LAS VEGAS: Back on January 8, 2024, sfgate.con printed a transcript of former Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave talking with fellow defensive lineman Arik Armstead on a livestream.
According to the piece, Hargrave said the biggest difference between the San Francisco and Philadelphia teams is that the Niners' practices are much more intense.
Hargrave spent the last three seasons with the Eagles before joining San Francisco for the 2023 season.
“I can say it’s extremely hard, the practices… More demanding,” Hargrave said. He compared the difference to the reputations of two basketball teams: “Over here, it’s the Miami Heat, over there it’s Golden State, because it’s more chill, more relaxed, you’re chilling. Over here, nah. It’s work every day. Every day you’re about to get it.
"I feel like Kyle [Shanahan] is Pat Riley. You know what you’re getting over here. Everybody can’t make it over here.”
The Eagles season, at the time this story was printed, was falling apart at the seams.
Eagles Nation was looking for answers as the Birds ended up losing six of its final seven games including a humiliating 32-9 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Local talk shows and podcasts started to blame head coach Nick Sirianni’s light training camp and practices for the Eagles collapse.
Hargrave and the 49ers won the NFC championship and will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl XLIII Sunday at 6:30 PM ET (CBS Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn).
Hargrave’s words were used as the topic on radio and message boards throughout the Delaware Valley.
During a media session this week, Hargrave told Footballstories he said those words, but never meant them the way it was presented to Eagles fans.
“It was never meant to say that I wish practice was better (when he was in Philadelphia),” the third-round pick out of South Carolina State said. “I was just trying to say that with two winning coaches…some go about [practice] in different ways. I think it was just taken out of context because of the losing streak they was on.”
Hargrave went out of his way to say Sirianni knows what he’s doing.
“It worked for us last year and I loved it. It kept guys fresh, it kept everybody healthy. I really wasn’t trying to say it like everybody thought I was trying to say it.
“They just took the headline and went with it,” Hargrave continued. “I did it with the Warriors and the Heat…I said the Warriors were more chill and the Heat were more demanding (at practice) and at the same time, it’s two winning coaches.”
CHIEFS MAY HAVE A WEAK LINK THE 49ERS CAN EXPLOIT
The Chiefs may have a void on their offensive line. All Pro left guard Joe Thuney is suffering from a pectoral injury.
He missed the AFC championship game will likely be replaced by Nick Allegretti in the Super Bowl if he can’t go.
Allegretti played in place of Thuney against Baltimore in the AFC Championship game.
But Hargrave said they are preparing for Thuney as if he is going to play.
“Thuney is definitely a guy who is quick with his feet and a great technician,” Hargrave said. “You ain’t gonna get by him. He’s so quick with his feet and he plays the position the right way.
The Chiefs also have another All Pro in center Creed Humphry.
“Creed…he’s a good guy,” Hargrave said. “He kind of reminds me of (Jason) Kelce a little bit,” he said. “He gets to the second level, it’s just how he runs and makes the holes open.”
HARGRAVE PUSHES BACK ON THE POTENTIAL OF A DUBIOUS MILESTONE
The 31-year-old stood in front of me as I told him the story of a beloved for Sixers forward Steve Mix.
Mix played in the NBA for 13 season, nine with the 76ers. His dubious record came when he played for the Sixers his last season in Philadelphia when the Sixers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1982 NBA finals.
Mix left the Sixers after that season, only to sign with the Lakers the following season. The Sixers swept the Lakers to win the NBA title.
Mix played for the Sixers losing effort to the Lakers in 1982, then lost to the Sixers as a Laker.
Hargrave was reminded he player for the Eagles, losers to the Chiefs…and before I got to the part where I tell him he is now playing against the Chiefs again for a Super Bowl title…not the exact scenario, but close…I never finished the sentence before Hargrave stopped me
“Don’t wish that on me!: Hargrave said with a gasp and a laugh. “That’s a whole different scenario. They different though…they different though…it’s different…it ain’t going to be the same! It’s a whole different scenario.”
Even more reason for Hargrave to get a win on Sunday. *
Email Al Thompson at email@example.com