Super Bowl LVII: Eagles’Hasson Reddick reflects

GLENDALE/PHOENIX (News4usonline) – Coming into Super Bowl LVII, Philadelphia Eagles edge rusher Hasson Reddick was going to have an imprint on the game. One way or another. One of the more feared pass rushers in the NFL during the 2022 season, Reddick left his mark on the game, but not the way that he and the Eagles envisioned.

Reddick held the keys to the Eagles falling short of their ultimate goal or being instrumental in leading Philadelphia’s menacing pass rush in putting pressure on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. That goal flamed out.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 29: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick (7) waves to the crowd during the NFC Championship game between the San Fransisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles on January 29, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Reddick wound up with just one tackle, two quarterback hits, and zero sacks. As a team, the Eagles did not record a single sack of Mahomes and wound up losing Super Bowl LVII, 38-35.

“They had [a] good game plan, a lot of chip in, things like that,” Reddick said about Kansas City’s blocking scheme after the game. “For the most part getting the ball off fast, the game plan worked, that’s a credit to them.”

It’s been no secret all season that Reddick was the drive behind the Eagles’ relentless defensive pressure. Reddick recorded 16 quarterback sacks during the 2022 NFL season. As a team, the Eagles sat down opposing quarterbacks 70 times for the season, 78 if you count the postseason.

So not getting to Mahomes was more than a little frustrating to Reddick. The poor condition of the field didn’t help, he added.

“I mean, I slipped a couple of times,” Reddick remarked. “I felt like I had a good pass rush, felt like I beat my man, try to turn the corner and couldn’t turn the corner. Like I said, I’m not making excuses but you watch the film and you can see when I slipped. At the end of the day, they still won.”

Reddick took his frustration to another level, calling the State Farm Stadium football field “the worst field that I’ve ever played on.”

The simplicity of winning or losing Super Bowl LVII hinged on whether or not Reddick and his comrades were going to get to Mahomes. That didn’t happen for the NFC champs. Nonetheless, Reddick, who signed a multi-year deal with Philadelphia in the offseason, said the Eagles had a great run.

“When you have the type of season that we had, you want to end on a high note,” said Reddick. “You get this far, you want one, but unfortunately that’s not what happened. So, we still have some growth to do and we all grow. We believed in each other all year, considered us all as family, this loss shouldn’t deter that.”    

Aside from the offseason pickup of Reddick, the Eagles put themselves in a position to play in the Super Bowl by adding key players to be part of this super run. Wide receiver A. J. Brown, who the Eagles acquired through a trade with the Tennessee Titans, is perhaps the biggest name on that list. Brown and Reddick have dramatically changed the trajectory of the Eagles since their arrival.

In the case of Reddick that would be extending the number of seasons that he has recorded double-digits in sacks. Before he came to Philadelphia, Reddick spent several seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before playing for a year with the Carolina Panthers and then becoming dominant in his first season with the Eagles. So what does Reddick have in common with all three teams?

After going to waste as an inside linebacker for the Cardinals, Reddick spent his last season with Arizona rushing the quarterback. He excelled by coming up with 12.5 sacks during the 2020 season. In his only season with the Panthers in 2021, Reddick continued to show his rushing prowess with 11.5 sacks.

The number of quarterback drops he had during the 2022 season put him in the company of dominant pass rushers like Von Miller of the Buffalo Bills and Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams.

Reddick’s success on the field for the Eagles has not been lost on the former Temple University star. The inside space of Philadelphia’s locker room has been a haven, he said.

“It’s like a brotherhood here,” Reddick remarked. “That’s not to say that I haven’t had that anywhere else. Like here the day would be over instead of going home, guys are in our player’s lounge, playing ping-pong, playing pool, still around each other, connecting with each other…having fun, laughing and joking.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 29: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick (7) gestures to the crowd during the NFC Championship game between the San Fransisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles on January 29, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Having a loose locker room happens when you’re winning and beating the pants off your opponents like the Eagles. Because of the top-level play of Reddick and the rest of the defense, the Eagles managed to crush the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers in their first two playoff games.

Of course, Reddick was at the center of attention in both wins coming up with two sacks against San Francisco and a takedown against the Giants. The devastation of Reddick’s relentless motor to get to the quarterback was on prime display when he got to San Francisco signal-caller Brock Purdy early in the NFC Championship game and knocked him out of the contest. 

During the season, Reddick recorded two sacks in a game four times. Reddick credits the advice and encouragement from Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones, another passer that has helped him with his game. Before moving on to Las Vegas, Jones played for the Cardinals and helped give Reddick an inside track on how to be a great pass rusher.

“He was the first guy to like take me under his wing,” Reddick said. “Chand [ler] just showed me love. From day one, he showed me mad love. Always supportive and everything. He was like, ‘I’ve watched you. You a baller.’ He was like, ‘I’m happy to be here with you. I’m happy to be able to play with you.’ That’s crazy. I’m looking like, you Chandler Jones talking about you’re to be playing with me. Man, I’m happy to be playing with you.”      

Featured Image: PHILADELPHIA, PA – Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick (7) looks on during the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles on January 1, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

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