How Last Year's 7-9 Eagles Carved a Super Bowl Path

How last year's 7-9 Eagles carved a Super Bowl path CSNPhilly.com

The Eagles weren't very good in 2016. They went just 7-9 in Doug Pederson's first year as head coach. After starting the season off with a 3-0 record they dropped nine of their next 11 to plummet to the basement of the NFC East.

The team wasn't very good, but they learned something about Pederson and about themselves.

On ESPN's SportsCenter Friday morning, still buzzing from the Eagles' Super Bowl parade, safety and veteran leader Malcolm Jenkins talked about the importance of that 2016 season.

"Well I think what we learned was in Year 1 what we had done, even though we didn't get the results that we wanted as a team, we felt like we laid down the foundation for something epic," Jenkins said. "So coming into this year we started adding guys in, we were plugging them into a culture that had already been laid out and everybody grasped that. And Doug is the one that set that culture.

"So here we are Super Bowl champions two years after he's arrived and it's on purpose. We didn't just show up this year and be good. Last year we took the time to do the things right and really go into the culture Doug Pederson wanted to lay and it's been awesome."

Jenkins is a big reason for the culture too. His speech to the team after Carson Wentz went down on Dec. 10 was huge. After Pederson would speak to the team this year following games, it became customary for Jenkins to do the same.

That December night in LA was his best performance. In a longer and expletive-filled plea, he told his teammates that it was a shame to see Wentz go down, but their season wasn't over yet.

"We had every excuse to kind of fold it in, but I wanted our guys, especially the young guys, to make sure they understood that obviously we hurting for Carson but our season is right in front of us," Jenkins said on SportsCenter. "Everything we want is right in front of us. We just clinched the division, got an opportunity to still clinch the No. 1 seed, get all these playoff games at home. Like everything is right there, we just gotta continue to believe in it, continue to play and prepare and nothing has changed. That was the biggest thing, nothing's changed. We're still full steam ahead. And I thought it was important at that moment in time to make sure they were clear."

Jenkins joined his teammate Brandon Graham on the set of the world-famous sports show on Friday morning. It was hosted by Philadelphia's own Kevin Negandhi, who has been enjoying the last few days of celebration as much as anyone.

One of the funniest moments of the entire morning was when Negandhi asked Graham about getting a sack on his fellow Michigan product Tom Brady.

Graham has an idea.

"Oh yeah, if I see him at Michigan I might ask him, 'Can you sign my ball?'" Graham said. "I don't know how that's going to play, but I'm gonna have some fun with it."

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