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  • The Eagles are playing some of their best football heading into Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup with the Patriots.

     

    One thing Philadelphia can’t contend with is New England’s huge experience advantage in the big game.

    On the 53-man active roster the Patriots brought to Minnesota Garrett Celek Jersey , 32 players have a combined 60 games of Super Bowl experience.

    Tom Brady alone has been to the Super Bowl seven times during his 18-year career, winning five.

    By comparison, the Eagles have seven players on their active roster who’ve won a Super Bowl. Two of those players, LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long, won their rings last season with the Patriots. The others are Torrey Smith, Malcolm Jenkins, Corey Graham, Dannell Ellerbe and Will Beatty. An eighth player, Chris Maragos, is on injured reserve with a knee injury.

    It’s a huge gulf. By comparison, the 2015 Panthers that lost to the Broncos in the Super Bowl that season had three players who had won a ring: Ed Dickson (Baltimore), Roman Harper (New Orleans) and Michael Oher (Baltimore).

    But the Patriots say it’s nothing they will spend time talking about this week.

    ”I think it’s overrated,” said special teams captain Matt Slater, who will be appearing in his fourth Super Bowl.

    Defensive end Trey Flowers said the coaching staff hasn’t mentioned last year’s Super Bowl win since it came up in film study prior to their regular-season meeting with Atlanta back in October.

    ”It’s a brand new team Authentic Dougie Hamilton Jersey , so I wouldn’t say last year’s experience will have anything to do with the outcome of this game,” Flowers said. ”This team has a lot of different guys from a year ago, so it’s something you’ve got to do all over again as far as experience goes.”

    Yes and no.

    New England actually returns 31 players who were on last year’s Super Bowl roster against the Falcons. That doesn’t include injured linebacker Dont’a Hightower or receiver Julian Edelman.

    Two of the Patriots’ additions since then both played in the Super Bowl with other teams. Linebacker James Harrison won two rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers and defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois played on the San Francisco 49ers team that came up short against Baltimore in the Super Bowl at the end of the 2012 season.

    ”We know what to expect, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to perform,” linebacker Kyle Van Noy said. ”So there’s really no upper hand. You’ve got to just play the game and get ready for it and play at a high level.”

    He said that is because there is respect across the board for what backup quarterback Nick Foles has accomplished since Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14.

    ”Everyone wants to hate on Nick Foles, but he’s done a great job,” Van Noy said. ”He’s still a high-caliber quarterback, like Carson Wentz. Nick Foles is a great quarterback who’s done a great job. They distribute the ball really well and their run game is at a high level.”

    More than experience on either side, linebacker Elandon Roberts said the biggest challenge is not getting caught up in the emotions that come with playing in a Super Bowl.

    ”Obviously it’s all the marbles right here, but it’s everything you work for,” Roberts said. ”So you’ve got to think back to what got you here: doing your job, not getting overwhelmed and what not. As long as we do that that takes away most of it.”

    Danny Amendola is Bill Belichick’s kind of player.

    After battling injuries throughout 2016, the 5-foot-11 Authentic Sam Darnold Jersey , 180-pound receiver has had some of the best moments of his five-year Patriots’ tenure during their past two playoff runs.

    It started last year with his touchdown catch and game-tying 2-point conversion during New England’s comeback win over Atlanta in the Super Bowl.

    Amendola’s been just as dependable this postseason. He caught 11 passes for a playoff career-high 112 yards in New England’s divisional-round win over Tennessee.

    He then hauled in two touchdown catches, including the winner, in the Patriots’ AFC championship game win over Jacksonville. He enters his third Super Bowl as New England’s leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns this postseason.

    ”When you look up `good football player’ in the dictionary his picture is right there beside it,” Belichick said of the 32-year-old. ”It doesn’t matter what it is. Fielding punts, third down, big play, red area, onside kick recovery – whatever we need him to do.”

    Often Tom Brady’s third option in the passing game behind Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, Amendola reworked his contract this past offseason just to stay in New England.

    ”I have a lot of great memories here,” he said. “Any negative thing or anything that’s tried to hinder me, I try to ignore and focus on the positive things that have been going on in this building for the last five years for me.”

    Belichick credits Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, then the St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator when Amendola was there in 2011, with recognizing his potential.

    Amendola was originally signed by Dallas as undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech in 2008. Following stints on the practice squads for the Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles Authentic Clay Matthews Jersey , he was in his third season with the Rams when he caught McDaniels’ eye.

    ”You saw a good player in St. Louis, but you didn’t see all the things behind the scenes that you kind of can see when you actually have the player on your team,” Belichick said.

    ”Josh saw that and he made us aware of all the things that Danny does and how well he does them.”

    When McDaniels got back to New England in 2012, he pushed Belichick to sign Amendola when he became a free agent in the spring of 2013.

    Amendola’s role increased in 2017 after Edelman tore the ACL in his right knee during the preseason and Malcolm Mitchell went on injured reserve for a knee injury prior to the start of the regular season.

    Amendola found himself in the game plan even more when Chris Hogan had a shoulder injury in Week 10 at Denver.

    Whether it was those injuries or Gronkowski leaving the AFC title game with a concussion, Amendola said he’s tried his best to adapt.

    ”I don’t feel any added pressure,” he said. ”Every play I’m competing my tail off to try to win the route, win the block or whatever my job is on that play.

    ”Whoever is in the game, whoever is beside me, I have a lot of trust and faith in them whether it’s Gronk or Cookie (Brandin Cooks) or Hoagie (Hogan). Whoever it is, I know we have a lot of trust in this room.”

    That trust has morphed into what Amendola describes as an unspoken language on the field with Brady. Now, a simple glance from his quarterback can lead to an adjustment that can be the difference between an incompletion or a touchdown.

    ”He’s made so many big catches,” Brady said. ”I’m always looking for him at some point. I mean, he’s a big part of what we do, so he’s never not part of what we’re doing.”

    As for his postseason success William Karlsson Jersey , Amendola says he’s always brought the same approach.

    ”It’s a lot about preparation, circumstance, opportunity, being ready and no fear,” he said. ”Just get out there and get it done.”

    NOTES: The Patriots did not practice Wednesday, but Gronkowski was listed with a concussion on the injury report the team is required to release. Joining him on the list were defensive lineman Deatrich Wise, Jr. (concussion), defensive lineman Malcolm Brown (foot), running back Mike Gillislee (knee) and offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle (knee).

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