Eagles coach Doug Pederson spends most of his time working with the offense, but at Super Bowl LII he had a very simple message for his defense: Hit Tom Brady, and do it often.
NFL Films showed Pederson on the sideline talking to several defensive players, and the message was that getting physical with Brady would be the way to win.
“You keep hitting number 12,” Pederson told his defense. “Keep hitting him. Keep hitting number 12.”
The Eagles hit Brady as he was passing nine times on Super Bowl Sunday, but Brady had an outstanding game anyway, throwing for 505 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. But on a crucial play in the final minutes, Brandon Graham hit Brady well enough to knock the ball loose, and the Eagles recovered for their biggest defensive play of the game. The Eagles’ defense had a tough time with Brady, but hitting him paid off in the end.