What the Eagles and Chiefs are saying ahead of Super Bowl 57

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Travis Kelce, Chiefs tight end, talking with reporters about Super Bowl LVII, facing his brother, and multi-sport athletes. (Photo by Spencer Gustafson/Cronkite News)

Chiefs punter, Tommy Townsend, reflecting on his role with the team this season ahead of Super Bowl LVII. (Photo by Spencer Gustafson/Cronkite News)

Jerick McKinnon at media availability speaking on his leadership qualities and earning the respect of his teammates. (Photo by Spencer Gustafson/Cronkite News)

Margaret T. Hance Park is home to a portion of the Super Bowl LVII Experience. Signage at the park promotes the big game and events surrounding it. (Photo by Drake Presto/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – Super Bowl week started with a bang Monday with the “Welcome to the Super Bowl Experience” press conference and Opening Night. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles were the stars of the night at Footprint Center, where fans watched their favorite players and coaches answer the big questions before the big game.

The fun continues Tuesday with more Super Bowl events, news and media availability for the Eagles (11 a.m.) and Chiefs (12:40 p.m.).

Follow along for live updates from the Cronkite News team before kickoff on Super Bowl Sunday.

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‘We are going to have more fun than anyone in the country while working harder than anybody’

New Arizona State football coach Kenny Dillingham joined Super Bowl media row Tuesday to discuss taking over the Sun Devils program and getting players to buy in. He also spoke about starting his coaching career at the age of 17 and how he told ex-ASU head coach Todd Graham that he wanted his job as ASU Head Coach while working for him.

Sirianni reflects on first-year foundation

Nick Sirianni has repeatedly emphasized how important it was to enter the Eagles’ head coaching job with a key list of rostered veterans: center Jason Kelce and right tackle Lane Johnson on the offensive front, as well as defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and defensive end Brandon Graham on the other side of the ball.

Such leadership was something Sirianni said factored into the franchise’s ability to navigate the ups and downs of his first two seasons, and now it’s back in the Super Bowl for just the fourth time.

“Last year when I was a first-year head coach — I’ve said this before plenty of times — I was unlike a lot of the other first-year head coaches in the sense that I had four guys who were 10-year veterans in the NFL,” Sirianni said.

Among those aforementioned, Graham said it was clear that he and Cox, Kelce and Johnson were responsible for steadying the team’s morale.

Day in and day out.

“What I do everyday matters, what I say to them — I try to really think about those things because I know it matters,” Graham said. “Just try to be the best leader I can be and, you know, it’s been working.”

– Reporting by Noah Furtado

Commanders in Chiefs: What captaincy means for Kansas City

The Kansas City Chiefs certainly don’t lack quality coaching with Andy Reid at the helm, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. They have stars like Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones and Frank Clark rounding out both sides of the ball as well.

So what is a team captain’s purpose?

“I can’t really put it into words,” punter and special teams captain Tommy Townsend said during Tuesday’s media availability. “The big thing, I think, is just making sure that everybody is really locked in and focused on what we need to accomplish for the week.”

Earning a selection as an NFL team captain is an honor only a special few can hold over the course of any season. It’s not always about talent but the respect you gain from your teammates on a day-in, day-out basis.

“Everything that I bring to the table outside of my athletic ability,” said running back Jerick McKinnon, who is a first-year captain. “I talk to everybody, I joke with everybody – I inspire (the team), they notice the work I put in, they believe in me.”

Townsend, McKinnon and Kelce each use the same word to describe the feeling of having the ‘C’ on their chest: Honor.

“There’s so much pride, there’s so much responsibility,” Kelce said. “Everybody knows that I’m in it to win it, I’m here for the long haul and I’m not taking any steps back.”

McKinnon said that knowing how his teammates feel about him, and all of the work he puts in to lead by example is a “blessing.” Every captain is respected by their teammates, and an equal amount of appreciation is reciprocated by the player leadership.

“For them to vote me a captain for the playoffs is an honor in itself,” Townsend said. “I’ll do anything I can to help put my teammates in a great position for us to be successful so we come out victorious on Sunday.”

– Reporting by Spencer Gustafson

News Reporter, Phoenix

Arizona PBS

Drake Presto drake PRESS-toh (he/him)
News Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Drake Presto will graduate in spring 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Presto specializes in documentary journalism and has interned with The Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways Magazine and The State Press.

Spencer Gustafson SPEN-ser GUHS-tuv-sun
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

Spencer Gustafson is in his third semester at the Phoenix Sports bureau. Gustafson, a digital reporter, has interned with the Savannah Bananas and will graduate in spring 2023.

Noah Furtado NO-uh fur-TAH-doe (he/him/his)
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

Noah Furtado, who has interned at 247Sports affiliate Sun Devil Source for over a year now, is with Cronkite Sports this spring semester, his fourth at ASU. Furtado expects to graduate in May 2025.

Andrew Nadler AN-droo NAD-ler
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

Andrew Nadler expects to graduate in summer 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism . Nadler, assigned to Cronkite’s Phoenix:sports bureau this semester, was a beat writer for AZPreps365.