ITB: Roseman Built 'Best 53' In Team History
The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl bound.
The Birds took advantage of injuries to both active San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks and took aim at the NFL’s top-scoring defense, adding another chapter to their storybook season.
On “Inside The Birds Postgame Live,” Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher were joined by Eagles Hall of Fame offensive tackle Tra Thomas to discuss the 31-7 victory and big picture surrounding the team’s second Super Bowl appearance in five years.
Tra Thomas: “A lot of people a couple of years said we need to get rid of Howie, and now here he is putting together a team that’s going back to the Super Bowl. This group has dominated this league from beginning to end. As soon as you saw Jalen Hurts come back, you knew this team was going to be making it back, and here we are.”
Geoff Mosher: “The theme of this year is that this might be one of the most successful wave of free-agent signings and additions, whether it was a trade like A.J. Brown or Haason Reddick coming up with the big play, C.J. Gardner-Johnson coming back. The reason why the 53 [man roster] is the way it is, is because this is inarguably their best 53 that I have ever seen them have.”
Mosher: “This game was lost from the first possession on when Brock Purdy got hurt, then Josh Johnson had to come in. I felt like right then and there, the climb that was already uphill for the 49ers just became so steep and almost insurmountable.”
Thomas: “Even though you have someone that’s been in the game for 10 years and has played for 13 teams, you can see some of the decisions that was made and why he’s not starting over Purdy. That was a rookie who was Mr. Irrelevant. But when they showed Purdy walk into the stadium, you could see in his eyes that he wasn’t ready for this environment. San Fran was beat before they even stepped in. They weren’t ready for what was going to happen out there.”
Adam Caplan: “The injury to Purdy changed the game. But the bottom line is the better football team today didn’t lose their stuff like the Niners did.”
Caplan: “I have to give the Eagles credit, they stayed with their run game and were able to get the job done. It wasn’t a pretty offensive performance, but in the end, the Eagles played a clean game. They didn’t make mistakes that the Niners did.”
Mosher: “I think once the injuries settled in – especially to Purdy – [the Eagles] thought if they just don’t screw this up, wear them out, get them tired and keep their defense on the field, they will prevail.”
Thomas: “Some of the run plays I felt like they were trying to get cute sometimes, where you try to pull the backside tackle. Just do traditional inside and outside zone runs and that’s what works. If you pull that tackle, now you have the backside defensive end that’s coming in there to disrupt the timing of the player and close the hole a little bit quicker. Once they got out of that mode and stuck with traditional zone runs, it was over with.”
Caplan: “These last two weeks, he’s been awesome. Don’t let the 3.4 yards per carry fool you. When it really mattered and they had to make big plays, he got them. They were way more than four yards. I was pretty impressed with the way he ran.”
Thomas: “It starts with Jalen Hurts. When you have a quarterback that’s willing to push himself through whatever injury he’s dealing with, everybody else is going to fall in line. He’s saying, ‘My shoulder is hanging off but I’m still willing to go out and give everything I got.’ That type of leader that these guys are willing to follow, they’re giving everything that they’ll have.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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