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August 24, 2018

Doug Pederson said the Philly Special wasn't an immediate hit in practice

Trey Burton's pass missed the mark the first few times the Philadelphia Eagles ran the now-famous play

Eagles Philly Special
020118_Doug-Pederson_usat Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

The Philly Special was immediately regarded as a brilliant call not just because it worked, but because it worked so well. The handoffs were clean, the throw was perfect, and Nick Foles looked the football in all the way while wide-open in the flat.

Apparently, however, the Philadelphia Eagles' first few attempts at what is now the most famous play call in franchise history weren't so smooth.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson appeared on Colin Cowherd's radio show Friday and discussed, among many other Super Bowl-related things (because the Eagles won the Super Bowl), the good ol' Philly Philly.

According to Pederson, the play didn't produce an instant connection between Foles and now-Chicago Bear Trey Burton.

From Pederson:

"I was hoping to get it called in the Minnesota game and didn’t get it called. But I can remember the first three times that we called it in practice, Trey Burton air-mailed the ball over Nick’s head. 
And Trey’s a former high school quarterback, he’s a baseball player at the University of Florida, just a tremendous athlete. And he just air-mailed the ball over Nick’s head the first three times, and I’m thinking, ‘There’s no way I can call this. I have no confidence in this play.’ 
And we kept working it, working it, working it, and we kept it in for the Super Bowl. It just worked, it worked to perfection.

As if the play's legend couldn't grow anymore, now we find out it was labor of love that Pederson had to massage into a functioning play in time for the team's clash with the New England Patriots.