Super Bowl LII: Philadelphia Eagles coach hails ‘awesome’ Jay Ajayi ahead of meeting with New England Patriots

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 February 2018

Jay Ajayi, seen here in action for Miami Dolphins, will play in Super Bowl LII for Philadelphia Eagles against New England Patriots on Sunday (pic; Simon Cooper/PA)

Jay Ajayi, seen here in action for Miami Dolphins, will play in Super Bowl LII for Philadelphia Eagles against New England Patriots on Sunday (pic; Simon Cooper/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Hackney-born Ajayi will hope to help Eagles to Super Bowl glory in Minneapolis on Sunday

Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson insists he has encountered no issues with Jay Ajayi’s attitude having spoken to him about the Eagles’ team culture following his mid-season trade.

Briton Ajayi, who was born in Hackney before moving to America at the age of seven, switched teams surprisingly at the end of October when Miami Dolphins sent him to Philly in exchange for a 2018 fourth-round draft pick.

Such compensation could have been considered inadequate for the league’s fourth-most productive running back on the ground in 2016, yet Miami head coach Adam Gase had called himself and Ajayi “hot heads” after the player publicly expressed his frustration when the Dolphins were trounced at Wembley.

Upon acquiring Ajayi, second-year head coach Pederson discussed their team chemistry with his new arrival and confirmed there has so far been no sign of discontent ahead of Philadelphia’s appearance at Super Bowl LII this Sunday.

“I didn’t know a ton about Jay having just watched him when he came out of college and as a runner,” Pederson said on Tuesday.

“When he arrived, he and I had a conversation. I just explained to him the environment, the locker room that he was joining.

“Part of my messaging this year to our team, our players, is about ownership and we’re always looking to better our roster and Jay’s made us better.

“But our guys embraced him. Our guys said, ‘Listen, this is the way we practise, this is the way we do things’. Listen, we haven’t had any problems out of Jay. He’s been awesome to work with.

“He’s part of that running back group that has been real successful for us this year. It’s fun to watch him preform.”

Pederson will spend this week fine-tuning his Super Bowl game-plan as he looks to outfox Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, a man 16 years his senior and someone who has accrued seven Super Bowl rings across his career.

Pederson was victorious against a Belichick-led Patriots team 18 years ago when a quarterback with the Cleveland Browns, but beating him as a coaching peer on the grandest stage of all would be even sweeter.

“It’s obviously a challenge, you’re going up against a very smart, intelligent coach,” Pederson said of Belichick.

“He’s a coach that will have his team well prepared. It’s not just the Xs and Os, it’s the situational aspect of the game, time-outs, fourth downs, red zones, punt situations, all kinds of things that we’ve seen from them and I have to be prepared.

“We have to make sure we’re all focused.”

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

Saturday, May 26, 2018

To listen to LCD Soundsystem through their intricately produced studio recordings, it’s easy to miss the musicianship James Murphy and his crew of unwilling rock stars command.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

A display in Hackney town hall’s newly refurbished vaults will shed light on the building’s 1930s origins, and the amazing relics unearthed during its £16m revamp. Emma Bartholomew speaks to curator Jacoba Mijnssen about democracy, regalia, and the mysterious cleaning unit uncovered by workers

Saturday, May 26, 2018

So you’ve been training got the big day, it’s been, you had a great time writes Dalston PT Matt Smith, Fitness First.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Middlesex coach Richard Scott hailed his side after a third successive win in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Paul Stirling defied a thigh injury which forced him to bat with a runner to score his second century in less than a week as Middlesex beat Sussex by 74 runs at Hove in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Block Universe - an international performance art festival taking place in London - is celebrating the artform with an international lineup.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The O’s will play a lot of local teams plus travel to Portugal for a seven-day training camp and it appears a good schedule for Justin Edinburgh’s side

Friday, May 25, 2018

Chelsea Clinton and local poet Jan Nobles appear at this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists