The Eagles haven’t made a lot of excuses for their Super Bowl 57 loss. James Bradberry said he held JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jason Kelce absolved the officials, and Jalen Hurts said the game goes beyond one play.
One thing, however, truly irked pass rusher Haason Reddick, and it was something the Fox broadcast picked up on as well: the state of the turf at State Farm Stadium.
“Most definitely, I’m not going to lie, it was the worst field that I’ve ever played on,” Reddick said, per ProFootballTalk.
Although he followed the Eagles’ company line in not blaming external factors — the Chiefs had to play on the same field, after all — Reddick didn’t pull punches in talking about how it affected his game.
“You saw it, y’all watched the same game,” he said. “Y’all watched the game, y’all saw it, there was a lot of slipping all over that field. It didn’t even matter, I changed my cleats, still had seven studs and was still was slipping so, I don’t know. You know, I don’t want to use it as an excuse, I’m not that type of guy, I’m not going to make excuses. Still props to them, they still won, they’re champs, they should enjoy it.”
MORE: How many people watched Super Bowl 57?
Reddick also said the league has to do better for its biggest game.
“It was very disappointing,” he continued. “It’s the NFL. You would think it would be better so we could get some better play, but it is what it is. I don’t know, maybe the league will look at it and tell Arizona they got to step their stuff up. I don’t know, it’s not my decision to make.”
What turf was used for Super Bowl 57?
The grass was a big talking point heading into this game, which only made its seemingly slippery surface all the more confounding.
“We believe that, right now, this is one of the strongest varieties of hybrid Bermuda grass you can get,” one of the NFL’s field surface directors, Nick Pappas, said ahead of the Super Bowl, per ESPN.
Tahoma 31, developed by Oklahoma State University, was what was used for this game. Both conference championships were played on it in Kansas City and Philadelphia, but for whatever reason, players really struggled on it in Arizona.
The Fox broadcast took notice and gave a report on the field itself in-game, furthering conversation around the playing surface.
MORE: Why Chiefs, Eagles players were slipping on ‘hybrid’ turf field, forced cleat change
“The field conditions have been an issue since the pregame,” Tom Rinaldi said in a sideline report. “You’ll see players having a hard time keeping their footing. We’ve already seen almost half a dozen Eagles change their cleats, Haason Reddick among them. DeVonta Smith, Jalen Hurts. Then take a look after halftime. This is all of the folks out after the halftime performance by Rihanna trying to fill the divots.”
Oklahoma State also gave a statement after the game, saying it “had no role in creating or preparing the field for Super Bowl LVII” but acknowledging it developed the grass, which was used at Lincoln Financial Field this year.
After the field at Super Bowl LVII went viral yesterday, #okstate has given a statement on it. https://t.co/2E2RXGCdhe pic.twitter.com/7SL0RyQuyr
— Dean Ruhl (@the_ruhl_book) February 13, 2023
Reddick’s frustrations are seemingly founded, as this was an issue all game. It’s likely especially frustrating for a player who built his reputation on getting to the quarterback this season. Both teams dealt with the field conditions, yes. But clearly to some, that doesn’t make it acceptable.