The Eagles' Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Howie Roseman, Fletcher Cox...

The Eagles' Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Howie Roseman, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce celebrate after the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 29 in Philadelphia. Credit: AP/Matt Slocum

PHOENIX — There is a long-standing tradition in the NFL for new coaches to bring in their own guys. In order to get across messages about culture and expectations and procedures on doing things as simple as what should be worn at practice, a coach needs trusted translators who come aboard and are willing to spread their doctrines.

Football is unique in that way. New baseball managers generally get the roster they get because the player contracts are structured for less turnover. Basketball coaches? More often than not, the power comes from the bottom up in that sport. It’s the players who can determine the coach, not the other way around.

When Nick Sirianni arrived in Philadelphia two years ago to take the job for a team that had just gone 4-12 and fired a Super Bowl-winning coach, he had every right to start adding players with whom he had pre-existing relationships, players he could lean on, players who would believe in him no matter how good or bad things became.

He realized pretty quickly that he didn’t have to.

He realized they were already there.

“When I first got the job here, I said I wasn’t like other first-year head coaches,” Sirianni said this week. “I had these unbelievable players that have been to the mountaintop, that have played in this league for 10-plus years — two on the offensive line, two on the defensive line — and know what it takes. That’s obviously a huge advantage for our football team.”

They are the Core Four for Philadelphia: Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. They have been the essence of the franchise for the better part of the past decade, through title runs and turbulent times. And if they can win another title on Sunday when they face Kansas City in Super Bowl LVII in what might be their last game together, they’ll become the Mount Rushmore of Eagles lore.

“What an incredible ride it’s been with those guys,” Johnson said. “Not a lot of players get to experience it with the core group of guys like this. I’m thankful to be with these guys.”

How special are they?

Together they’ve had seven winning seasons, four division titles, five trips to the playoffs, two Super Bowl appearances and (before Sunday) one Lombardi Trophy.

According to NFL Research, there are only 21 active players in the league today who have at least 10 years of experience for just one team. The Eagles are the only organization to have four such players on their active roster.

The last NFL franchise to boast at least four players on its roster with 10 or more years of experience on that team, with no previous experience elsewhere, and a Super Bowl win together during that span? The 2019 Patriots.

That New England team was part of the greatest dynasty in modern sports history.

These Eagles? Well, two Super Bowl wins in a six-year span would be an accomplishment, but the potential dynasty in this game belongs to the other side. Kansas City is playing in its third Super Bowl in four years.

The Eagles are back in the big game, sure, but most of the team has been overhauled since their last appearance.

These four remain, however.

“If you look through all the change, I really do think the Eagles have done a phenomenal job of keeping pieces and parts that they think will hold everything together,” Kelce said. “There’s good buy-in and still a solid culture and foundation to build on. There’s many people in this building that have gone through these coaching changes, including the four guys that have been here a decade-plus now.”

The younger Eagles certainly respect the elders who patrol their nest.

“They’re definitely guys we can lean on their experience,’’ quarterback Jalen Hurts said. “Experience is the biggest teacher. Having those guys around is definitely beneficial.’’

“This is my first time being on the big stage, and seeing how they react calms me down and gives me confidence,” rookie safety Reed Blankenship said. “They are great role models. They make me want to play this game as long as I can, to be just like them.”

Not all of the praise is as overtly flattering.

When left tackle Jordan Mailata was asked on Opening Night this past Monday about his football inspiration, he whipped out his phone and showed his wallpaper picture. It was Kelce, wearing a Batman mask, with his large gut protruding under a rolled-up jersey.

“Fat Batman” was all Mailata said.

There wasn’t much more to add.

It probably was the sweetest thing Kelce could have heard.

The group that was first coming together back in the days when current Kansas City coach Andy Reid was with the Eagles — Graham, Kelce and Cox were selected in concurrent drafts while Reid was running things; Johnson came the following year when Chip Kelly took over — is now nearing its end.

Kelce has openly weighed retirement for several years now despite remaining the best player at his position in the league.

Cox is a free agent after this season, just as he was very briefly last year when the Eagles cut him to avoid guaranteeing his $18 million salary, then quickly re-signed him for slightly less than that.

Graham’s contract will have to be restructured if he is to return for 2023.

Johnson, the youngest of the crew at age 32, is playing the end of this season through the pain of a torn adductor muscle.

Mostly the prospect of the end of their time together has gone unspoken.

“I’m thankful to be with these guys,” Johnson said. “I know how much it means to them. They don’t have to say anything. I’ve been around them all these years.”

It wasn’t talked about because it was never as real as it is now. Throughout the regular season, there was always the playoffs to look forward to, and throughout the playoffs, there was always another game that victory would bring to the horizon. Now this is it. The Super Bowl. It’s not win-or-go-home. It’s go home, win or lose.

Each of them, though, understands what Sunday’s game means.

“I’ve been cherishing every moment, just soaking it all in, just letting all the guys know, hey, we’ve got a chance to do something special,” Cox said. “We really do.”

Kelce, Graham, Cox and Johnson aren’t Doug Pederson’s or Kelly’s or even Reid’s guys. They aren’t even Sirianni’s guys. They are, quite simply, the Eagles. In every way they can possibly be.

More Super Bowl

DON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access