Four years ago the city of Philadelphia went through a seismic shift of epic proportions. A QB catching a TD Pass in the Super Bowl, a backup QB outdueling the GOAT and a fumble that shook the city of brotherly love. All culminating in millions of people crying out in joy, and the Eagles hoisting their first Lombardi Trophy.
Four years have passed since the Eagles were named Super Bowl champions, and while some faces may have remained, there are only a few players and coaches left from that magical season. Let’s take a look at what happened to one of the most iconic teams in NFL history.
Head Coach: Doug Pederson
At the time of winning the Super Bowl, many reporters, and fans alike were marveling at Doug Pederson and how he masterfully outcoached one of the greatest coaches in sports history. Pederson’s time in Philadelphia was filled with plenty of defenders: even when the team had started to falter.
Pederson was fired after a 4-11-1 season in 2021. He took the next year off to regroup. Oh and hey! Just recently got the head coaching job in Jacksonville.
Pederson has shown the ability to work with different QB’s who have differing skillsets. Moving from Carson Wentz to Nick Foles was a challenge in 2017, but Pederson did an excellent job of adapting the offense.
There’s no mistake, Jaguars QB, Trevor Lawrence, is the best QB Prospect Pederson will have ever coached.
The ovation when Jacksonville comes to Philly next season will probably be the loudest the Linc has ever heard.
QB’s Nick Foles and Carson Wentz
Why wouldn’t we put these two together? Forty years from now, we’ll still be talking about the dynamic between Foles and Wentz.
And yet after the Super Bowl season of 2017, neither QB has been the same.
Starting with Wentz, he was given the unenviable task of trying to live up to both his MVP caliber season in 2017, and the fact his backup became a Super-Sayan God in the playoffs. It’s a task he clearly wasn’t ready or built to handle. Wentz was traded to Indianapolis last season and missed the playoffs again, after posting a 27 TD/7 INT season.
But it’s not like many people have been proven right about Nick Foles either. Foles signed a multi-year extension with Jacksonville after the 2018 season and was promptly hurt, and outplayed by Gardner Minshew. The hero of the Super Bowl is now considered a journeyman QB after playing behind both Andy Dalton and Justin Fields in Chicago.
From the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, it’s been quite the fall for two QB’s who were at one point considered heroes in Philadelphia.
OC Frank Reich and QB Coach John DeFillipo
Like the QB’s, it’s better to pair both Frank Reich and John DeFillipo together. Fresh off of one of the most impressive coaching jobs – getting Carson Wentz to an MVP level and Nick Foles to a Super-Sayan, Reich and DeFillipo both got promotions elsewhere shortly after the 2017 season ended.
After Josh McDaniels left them at the altar, the Colts hired Reich for their head job. He has since gone 37-28 as a HC for Indy, and 1-2 in the playoffs. He has come under fire for the immensely talented Colts team missing the playoffs.
It’s been a murkier road for DeFillipo, however. After winning the title, DeFillipo became the Offensive Coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings and didn’t even last a full season. The Eagles former QB Coach was fired after Week 14. He then ended up in Jacksonville for one season as the OC but was promptly fired after the year.
This past year he was the QB coach for the Bears and their walking circus of QB’s and head coaching blunders. It’s been a difficult ride for DeFillipo after his excellent run with the Eagles but now is on the prowl for another job after the Bears brought in a whole new front office and coaching staff.
DC Jim Schwartz
Eagles fans who remain livid at Jonathan Gannon are probably forgetting that they are the same ones who were upset with Jim Schwartz.
After years of Billy Davis and Juan Castillo, Schwartz brought a level of stability to the defense and allowed edge rushers to enjoy their finest stops of their careers. Brandon Graham flourished, Malcolm Jenkins became a stud, and even guys like Jalen Mills were very successful with Schwartz. After giving up 33 points in the Super Bowl, it was reported that Eagles Owner, Jeffrey Lurie wasn’t happy with the defensive strategy but it didn’t matter. They won.
Schwartz left the team after the 2020 season, like most of the Pederson coaching staff. After taking a few months off, Schwartz was hired as a defensive assistant for the Tennessee Titans for the 2021 season and actually received some more DC interview requests with the Colts so far this offseason.
Unlike some past coaches and players, it seems Schwartz was able to certainly land on his feet and still be successful.
WR’s Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffrey
Each of the three receivers played a massive role in the team’s first Super Bowl. And each career’s afterward has been a very difficult avenue to judge.
Torrey Smith played one more season in the NFL, with the Carolina Panthers, before retiring shortly after being released in 2019. Smith ended up founding the non-profit Torrey Smith Foundation (TSF) for at-risk youths, as well as joining Rose Health as an Investor and Brand Ambassador to promote mental health resilience.
Alshon Jeffery’s Eagles career ended quite unceremoniously. Riddled with injuries and questions about being a locker room issue, Jefferey was cut last season as a salary cap casualty. There hasn’t been much to report on him since he was cut last season.
Nelson Agholor had a very good 2018, and then a disastrous 2019. He was a free agent and signed a one-year deal with the Raiders in 2020. He ended up playing pretty well in Vegas. Agholor is now with the New England Patriots after signing a two-year deal last offseason.
The legacy of the three wideouts will always be tricky. At their best, they were one of the best receiving trios Philadelphia ever had. At their worst, their inconsistent health, ability to catch the football, and their locker room issues will always be a blemish.
Free Agent Acquisitions Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount
Two of the most underrated free-agent signings of that off-season, Long and Blount brought in championship-level experience and production to a team that needed stability. Blount spear-headed one of the best rushing attacks that year, while Long helped make the Eagles front four into one of the best in football.
Long was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2018 and retired after the season ended. Long has since been seen on the Green Light Podcast.
Blount on the other hand left Philadelphia to play for the Lions in 2018. After sitting out the whole 2019 season, he retired in 2020. He still says the Philadelphia Super Bowl was his favorite to win and has favorable memories of his time in Philly.
The leader of the Eagles defense for over five seasons, Jenkins was the spiritual presence of the Eagles locker room and a consummate professional throughout his time in Philly. The Eagles declined to pick up his option after the 2019 season and Jenkins became a free agent.
Jenkins then signed back with the New Orleans Saints with a new four-year deal. He has been a leader of the Saints defense that has been one of the best in football the last two years.
While Eagle fans everywhere celebrate and reminisce about the magic that was the 2017 season, it’s hard not to look back and realize how many changes have happened over the last four years. Some change has been for the good, some really hasn’t, but the goal to reach another Super Bowl has never been stronger.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire