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Eagles coach Doug Pederson says he wants the team to embrace being ‘the hunted’

Doug Pederson, Eagles

Throughout their run to their first Super Bowl win, the Philadelphia Eagles had embraced the role as being the underdogs in that quest. It had helped provide them extra motivation to get to the mountaintop in the league to topple the New England Patriots.

However, the win has now pushed the Eagles to the forefront as the team every other organization is looking to dethrone this upcoming season. It is something that head coach Doug Pederson is hoping his team can embrace that target on their backs in the 2018 campaign, according to Tim McManus of ESPN.

“I want those guys to remember it, I want those guys to embrace it,” Pederson said of the title run, but stressed the importance of turning the page mentally. “It’s a great motivating factor for us to sort of rip off the dog masks and no longer be the underdog, but be the hunted, have the target on our back.”

This is something that the Eagles truly have no control over as the Super Bowl win places that type of scrutiny and attention from around the league. It simply comes with the territory of being the defending champion, but at the same time, it presents a chance for them to have the motivation to want to reach that ultimate goal again and to get those same feelings that come with that.

Philadelphia is returning a just as talented or better roster this upcoming season that the only real question mark lies with Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Wentz’s recovery from his ACL and LCL tear that he suffered last December. Although Nick Foles could step in under center if needed, Wentz will be a big part of helping them vie to repeat.

It is a completely different mindset and role for the Eagles, but it’s a new situation that will present new challenges and motivation.