How "Stout" built an Eagles powerhouse
This is one of the best offensive lines in NFL history, one that statistically harkens back to Vince Lombardi's Packers. Jeff Stoutland is the man who makes it go.
PHOENIX — Super Bowl LVII is brimming with A-list star power and storylines. Very rarely does any championship game in any sport warrant the hyperventilating hype it inevitably receives. Chiefs-Eagles is an exception.
Start with Patrick Mahomes, the greatest player on the planet. All of the other elite quarterbacks in the AFC are in grave danger of becoming a collection of Malones and Ewings and Olajuwons. Not only is he ruthlessly talented — his style of play is mesmerizing. We’re all hypnotized by his no-look passes and underhand flips.
Jalen Hurts can be exhilarating in his own right and might’ve won MVP over Mahomes if he didn’t injure his shoulder.
There are physical wonders all over the field. The “Shaq”-like Chris Jones. Wideout A.J. Brown posterizing defensive backs and hilariously pointing them out one by one. Lane Johnson is playing with a torn adductor in his groin. Even Isiah Pacheco treats each carry like it’s the last time he’ll run the football again in his life.
Andy Reid is also facing his former team.
And… Kelce Bowl! Unless you slipped into a two-week darkness retreat, you’ve been clubbed over the head with this storyline. But for good reason. Considering both brothers will wear gold jackets one day, every second of coverage is justified.
Yet, the most important person in this Super Bowl may get approximately 0.0 seconds of direct airtime on Fox’s broadcast. The man who may decide the outcome of this Super Bowl isn’t scrambling and sidearm-flipping touchdowns (like Mahomes), nor piloting a flawless RPO fake (like Hurts), nor cursing into a mic like a Kelce.
All assistant Jeff Stoutland has done is turn his Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line into a machine.
He’s inside a meeting room, asking linemen specific questions about the gameplan. “Cold-calling,” Stoutland calls it. In front of everyone, he’ll call on you.
What plays do we have on this down and distance?
What defensive formations are we going to get in the red zone?
Players are stumped all the time.
He’s loud. He’s passionate. But the message is always laced with lessons that stick. One is “The hungry dogs run faster.” (“It means you’ve really got to want what you’re going after,” says tackle Andre Dillard.) Another is “10,000 kicks!” This is a reference to a famous Bruce Lee quote: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” A quote that hangs up on a wall for all to read daily. He wants all linemen perfecting one play, rather than trying to clutter their minds with endless assignments.
The result? Complete dominance. An NFL-record 39 rushing touchdowns this season. The previous high was 32 by Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers in 1962. Rewatch any grainy clips of Lombardi 60 years ago and — surprise, surprise — you’ll see a coach who stresses the importance of perfecting one play. The man whose name is inscribed across the sport’s greatest trophy was Lee’s quote brought to life.
Now, this Eagles’ offense is doing whatever it damn well pleases.
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