for next season. The Eagles won a Super Bowl with Halapoulivaati Vaitai at left tackle, and they could be in the market for an offensive tackle early in the draft.
But what cannot be disputed is Peters' value on the field when he's healthy and in the locker room throughout the year. He's perhaps the most respected player on the team — he's also a favorite of owner Jeffrey Lurie — and the Eagles have never wavered in their commitment to him.
Judging by Pederson's comments on Wednesday, this offseason won't be an exception.
By now, it shouldn't be a surprise that Pederson is an aggressive play-caller and decision-maker. He's been that way all season, and it built on his first season. A worldwide audience saw it in the Super Bowl, when Pederson made a pledge not to change how he coached because of the stage or because Bill Belichick was on the other sideline.
"That's my alter ego. That's my evil twin, I guess," Pederson said of his aggressiveness. "I learned that probably from my dad a little bit in his aggressiveness with us as kids growing up. I've always been sort of under the mindset, I want every play to score a touchdown, every play. I want every defense to lose five yards. That's just how I approach the game. I might come off as this soft-spoken guy to [reporters] but inside, I want to win the game. And not at an all-costs type of expense but pretty close, pretty close."
Pederson said when playing the Patriots with Belichick and Tom Brady, a coach must remain aggressive or "you're going to lose those games." So the "Philly Special", the fourth-down decisions, and the early passing — that's who Pederson is, and he wasn't going to start becoming conservative because it was his first Super Bowl.
If you think you're excited for the parade, you're not alone. The players are, too — and they're genuinely curious to see what it'll be like.
"It's a great question," quarterback Nick Foles said. "I don't think anyone really knows. We're really excited about it. I know there's supposed to be millions of people. I can't wait to go down Broad, go to the Art Museum, and just see everything. This is what you dream of, so it's really cool."
Pederson said he's seen the excitement from the fans in the past few days, but it will sink in even more on Thursday. He wants his players to enjoy one last time together as a team, too. They had their final meeting on Wednesday, they'll have the parade on Thursday, and they won't be together again until a new version of the team reports in April for the offseason program.
Wondering why you think the Birds are in the market for a 3rd safety. Or, more specifically, why would they not simply resign Corey Graham, who has played pretty well and can't be all that expensive? — Larry S., via email