PHILADELPHIA — Doug Pederson held a clipboard on the sideline when Brett Favre led the Green Bay Packers to consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the 1990s.
The second-year coach thinks his Philadelphia Eagles have similar talent. But he said it takes more than just talent to hoist a Vince Lombardi Trophy.
“It takes a coaching staff. It takes leadership from the top. It takes egos (having) to be put aside,” Pederson said after training camp opened Monday with rookies and some veterans practicing. “And, we have to come out here every single day and work hard.”
Pederson was the No. 3 quarterback behind Favre and Jim McMahon in 1996 when the Packers beat New England for the title. He was third-string behind Favre and Steve Bono the following season when Green Bay lost to Denver in the Super Bowl.
“I’ve seen what it takes and I got to make sure we’re doing those same things here to eventually get us to that game,” he said.
The Eagles are coming off a 7-9 record, haven’t reached the playoffs since 2013 and haven’t won a playoff game since the 2008 season. They think Carson Wentz is the right quarterback to lead them to their first NFL title since 1960. So they surrounded him with veteran playmakers to speed up the rebuilding process.
Wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith and running back LeGarrette Blount signed as free agents to bolster the offense, while defense was the focus in the draft.
“I feel like we have talent with the players on this roster,” Pederson said. “I don’t want to put us in a box and say we can’t do this or can’t do that. I’m excited about the guys we have, the new additions, the draft picks, the free agents. I think they’ve helped our roster. They’ve helped add talent around Carson.”
Pederson’s expectations might be higher than most, even in a football-crazed city. The Eagles are always the talk of the town whether they’re good, bad or in between. There were more media members than players present on the first day of camp.
Eagles sign rugby star: The Eagles have signed Canadian rugby star Adam Zaruba to a three-year contract.
Zaruba had a tryout on Sunday. He wasn’t on the field for the start of training camp Monday and won’t be able to return until he’s granted a visa.
The 26-year-old Zaruba will play tight end. He is 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds. Zaruba played football at Carson Graham Secondary School in Vancouver before turning to rugby, and joined the national team by 2014.
Zaruba helped lead the Canada Sevens to a bronze medal at the World Series tournament in London in May.
Notes: LB Jordan Hicks had hand surgery and isn’t expected to practice right away when the rest of the team takes the field Thursday. … CB Ron Brooks, returning from a torn quad tendon, and LB Joe Walker, returning from a torn ACL, participated in drills. … Rookie CB Sidney Jones, recovering from surgery on his Achilles tendon, watched practice.