PHILADELPHIA - Just four days after dispatching a former Temple Owls coach, the Eagles will try to do it again when Bruce Arians brings the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Lincoln Financial Field for a Thursday night game.
Arians coached Temple from 1983-89, winning 27 games in that span, but forfeited six of those due to an ineligible player being on the roster in 1986.
Still, Philadelphia is a special place to him, as is Pennsylvania, having grown up in central PA and attending William Penn High School in York.
The last time the Bucs passed through Philly, he brought his team to Temple to practice. Not this time around, though.
“Thursday night changes it a bunch, just in and out,” Arians said on a Tuesday morning conference call. “For us, this is a business trip. It’s always great coming back to Philly. So many former players and staff members and doctors and trainers and everybody that was there in the ’80s with us.
"It’s like family. But it’s a business trip. We really don’t have much time to do anything but play the game and get back home.”
Now, the Bucs aren’t Rhule’s Panthers, obviously.
The Eagles beat Rhule's Carolina squad, 21-18, on Sunday. Rhule spent 10 years with Temple, the final four seasons as the head coach 2013-16.
But the Bucs are the defending Super Bowl champs.
And Bucs QB Tom Brady isn’t Carolina QB Sam Darnold.
Brady will play on Thursday, so Eagles fan can uncross their fingers hoping that the thumb injury he suffered, and had wrapped following Tampa’s four-touchdown demolition of the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, might prevent him from doing so.
As helpful as it might be for an Eagles team looking to win its eighth-straight Thursday game by seeing backup Blaine Gabbert, or even rookie Kyle Trask, it won’t happen.
“Obviously a little bit sore after, anytime you hit it on someone or a helmet or whatever, you know, your hand can become pretty vulnerable,” Brady said on SiriusXM podcast, ‘Let’s Go! With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray.’
“…This is just, you know, hopefully, something I could work through here pretty quickly. It's a little bit sore, but nothing I'm not used to. I've certainly had worse.”
Arians has no doubt his QB will line up behind center against the Eagles.
“Nothing surprises me with Tom,” the Bucs coach said. “Every single day, he comes to practice, he’s like he’s 12 years old. Like I said last week, sometimes I think it’s Jack, his son, out there practicing. He’s having so much fun. Just what he does at his age is amazing. Age is not a thing with him. Nothing he does surprises me anymore.
“… It’s sore, but he’ll be fine. He’s had much worse injuries, that’s for sure.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.