The Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled to get a visit Saturday from someone who knows something about defeating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, who led the Green Bay Packers to victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, was invited by Eagles coach Doug Pederson to address his players.
Pederson was a reserve quarterback behind Favre on a Packers team that defeated the Patriots 35-21 to cap the 1996 season.
Several Eagles players said they were looking forward to hearing from Favre, who passed for 246 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown in the win over the Patriots.
“Anytime you can sit down with one of the all-time great players in this league, you’re going to be able to learn something,” tight end Zach Ertz said, adding, “I’m trying to hopefully one day be at that level for the tight end position, so if I can learn something that would be amazing.
“He has experience playing in Super Bowls, something that I do not. Going against the Patriots in the Super Bowl and having success, which I do not. So I’m excited about this.”
Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox said players welcome the opportunity to listen to players such as Favre, who played 20 NFL seasons and passed for 508 touchdowns.
“It’s always great to hear from guys like that,” Cox said. “Guys that’s been around this league for a long time … Guys that have won Super Bowls.
“Guys on our team will listen and it will give us a little spark.”
Linebacker Brandon Graham sees Favre as an underdog, much like the Eagles are considered against the Patriots.
“He always had that chip on his shoulder for just the way he played, taking risks going out there and just trying to win,” Graham said, adding, “Just knowing and seeing a guy that’s been an underdog like him, we can relate to him. I think a lot of guys will open their ears and just be excited to be a part of that.”
NFL players, defensive back Jaylen Watkins said, are no different than any other person when it comes to hearing from great players.
“Kobe Bryant came and spoke to us earlier and we all were pretty excited,” Watkins said. “Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. To know that he had a personal relationship with our head coach — and the respect he has for our head coach — we’re all excited.”
That didn’t stop running back LeGarrette Blount from joking about Favre’s impending visit.
Blount, who won two Super Bowls with the Patriots, was asked if he would have any questions for Favre. He reportedly responded: “How many Super Bowls has he won?”
When the questioner said one, Blount reportedly laughed and said, “Nah, there ain’t too much I want to ask him.”
Blount later tweeted that he was joking.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski and Eagles kicker Jake Elliott have something in common: Both played in college at Memphis.
“It’s really cool to have a unique position come from the same school and to both be in the Super Bowl,” Gostkowski said.
Gostkowski, a fourth-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2006, made 37 of 40 field goals this season.
Elliott was a fifth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals last April. He was signed by the Eagles off the Bengals’ practice squad and made 26 of 31 field-goal attempts, including one from 61 yards that beat the New York Giants in Week 3 and spurred the Eagles’ run to an NFC East title.
The kickers became friends a few years ago when Gostkowski returned to the Memphis campus to work out.
They have exchanged texts through the years, congratulating each other on good performances and clutch kicks.
Gostkowski also has provided encouragement and advice, Elliott said.
During warmups before Sunday’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium, the kickers plan to visit on the field.
“I’m sure we’ll go say hi and chat it up for a little bit,” Elliott said. “But obviously it’s all business.”
“I take my job very seriously but I don’t take myself that seriously,” he said. “We’re friends. I hope he does well. I hope we win.”
Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen did not grow up dreaming of playing in the Super Bowl.
“Oh, playing in the NBA finals, definitely,” he said.
Not that playing in the Super Bowl is a step down.
“It’s an amazing event and amazing game,” he said. “To have the entire world watching you play football is an incredible accomplishment.”
But Allen said he can’t help his reaction when he sees a great play in the NBA finals.
“Dammit!” he said. “I should be catching that lob from ‘Bron!”