Super Bowl 2023: Poor turf was issue for players: 'It’s the worst field I ever played on'
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Super Bowl LVII wasn't played in bad weather. It was 77 and clear at kickoff.
Yet, at times it looked like the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs were playing in a rainstorm. Throughout the game, players were slipping on the turf.
"I’m not going to lie, it’s the worst field I ever played on," Eagles defensive end Haason Reddick said.
There were similar complaints from a College Football Playoff game played between TCU and Michigan last month at State Farm Stadium. The grass field is rolled in and out of the stadium, which has a retractable roof. It didn't help the footing on Sunday.
"Definitely subpar, for sure," Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata said. "But both teams had to play on it."
Like all other players who spoke on the subject, Mailata said footing was difficult.
"Slippery," Mailata said. "Not a grass expert but it was pretty slippery."
The most striking moment came when Eagles kicker Jake Elliott went to plant on a kickoff and his foot slipped, which luckily didn't lead to an injury.
This field is bad. Jake Elliott slips on the kickoff. pic.twitter.com/6Xhf54oteR
— Arye Pulli (@AryePulliTSP) February 13, 2023
The Eagles made sure to mention that field conditions didn't decide the game. ("It's not like we were playing on ice and they were playing on grass; we all had to play on it," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said.) But it affected both teams.
The Eagles had 70 sacks in the regular season and none Sunday. There were factors that went into that, such as the Chiefs using a quick passing game. But the field conditions probably slowed down the Eagles' pass rushers a bit.
"It was hard. I beat my man a couple times, trying to turn the corner and just was slipping," Reddick said.
"It was very disappointing. It’s the NFL, you’d think it would be better so we can get some better play. But it is what it is."
Reddick said he didn't want to use the turf as an excuse. He said the Chiefs deserved to win. But it was clearly a point of frustration.
"Maybe the league can look at it and tell Arizona they’ve got to step their stuff up," Reddick said. "I don’t know. It’s not my decision to make, it’s not my call to make."